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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

A waterfall town where elderly folk say 'Jó reggilt' in the morning - Updated

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

KesterTester65 - A picturesque scene bypassed by hundreds of thousands each year as they succumb to satnav-itis and taking hugely circuitous motorway routes - where is it?

Photo: I first stumbled upon this location one sunny, autumnal Saturday morning in 2009 - it was the day of the (in)famous 'beach-ball goal' for those of a football bent. I was heading for a former ski-resort not too far distant, but after that venture proved fruitless, I hastened back within 36 hours, desperate to find material for a story on tourism before a missed deadline brought my journalism career to a premature end.

In truth, for several reasons many outsiders would not consider this land a place for tourist jaunts. It's also true that road culture around here is probably not exactly imbued with much 'defensive driving' ethos, and any large influx of traffic could well result in more road accidents. So sticking to the motorways is perhaps the better option, leaving this place to be discovered by more adventurous - or perhaps it's more foolhardy - types.

Whatever, on the Monday morning I presented myself unannounced at the town hall (more or less in a straight line, 2km distant, behind the hill in the piccie) to say I'd make them famous, well, sort of, get them in the Financial Times at least, if they helped me out. And believe it or not, they did. (More anon.)

Actually, the town is famous within this region for several historical reasons, including one event during WW2, though I didn't know that when I took the pic. (Bonus pint point if you can nail this one too.)

Oh, and I should confess that I didn't actually hear any elderly locals greet each other with a croaky "jó reggilt" - just that that was what my saviour guide told me as he helped rescue my career. I suspect today, 13 years later, "jó reggilts" might be very difficult to come by.

[Note for readers who have no knowledge of Hungarian - in the standard vernacular, "good morning" is jó reggelt. This local version, jó reggilt, has presumably metamorphosed over the years, no doubt affected by Slavic influences.]

I have an idea one regular reader may know this place, but it could prove a tough one for many, so I might well add another clue or two in here after the weekend if correct answers are thin on the ground.

Your thoughts welcome via the messaging system or an email, please. Meanwhile - you can still cover yourself with fame and glory if you identify the snazzy fellow in braces, and his operation, illustrated in KT64 and posted last week.

Happy sleuthing, Heh heh heh!

Softee-heart Additional Clue: As I think some are waiting for this, I'll risk it (I think it might be giving too much away, but there it is): the name of this town means 'egg' in the vernacular.

UPDATE: Not for the first time, this piccie proved more difficult than I expected – I got more than a handful of answers, but I honestly thought some of my more regular south Slav readers would get this one, (OK, I don't have too many of those) but perhaps they didn't log on for some reason. Unfortunately for Steve Anthony, who sent in a brilliant answer – I'd already done the draw (that's the easy bit – it's writing it all up that takes time), and so he's bid for international stardom and celebrity status will have to wait.

Marylin Ball-Brown pondered awhile, then had a crack, asking “Could it be Solymár?” thinking that the World War II clue might have something to do with the Commonwealth Military Cemetery there.

Well, I think if there were a waterfall like this in Solymár- or anywhere in Hungary, Marylin - you'd have photos from Mosonmagyaróvár to Záhony advertising the place, and so many tourists the locals would be complaining they couldn't cross the roads. (Hint, if you like this, go now, when there's still almost nobody there!)

I'm impressed with your cryptic-clue thinking, but this location's a bit more 'off the beaten track' than Solymár for most of us. The place did have a fascination with at least one Magyar, however, as Steve Anthony pointed out (scroll down).

Another Steve, Steve Soley also had a crack, writing in from Florida after I'd posted the “egg” clue. “Slovenia, Not far from Maria Bor.”

Hey, Steve, I actually have a reader or two in Slovenia's second largest city, and they might get a bit upset over this, thinking perhaps you'd had a bit too much Hungarian bor as you typed out your entry :)

(He meant to write Maribor, we can all safely assume.) Well, that's kind of closer, a bit, Steve, but today you'd still have to cross two national borders to find these falls.

