One thing Hungary is not famous for? - Skiing.
I have been snowboarding twice in Hungary - one of them was today, when I took Rosemary, Nate and Felicia to Bánkút ski area in the Bükk mountains, mostly to let Nate try out skiing.
A few years ago I went snowboarding on the highest peak in Hungary, Kékes tető (1014 m/ 3330 ft). It wasn't so great.
I spent the first hour today in Bánkút teaching Nate how to ski, and then I decided to buy a lift ticket and take a few runs myself.
There was actually much more snow there than I expected, considering that it is not far from Eger, and in Eger there is no snow at all.
Nonetheless, I kind of felt like I was snowboarding on frozen grass. There wasn't much of a base, to say the least.
But, there are a few positive things I would have to say about Bánkút:
- It was CHEAP. I paid 1000 HUF (3.23 EUR) for my lift ticket - which lets me ride the lift 6 times, any time between now and when they close in March (providing that they have snow until then. They could close earlier if there is not enough snow). Also, I was able to rent skis for Nate for 1000 HUF too. That is cheap.
- It was CLOSE to Eger. It was a short 1 hour drive from our house.
- It is a great place to teach people how to ski - especially kids. If you are going to be teaching someone how to ski or snowboard, it makes a lot more sense to go to Bánkút rather than spending a lot more money on gas and lift tickets to go to bigger mountains in Slovakia or Austria, when all you really need to teach them is a minimal amount of snow and some short runs. There is nothing more frustrating than driving a long way to an awesome ski mountain, only to not be able to ski on it because you spend the whole day on the beginners' hill teaching someone the basics.
So, I thought up a few possible slogans for Bánkút:
- "Bánkút: The Most Frozen Grass in Hungary!"
- "Bánkút: Ne válaszd műsípályát - inkább gyere hozzánk és válaszd FŰsípályát!"