Explore Local Hungarian Events & News From ReConnect Hungary

Kristina Knechtl shares her experience on ReConnect Hungary and ReConnect Transylvania

When you think of Transylvania, Dracula immediately comes to mind, at least that was the first thing that came to my mind when I heard that ReConnect Hungary was offering an additional week in the beautiful countryside of Romania.

I admit I was skeptical at first about going. Transylvania was an extra week away from my job and I did not have any familial ties to the area. However, one look at the itinerary and the photos from last year’s trip easily convinced me that this is something I should be doing. So, taking the leap I signed up for that additional week in Transylvania not knowing exactly what to expect but glad to have the opportunity to experience more Hungarian culture and history while I was going to be overseas. The ReConnect Hungary trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I made new friends and met relatives I never knew existed. However, at the end of the trip to Hungary, I was thankful I wasn’t flying back to New York just yet. Instead, I had the opportunity to fly to Kolozsvár with other ReConnected Participants. Arriving in the small airport in Transylvania I could already tell the ambiance of this trip was going to be quite the contrast to the rush of the city scene we experienced in Budapest. The landscape was sprawling with open grasslands and dense forests, mountains loomed in the background. In Kolozsvár we met up with our tour guides Zsolt and Zsolt who were quite the pair. Over the next few days, our group experienced Transylvania by van staying at a different quaint B&B each night. The itinerary Zsolt had prepared for us included the best highlights of the region. The Salina Turda salt mine was one of my favorite excursions. The mine felt like something straight out of a sci-fi film. There were dark corridors leading to different rooms with crystallized chunks of salt hanging from the ceiling. The bottom of the mine held an underground lake where we rented boats and rowed around the dark water. The Turda Gorge was also a natural wonder. A canyon cut through limestone guaranteed breathtaking views from every angle. There we had the opportunity to zipline down into the valley. Each day was an adventure whether we were swimming in the salty water of Bear Lake or climbing the 3,700-foot high mountain called Székelykő. Besides the outings, the food was always delicious. Each B&B served homemade authentic Hungarian food, dare I say that a lot of it tasted even better than any of the dishes I tried over in Hungary. I truly enjoyed every day I had in Transylvania. I would recommend the trip to anyone who is interested in experiencing more of the area and learning about Hungarian diaspora. The memories made there will stay with me forever. No longer is Transylvania the faraway place where Dracula was born, now it means so much more. Mark Twain had the right idea when he said, “twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

 

Sarah Carroll, RH ‘18

The program helped me not only to come close to my ancestry, but find myself and a path for my future...

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Mark Czeisler, RH'18

ReConnect Hungary is a fantastic way for young adults of Hungarian heritage to learn.

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Madison Fritz, RH'18

The program provides a network of Hungarian people, who can all share something.

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