Instagram @JamieLefkowitz

Follow Jamie Lefkowitz Photography on Instagram @JamieLefkowitz


Part III Hungary + Croatia || Croatia

…and then we were off to the beach! Our ancestry is Croatian. My father is from a village near the border of Croatia. He went to a Croatian boarding school in Hungary and learned Croatian early on.  While visiting I got the sense that being Croatian is a point of pride.  In Hungary there were Croatian schools and clubs (similar to the elks lodges here).  Because of this it was really important to visit Croatia during this trip.
We brought my aunt who lives in Hungary. She had never been even though she lives a few hours from the border. She was completely blown away with the sea, boats, and unusual seafood.  We drove 8 hours to the southern city of Split. From there we were off to the island of Hvar- go there! The views were breathtaking, the water was crystal clear, and the food was sooo good.  One of the highlights was our boat tour to swim in the green lagoon, visit the blue cave, and beach hop to remote islands.
After some time on the island we went back inland to visit Plitvice national park, a beautiful area filled with turquoise water and waterfalls.  We stayed nearby in the country side. It's an area that was severely impacted by the fairly recent Croatian war of independence. Nextdoor to our brand new airbnb was a burnt down building from the war (see image towards the end). Apparently landmines from the 90’s are still in the fields so were advised to stay near the main property.  The countryside was beautiful and relaxing. We had a traditional Croatian meal, pet some horses and headed back to Hungary the next day.

...Budapest post coming tomorrow <3 j="" p="">

Part II Hungary + Croatia || Hungarian Countryside

We spent most of our time with our family in the surrounding area of Pécs. My family is from a very rural village called Versend. There are only a handful of streets and a few hundred people living there. A lot of the families have small backyard “farms”. Our family had horses, goats, pigeons, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc.   It was incredible to see where my father grew up and spend time with family I never met! We were there for the family’s grape harvest, which was so cool to be a part of.  We harvested their grapes, drank their wine (and moonshine!), ate homemade comfort food and walked around the village.

One afternoon we were told we’d be heading to the village over, Babarc, for their harvest festival.  This was a highlight of our trip and pretty unexpected. My cousin has the only horse in carriage in the area so he was planned to lead the parade. We flew through the vineyards and corn fields on the carriage and arrived to this small village. The town square was filled with everyone who lived there and the mayor greeted us with wine.  The band began to play and we went and lead the parade. The festival was filled with homemade pastries and breads, each family’s wine, music and dancing. The newly engaged couple of the village was also being celebrated. They wore traditional Hungarian clothing and there was a speech honoring their engagement (I didn’t understand a word of it, but we got the gist).

We also spent a few days visiting an old mining city Komlo, the well known wine town Villány,  a castle in Siklós, and of course more wine at our family’s winery along the Danube river in Mohács. 

Fulemule Csarda - authentic Hungarian restaurant in wine country
Siklos Castle