I expected to get an entry from ever-the-sleuth Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann, not least because he's worked in this area, and, sure enough, in it came.

But first, here's why I was there in the first place – a Financial Times “special report” on …

Photo: The lead piece of the 2009 FT Special Report on this complicated, but often beautiful Balkan country, on which I was privileged to work with my Belgrade-based (and excellent) colleague, Canadian Neil MacDonald. The national football team had won their way into the Euros while we were there, - hence the brill headline from the London sub-editor.

Hubert wrote: “Looks suspiciously like the Pliva waterfall in Jajce, Bosnia and Hezegovina, although in my memory it was about twice as large as shown on the picture.”

You are probably correct, Hubert – I think this was the best piccie I could take without getting a ton of electrical cables in or something of that ilk – kind of spoiled the atmosphere, if I recall correctly.

Hubert continued: “Jajce hosted in 1943 the second session of AVNOJ, Tito's Partisan Parliament of sorts. AVNOJ will be recognised in 1944 by the Western Allies as the due Yugoslav Parliament and legislative body. AVNOJ laid the ground for a post-war federal Yugoslavia at Jajce.

“Interestingly, and due to the war and German troops presence, Sandžak and Macedonia were not represented in Jajce, while Serbian representatives had to be picked from Partisan units of Serbian origin; leading to an under-representation of Eastern Jugoslavia.”

Well, I didn't know that last bit, Hubert, so I suppose you expect a beer back from me if you win for that, eh? :)

Tom Chilton wrote to state, confidently, that it was Jajce – only to then badger me to confirm it. This felt a bit unfair, because I'd urged him to drive via Jajce a few years back when he was planning a hol in Croatia, but – if I remember correctly – he chickened out and chose the motorway routes. Anyway, it meant Mr Chilton had a kind of insider advantage. Fearing a dawn raid by a Brussels competition police hit team, I decided to counter this, if his number came out of the black woolly hat, we'd have to have a re-draw, so to win, he'd have to be drawn twice. More anon.

Irena Gotzova chipped in, quite short and sweet: “Hello Kester,

Is it Pliva waterfalls near Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

"Jajce and the area around was an independent territory for a part of the war, controlled by anti-fascist partisans. Consequently, it had an essential role in the liberation of Yugoslavia and the development of after war Yugoslavia.”

Hmmm. North Slavic femmes know a thing or two about their sisters down south, clearly.

And Frank Hegedus partook, but with a guilty conscience.

“Kedves Kester... I am not sure if the KesterTester Rules of Play allow for online research, but a quick Google Search for waterfalls in Central Europe leads me to the Pliva Falls near Jajce, in Bosnia-Hercegovina, where there was some sort of conference during World War II aimed at re-establishing post-war Yugoslavia.

If this is not correct, it should be....”

Well, on the conference, Frank, I think it most definitely did not exactly “re-establish” the pre-war Yugoslavia politically – Marshall Tito and his political comrades saw to that – but yes, I know what you mean, he did restore the country in terms of borders – he even got a bit more (see KesterTester43 from last June and KT60 and 60a - of a few weeks ago).

So you go into the hat, yes!

Then came poor Steve Anthony, just hours after the draw, with this fascinating contribution:

"This immediately put me in mind of a painting by Csontváry of the waterfall at Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Photo: Csontváry chose Jajce after the rainy season, clearly! Maybe this is why Hubert thought the falls were larger.

"re-WW2: is it because in 1943 it hosted the second convention of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ), establishing Federal Yugoslavia?

I think I've nailed it... I scrolled down and saw the egg clue (but only after I'd already identified it)

Do I win a prize? Love Steve A ;-) "

Alas Steve …

And so to the peak excitement of the week for millions glued to their computer screens from Budafok to Godollow, and the winner is … Number 3 – that's Irena Gotzova – Congratulations, Irena! - and I'm looking forward to dva more Czech pivo!

Thanks to all contestants for joining in the effort. Now you all have some more time to work on KT66 before I post answers to that one – if you know Budapest and look out for all the clues, it's not THAT difficult.

Happy Sleuthing!

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