Third Bike Trip to Csongrád

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Today was the third time that I biked to Csongrád. The first time took all day. The second time, I continued onward, stayed overnight in Ópusztaszer, and reached Szeged in late morning. This time, I made it in five hours–and took the 4:10 train back to Szolnok (with a transfer in Szentes). The first two times, I biked on dirt roads and through forests; this time, I found paved roads that took me all the way (but also made quite a detour).

None of these times  have I had a chance to explore the town much. I hope to do that in the future. It’s a dreamy place, graced with elegant architecture and shaded with tall trees. The town’s name sounds Slavic, and it is; at the end of the ninth century, this area was under Bulgarian control, and the fortress was named “Chorniy Grad” (Black Town, Black Castle).

The picture at the top is of the Csongrád mill, built in 1885. It was burned in a fire, caused by arson, in 1916. It was rebuilt, and apparently it still functions as a mill today. Yesterday was the first time I had seen it, since I entered Csongrád from the northwest rather than the northeast. For that reason, yesterday I did not cross the beautiful wooden bridge–but the mill made up for it, and I intend to cross the bridge many more times.

I set out from Szolnok around 10:15 but returned home within a few minutes, since I had forgotten my mask. The mask would be necessary on the train back home. I got it and set out again.

I saw a long line (to put it mildly) outside Szolnok’s airplane museum, a couple of blocks from my place. Maybe there was some big event in honor of State Foundation Day. Free helicopter rides? I was curious but decided to take the road instead of looking into the matter. I’ll ride a helicopter another day.

In Tiszavárkony I saw morning glories like I have never seen before.

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Approaching Tiszakécske, I saw a lively front yard exhibition.

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Then came Tiszakécske itself. In the past, I stopped for an ice cream, but the place didn’t seem to be open.

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Farther along the way, I came to the bike path itself. It led to Csongrád.

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Once there, I lost no time; I went straight to the train station, since missing the 4:10 train would have led to complications.

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I had brought water along, but had drunk it early on. I was standing at the station, thinking about how to get water, when I saw a spout marked “Ivóvíz” (drinking water). I decided not to question the matter. The water tasted delicious after these 75 or so kilometers. The train ride home went fine.

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Biking to Csongrád

goats
I set out today on the bike with hopes of making it to Csongrád at least. I did get there, but it took all day, since I ended up on some dirt roads and then in a forest, through which I made my way slowly.

dirt road

The forest dipped–and when I went in to look more closely, I saw the Tisza. There was no sound in the woods, except for branches, birds, some faraway traffic, and deer leaping by. I clambered over logs and under brambles.

tisza and forest

Then came the first bridge, the one that allowed me to cross the Tisza and head toward Csongrád.

first bridge

Then a long stretch, through several towns, before reaching the bridge into Csongrád. Before that bridge, I biked through some fields. The sun let me know where I was heading.

shadow

Then came the bridge, then Csongrád itself, then the train ride home. I hope to go back at some point and bike onward to Szeged. That’s a two-day trip, so this was not bad for one day. The detours and uncertainties were the best part, along with the arrival.

 

 

  • “To know that you can do better next time, unrecognizably better, and that there is no next time, and that it is a blessing there is not, there is a thought to be going on with.”

    —Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

  • Always Different

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

     

    Diana Senechal is the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture and the 2011 winner of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Her second book, Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2018. In February 2022, Deep Vellum will publish her translation of Gyula Jenei's 2018 poetry collection Mindig Más.

    Since November 2017, she has been teaching English, American civilization, and British civilization at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. From 2011 to 2016, she helped shape and teach the philosophy program at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. In 2014, she and her students founded the philosophy journal CONTRARIWISE, which now has international participation and readership. In 2020, at the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, she and her students released the first issue of the online literary journal Folyosó.

  • INTERVIEWS AND TALKS

    On April 26, 2016, Diana Senechal delivered her talk "Take Away the Takeaway (Including This One)" at TEDx Upper West Side.
     

    Here is a video from the Dallas Institute's 2015 Education Forum.  Also see the video "Hiett Prize Winners Discuss the Future of the Humanities." 

    On April 19–21, 2014, Diana Senechal took part in a discussion of solitude on BBC World Service's programme The Forum.  

    On February 22, 2013, Diana Senechal was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Here is the podcast.

  • ABOUT THIS BLOG

    All blog contents are copyright © Diana Senechal. Anything on this blog may be quoted with proper attribution. Comments are welcome.

    On this blog, Take Away the Takeaway, I discuss literature, music, education, and other things. Some of the pieces are satirical and assigned (for clarity) to the satire category.

    When I revise a piece substantially after posting it, I note this at the end. Minor corrections (e.g., of punctuation and spelling) may go unannounced.

    Speaking of imperfection, my other blog, Megfogalmazások, abounds with imperfect Hungarian.

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