When Robert took us to his house we instantly fell in love with his family, house and lifestyle. Robert is a father to Gasper(11), Sonya(13), Fruzsi(15) and husband to Sylvia. They live in a small town 30km from the Serbia border where they enjoy life next to the Danube in which they swim daily (weather permitting :-) ). This is mostly motivated by Robert as he is a swimming teacher and never misses an opportunity for a dip.
We went swimming with the family a number of times. Dunafalva has an amazing sandy beach and the river has a pleasant drift. You walk to the end of the beach, jump in and then just float and let it take you away. The Fodors are like a little pack of dolphins! Amazing swimmers!
We'd planned to stay for only one night but actually stayed for four!! The whole time we were treated like a part of the family, not only by Robert and Sylvia but also the children. Romy and Kylian only stayed for one night, they had arranged to meet some friends and had to get to Bulgaria pretty swiftly (not so easy on bikes :-) )
Apart from his family and swimming, Robert has another passion...everything Czech. He loves the country, the language, he visited many times. He has at least 50 books written by Czech autors, knows tons of Czech films. Sometimes he shouts: 'Kurva hosi gutten tag' from the window of his car, which is a hilarious line from a Czech film and he even named one of his dogs Bohus, after the main character in this film (Dědictví aneb Kurvahošigutentag ). Radka believes Robert must have been Czech in his previous life.
It was a bank holiday weekend and a lot was going on. First night Robert took us to a party in which we met the local young crowd, who were really cool and friendly. They made an improvised didgeridoo out of carpet roll and insisted Kylian, being the only one that could play it, must take it with him on his bike. Kylian had no way of doing so and attempted to leave the party empty handed then the generous guy shouted ''hey don't forget your didgeridoo!!'. The next morning they turned up at Roberts house (fresh as daisies) and asked us to come play some Basketball, off we went!!
Another day we were invited to join a BBQ with Roberts work colleagues. We have never seen so many swimming teachers together! Food and company was great. We even ventured to the meaty area again and had some čevabčiči. Typically Balkan recipe, looks like cone shaped minced meat, either fried or BBQed. Ahhh it was so juicy! This was also the time when Radka met some Serbian people first time ever in her life and was so happy to realise that the Slovans are all like brothers and sisters. Jonny is still contemplating until now how one person speaking Serbian and another one in Czech can have a perfectly nice conversation.
The day after, Robert had another gathering. His father came to say hello together with Robert's brother and his wife. More food was coming out from Sylvies magical kitchen and everybody had a really nice afternoon.
Later on that day Sylvia taught Radka how to make Langos, (typical Hungarian fast food – it is a deep fried dough with topping of your choice, usually cheese, garlic, sour cream, katchup, etc.) whilst Robert and Jonny mowed the lawn in tandem...of course they deserved some beers afterwards!!!
Sylvia works in a nursery at Dunafalva, 5 minutes from their house. Both Robert and Sylvia took us to their places of work and introduced us to their colleagues and the children. We walked into Sylvias nursery as the kids were eating lunch, 25 pairs of kid-eyes fixated on us as we walked around the room admiring the decorations. They had a really cute room in the back with little beds for afternoon naps. A quick wave from 25 pairs of small hands and we were off :)
Driving around with Robert was a funny experience by it self. He uses his horn more then the gear stick. Every time he sees one of his little students, he gives them a massive beep and wave. Kids love him! The parents must be often wondering what sort of lunatic was that, because kids go swimming with the school and parents will not necessarily know him.
It's easy to see how much they enjoy life and Robert actually told Jonny 'I have a great house, kids, garden, job... what more could I ask for?'. And it's true... they're all happy. They have a huge garden in which they grow all of their vegetables, fruit and herbs, very inspirational.
Radka woke up one morning with bad sinusitis and Robert insisted that she sees the doctor to get better asap. This was complicated by the fact that it was a public holiday in Hungary, but no bother, Robert had a plan. Whilst Radka was in bed we cycled to the local doctors house. When I say ''we'' I mean Jonny, Robert, Sylvia, Gasper and even the two dogs ran across town with us!!! When we got there some guy politely explained that the doctor was on vacation but that the drop-in clinic was open in the town 20kms away. Robert said 'right then, off to the town!!'. We cycled home and stuffed Radka in the car. She was mumbling something like: 'I can't go to emergency with just a snotty nose and a sore head!!!' The drop-in centre was amazingly efficient and well-organised. We showed our European health insurance card and the treatment was free of charge! Robert took us to the pharmacy to get the medication then whilst driving home he stops the car and says ''We need to stop in my pharmacy!'', so into the pub we went. We got a few drinks then went home to enjoy the rest of the day.
Nothing was too much for Robert, he's almost dedicated his life to giving his time to others! He's a great inspiration. He showed us maps of his cycling in Turkey and gave us some great advice for our route. He's also a keen photographer and it was a pleasure to receive a full explanation of his works!
Another encounter, another goodbye. The family cycled with us to the end of the village where we said our goodbyes, complete with the dogs! It was an emotional moment but we cycled on with thoughts of our return.
10km down the road and we heard...''beep, beeeeeppp''.... they shot past with Sonya leaning out of the window passing Jonny some little stone necklaces that Radka had made with the kids the previous day... it was true Fodor style!