Standing on the threshold of a new year, I am bidding farewell to 2018 with a selection of photographs I took both at home and abroad. This year I traveled to Saskatchewan, Ohio, Kentucky, Hungary and Portugal. Let’s begin with photos from my trip at the end of May to Saskatchewan, where I was fortunate to visit the historic, late nineteenth century Hungarian settlements of Esterhazy, Kaposvár and Békevár.
Kaposvár and Békevár were the names of two Hungarian settlements in Saskatchewan, both dating back to the late nineteenth century. In Kaposvár, a stone church perched on a hill, surrounded by the vast prairies, attests to the historic Hungarian presence in the region. In Békevár, we were hosted by a small Hungarian community–mostly elderly Hungarians whose parents or grandparents came to Canada from Hungary in the first two decades of the twentieth century. In addition to their hospitality, it was noteworthy that many in Békevár still spoke some Hungarian. I looked at the Town of Kipling (Békevár) website and found that of the seven members of the current Town Council, four have Hungarian family names.
What I will remember most about Regina is the hospitality and friendliness of its residents. They seemed genuinely pleased to have so many visitors from across Canada and further afield coming for the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences…They even let us ride their city buses for free. I had a chance to spend some time roaming around Saskatchewan’s provincial capital with my camera and here are the results…
Cincinnati–it started with the rental car lady at the airport instructing me: “Now you just go on out there and choose any car from the lot that makes you feel sexy.” I chose a Nissan, but I suppose I could have taken something bold and wild. I must be too Church of England to do that. Cincinnati lies on the north side of the Ohio river and Covington directly across, in northern Kentucky. German culture has left its mark on both cities–both in terms of city and place names, landmarks, as well as cuisine. I have one more day here, and will venture out into the relentless heat again to do some more exploring.
These trips are a good reminder to all of us back home in Canada that U.S. cities and regions, the societies that give them life, are more complex and nuanced than we sometimes imagine, think or credit.
Our great aunt recently turned 89. She lives approximately 180 km west of Budapest, in the town of Pápa, Hungary (pop. 27,000). The town’s name simply translates to “Pope” in English and is known for its many schools and churches. Our great aunt’s retirement home is very modest–but its director and head nurse, Livia, makes all the difference. She is remarkably dedicated and committed to the 30 elderly people who live here. We spent two days in Pápa, before heading back to Budapest
My trip to Portugal in August 2018 exceeded all expectations. From Lisbon to Faro, Portugal is a charming, friendly and quite affordable country, with fantastic food and drink to boot! Lisbon is a really appealing destination for a number of reasons: the city has layers and layers of history literally etched into every smooth cobble stone sidewalk and narrow, steep street. The food is fantastic (especially the fish) and the prices are very affordable relative to almost anywhere else in western Europe. Lisbon is a great city for exploring, not to mention cardio: a city of hills, you learn to climb and descend its streets all day.