Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Few More Random Things

I have a few final things that I want to capture here on the blog regarding our trip and then we will resume normal programming (needlework).

From our trip in 2011:

This year’s trip:

If you ever visit Mrs. Szigethy’s museum in Hegyko, you will see that I am in the exhibit! These framed articles talk about my visit in 2012 and then about the presentations I made about the Höveji Lace in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

It was a wonderful time of year to visit. Many grapes had been harvested but some were still on the vines. The longer they stay on the vine, the sweeter the wine.

We had a wonderful trip! Special memories to hold on to forever!

Sankt Andrä am Zicksee Part Two

If you go back to my post on October 7, you will see that we spent some time that Saturday visiting with some cousins who live in Sankt Andrä. We had a great time on Saturday visiting the Eastern Orthodox Monastery and then enjoyed a delicious dinner of wine and open faced sandwiches at a Heuriger (tavern) in Gols.

We spent most of Sunday with this family too. The day started with Mass in their local church. All of these little villages are Roman Catholic and each has its own church. There aren’t enough priests though, so two or three village churches will often share one priest.

Today in Sankt Andrä they had a Thanksgiving celebration at Mass. A crown was made from wheat and the fall harvest was blessed by the priest.

After Mass, we traveled to the lake. The water level is much lower than it normally would be. Many people from Vienna have vacation homes in this area and they come in the summer to enjoy the lake.

The family wanted to share with us a meal that would traditionally be served at a wedding or some other celebration.

The noodles for our soup were made the day prior.

We enjoyed two kinds of soup, noodle soup and liver dumpling soup. My mom had asked about Grießknödels (farina dumplings) the day before and she got those too!

What do you do when you are served two soups? You have a bowl of one and then a bowl of the other! Both were delicious!

Our second course was meat and potatoes. A beef roast served with a wine creme sauce.

Everything was so good, the beef was tender.

Mind you, I’m getting kind of full at this point, but we had another course yet. Stuffed pork roast - Schweinbraten - with Sauerkraut.

And last but not least, an apple dessert and cappuccino.

And then my mother started talking about those grammel (lard bits) biscuits again and look what appeared.

It was a very special afternoon. We were so fortunate to have these beautiful young ladies spend time with us while in America. We enjoyed spending time with them and their family while in Austria.


One of my favorite places to travel to while visiting our relatives is Sopron. It’s a beautiful city located in western Hungary. It’s only about a 30 - 35 minute drive from the villages in Burgenland. It’s a beautiful drive through the area just south of the Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl).

According to Wikipedia, Sopron was once a city “close to nowhere” due to the Iron Curtain. Now that the borders are open, people can travel freely between Austria and Hungary. Many Austrians come to Sopron to shop. One of my cousins comes to hairdresser in Sopron because they are open on Sundays and it is more convenient for her.

Most signs in Sopron are written in Hungarian and German. In shops and restaurants many people speak both Hungarian and German.

We were searching for a book that I wanted to purchase. The book store was located near the center of the city. I snapped some photos of the beautiful buildings in the old part of the city. The medieval architecture has been beautifully preserved!

I’d like to come back and spend more time here!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Visiting Family and Friends

The reason for the journey was to take time to visit with family and friends. My grandmother immigrated in 1906 and we’ve kept this connection going for 111 years!

Special people who are all dear to us!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Zwei Alte Damen Part Two

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet this special lady again. The smile on her face when we arrived at her home was truly special. I gave her a big hug. With help from her daughter (who speaks English and German) we were able to communicate and enjoyed a lovely visit!

Her embroidery is truly amazing!

And of course, this visit was really special because the Mad Tatter got to meet Mrs. Szigethy for the first time.

Here are a few more of her recently completed doilies.

There will always be a special place in my heart for this special lady!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Austrian-Hungarian Border

At one time in history, crossing the border from Austria into Hungary and vice versa wasn’t easy and at times it wasn’t even possible. I can remember our first visit in 1977, our relatives took us to the border, close enough to see the armed guards in the tower, but we still maintained a safe distance away.

On my last few visits, I’ve had the opportunity to visit several different border crossing points. On this visit, Mrs. Szigethy’s daughter took us to see the border at Hegyko.

The border is in a farm field. Fences with barbed wire and mine fields were used to keep the Hungarian people from crossing the border into Austria.

Anyone who was successful crossing the border, had to still make their way across the farm field.

Another border crossing point was made famous by James Michener in the book “The Bridge at Andau”. We’ve visited this site on previous trips, but it was still moving to see it again. (I forgot to take a picture of the actual bridge!). Looking at the canal to the west, you can see that the sun is starting to set.

This site will always be preserved as a reminder to a dark time in history.

Another tower, however, this one is used to view the beautiful landscape of Burgenland.

We think that our ancestors who immigrated to Minnesota did so because the landscape is vey similar. Do you agree?