field trip

Post-conference geo-field trip to the Bakony-Balaton Highland area:
insights into the local natural and cultural values
accompanied with perfect wines

Following the AE/ALLEA/ YAE conference, on the 7th of September 2017, we are planning a one-day field trip to the charming Bakony-Balaton Highland area, situated in the northern side of Lake Balaton.  The marvelous landscapes of the geologically and ecologically complex region, alongside with the robust historical heritage, provides a great opportunity to have a wonderful excursion only two hours from Budapest.  Bakony-Balaton Highland is a unique mixture of Mediterranean and North-European vibes with its tidy vineyards, extensive lavender fields, majestic castles and mysterious dark forests.  Our major goal is to compile a unique program which reflects this diversity without an overwhelmingly tight schedule.

  • Departure time: at 7th September 2017, 9 am from Széchenyi tér in front of the HAS building
  • Arrival time: around 7th September 2017, 7 pm to Széchenyi tér in front of the HAS building

The proposed program includes the following stops:

Stop 1. Tihany Peninsula

Tihany Peninsula is a one-time active volcanic area with little lake-centered maars.  Nowadays the land is tranquil with grazing flocks of sheep and lavender bushes leaning in the wind, and nothing refers to the destructive volcanic eruption, except for the outcropping rocks which will be visited and introduces.  The whitewashed towers of Tihany Benedictine Abbey, located on a hilltop above Lake Balaton, can be seen even from tens of kilometers far.  The deed of foundation for the Abbey was written in Latin but contains a Hungarian sentence (albeit quite different from the currently spoken form), which makes the document invaluable as the first written proof of Hungarian language.  The panorama on the largest lake of Central Europe is said to be the best from the terrace located next to the Abbey.

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Stop 2. Hegyestű at Zánka

The special, man-made, needle-like morphology of the basalt quarry reveals the core of an eruption center.  The upstanding, tens of meters high, rigorous basalt columns grants a spectacular view in all weather conditions.  Microstructure, mineralogical constituents of the Hegyestű basalt will be introduced some cartoons (one of my PhD students graduated on this topic).  The top of the Hegyestű provides the most wonderful view to the Káli Basin and its so called “witness hills”, which preserved the original section of otherwise easily eroding sediments due to their basalt caps on the top.

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Stop 3. Szigliget Castle

Szigliget Castle, which is located on a peninsula – previously an island – is often denoted as “the Pearl of Lake Balaton”.  This fortress has been standing on the hilltop for centuries, experiencing many changes in owners.  However, it has withstood several attacks during the 150-year Turkish occupation, and has never worn the flag of the Ottoman Empire.  The volcanic rock beds still preserve remnants of former cater rims and particular rock fragments from the deep (down to 55 km) part of the Earth.

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The program contains culinary highlights too, including a traditional lunch and wine tasting at Borbarátok (Friend of Wine) in Badacsonytomaj.

Field trip organizer:
dr. Csaba Szabó
Lithosphere Fluid Research Lab (LRG),
Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, and
Faculty of Science Research and Instrument Core Facility (ELTE FS-RICF),
Eotvos University Budapest (ELTE)