In 1948, the Hungarian Communist Party created the Children’s Railway, a narrow-gauge rail line located in the hills of Budapest. As many as 20,000 children between the ages of 10 and 14 were allowed to skip a day of school once every 15 days, on a rotating basis, to work on the railway by selling and stamping tickets, and helping passengers. Even though Hungary is no longer a communist country, the railroad is still running, and children still get the opportunity to learn teamwork and responsibility, under the supervision of adults. The Children’s Railway runs for nearly seven miles (11 kilometers), climbing high into the forest and making six stops at bucolic stations.
Fun facts about Hungary:
- Hungary is landlocked, but it does have the largest lake in Central Europe. Lake Balaton is so big that the locals often refer to it as the Hungarian Sea.
- Hungary has produced some inventive people, including Erno Rubik, who created his famous cube in 1974, and physicist Imre Bródy, who created the krypton electric bulb in 1937.
- A fruit brandy drink called Palinka is prized by Hungarians, who claim it cures everything from headaches and menstrual pain to nervousness. In addition, just so you know: Clinking beer glasses is considered rude.