Across the southeastern border and into Budapest we went early Saturday morning, to cheer on the AIS Knights in the five-school Track & Field exchange hosted by AIS Budapest.

Provence has its lavender fields; Central Europe has its Rapeseed fields. Rapeseed is eaten by the Chinese in its greens form; around these parts and others it is processed into a cooking oil similar to canola.

The Hungarian language makes us smile. Derived from Finnish (!) it is nearly impossible for us to navigate, and we are grateful for the little bit of German offered on the road signs.


Who would guess that “Becs” is Hungarian for “Vienna?”

Anna Grace is trying a new event this year, the 100m hurdles, and shows a great deal of promise.

In each of her two favorite events she took First Place; a personal best of 145cm in the High Jump, and another personal best in the 100m.  The power of the pony tail!

Sunday was supposed to be a day of moving prep chores. After dropping Anna Grace for a Pfadfinder event, the sunny skies beckoned us across the northern border into the Czech Republic instead, to explore another Zamek and its village.

Hands down, the least interesting addition to my border crossing photo collection, because from 1946 to 2011 the road between the border villages was closed to traffic. Hence, no border crossing.

Bunker (with rapeseed!) at the single lane crossing. This must have been the most boring bunker post ever.

After a short and pretty drive through vineyards, the village of Valtice appears.

Valtice is home to an impressive Baroque palace, once the residence of the Liechtenstein Family’s Knights (when Valtice was part of Austria, before 1919, and known then as Feldsberg). The palace is a bit shabby and in need of restoration, but its earlier grandeur is apparent and walking the grounds made for a pleasant outing. One can tour the interior, full of the usual royal rooms and gilded this and that, and enjoy wine tastings in the cellar (which we did).  This part of southern Moravia is noted for its wines, and they did not disappoint.





The village met all criteria for a day outing for us: old churches, beautiful main squares, interesting local scenery, and great food.


Crossing back into Austria (only slightly more interesting with the Austrian “flag” sign) one comes into Katzelsdorf, notable for the density of wine press buildings.




And then, homeward bound. Another great weekend accomplished.