You may have noticed it's been a bit quiet here on the blog. This is because I've been away on a trip to Hungary in my 23 year old mini.
Every year I go to the IMM (International Mini Meeting) which is held in a different country each year (last year it was Switzerland). This year, the destination was Balatonfured, which meant travelling through a total of eight countries on route.
As usual, all holidays start with packing an alternator, plenty of glass fuses, heritage motor oil, a lot of maps and then a trip to the ferry at Hull.
The sun was setting as we sailed out of port, and I was on deck to take pictures. I've done several paintings of the sunset over Hull - perhaps not the most poetic of settings, but I think it's really beautiful.
We travelled to Rotterdam, and then through the Netherlands and Germany, staying overnight in Dresden, which was really beautiful. The next day was a 4-country day, starting with a drive to the Czech Republic and Prague (the main road to Prague disappearing into unsurfaced mayhem with raised ironwork which played havoc with the car).
The main road to Prague
Approaching Brno at rush hour in the heat with large trucks driving right up close, the car was now not idling, and cut out when it slowed down. It was one of the most stressful things I've ever done.
The problem continued through Slovakia and on to Hungary, where the car now cut out on the many unmanned level crossings that crossed the road down to Lake Balaton. Changing to a better grade of fuel didn't help. Fortunately, help is only a text away, so at this point I was contacting friends back home to ask for ideas about the problem and how I could fix it. They obliged with suggestions about the carburettor. However, we eventually pulled in to the campsite in one piece (minus only a wheel nut and a vaccuum hose), with 1800 other minis, and got the key to our little bunglow by the lake.
International rescue was soon on hand. Amazingly, a twig jammed in the right part solved the problem, but a more permanent solution to the loss of the vaccum hose running from the carburettor came in the form of a piece of fuel hose with a screw jammed in the end, which I fixed on (appropriately enough) with a jubilee clip. Et voila - car working perfectly again!
The scene by the lakeside was idyllic, and the campsite very relaxing, and it was great to meet up with so many people again that we see every year with their minis in a different country
Lake Balaton isn't clear. Rather the water is sort of milky, so that it reflects the light as an amazing turquoise colour, becoming pink in the evenings. It really is very very beautiful. Lots of white and red sailed yachts caught the sunlight.
Fortunately there were no more mishaps on the epic return journey, where we came back via Austria and Vienna, staying overnight at the beautiful city of Wurzburg.
What a weekend!