!!!Danube at Paks

Photos and text by [Ádám Plézer|https://plezeradam.com],
member of the [AirPano Team|Geography/About/Consortium/AirPano,_Team] that is a member of the [global-geography Consortium|Geography/About/Consortium]. \\

2 July 2021

with kind permission of [AirPano|http://www.AirPano.com]

Danube river, Paks, Hungary

I have always had an eager desire to travel the world, to see the most
wonderful places, to wonder at how beautiful our planet is. For me, the
pinnacle of beauty has invariably been tropical islands, the intense
blue and green colours of the sea. Again and again, I chose some remote
island on the map, I looked into the distance, always travelled to a
far-flung place. But I have realized that I have been blind and nature
in its extraordinary beauty has always been around me, right at my
doorstep: at home. My sleepy hometown, Paks, lies next to the Danube
river, the second-longest river in Europe after the Volga. This series
of aerial and ground panoramas is my love letter to my home. This is
where I grew up, this is where I have my family and friends.

[{Image src='01_Paks.jpg' caption='Catholic Church. Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

The pandemic forced most of us to stay at home, so we all did our walks
and little excursions and escapes from the home prison in the immediate
vicinity. Some years ago I decided that I was going to make an aerial
project of my hometown, and especially of the Danube river. Yet I would
have never expected to discover such a Sleeping Beauty. Winter weather,
the foggy mornings, the golden sunsets, the freezing sunrises paint
vibrant colours on the landscape and dress the Danube in the most
exquisite of clothes.

[{Image src='02_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

I spent five and a half months on this project, and I had to get up
early on many occasions — something I am not a huge fan of, as none of
us. But seeing this face of the Danube river was very rewarding. I could
witness fleeting moments of beauty, while most of the inhabitants of the
town were sleeping unaware of nature's spectacle unfolding.

[{Image src='03_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

Well, here are the results of my work. This project made me realize that
nature's beauty is omnipresent, you can discover it anywhere in this
world, even in a small mundane town in the middle of Hungary. I wanted
to prove to the world that your home can look just as stunning and
impressive as the Seychelles islands. Maybe I am biased, but the Danube
shrouded in mist and lit by golden rays of the sun is just as beautiful
— or even more beautiful than the places I photographed before.

[{Image src='04_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

So let me say a few words about the Danube and Paks.

The Danube used to be the frontier of the Roman Empire and today is the
river running through the largest number of countries in the world:
originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for 2,850 km, passing
through or bordering Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia,
Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine before draining into the Black
Sea. The largest cities on the river are Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and
Bratislava, all of which are the capitals of their respective countries.
But the most important town next to the river is of course Paks, at
least for me! The bend of the Danube at Paks is a significant feature of
the river from above. On several panoramas, you can see so-called
breakwater structures protruding into the river. These are of course
man-made, and their purpose is to straighten the flow of the river,
otherwise, the bend would get sharper and sharper and the town would be
eaten away by the water.

[{Image src='05_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

Paks is a relatively small town, built upon three small hills, but it
has a significant role in the economy of Hungary, as it is the site of
the one and only nuclear power plant of the country. Most of the people
living here work at the power plant. It is visible on the far South end
of the town in some of the pictures. Currently, there are plans to build
a second nuclear power plant, in cooperation with the Russian company
Rosatom.

[{Image src='06_Paks.jpg' caption='Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

There are already numerous Russian engineers present in Paks. I often
meet them at the outdoor gym facilities or at the Erzsébet Nagyszálloda
(Elisabeth Grand Hotel), where you can taste the traditional Hungarian
dishes, such as the fish soup made with carp (the fish soup from Paks is
famous in Hungary), or the catfish stew with dumplings, sour cream and
bacon. My favourite!

[{Image src='07_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

The most conspicuous landmarks of my home town are the churches: the
Catholic, the Protestant ("Evangélikus"), Calvinist ("Református") and
the Heart of Jesus ("Jézus Szíve Templom") Church, which is also a
Catholic one. The latter was designed by renowned Hungarian architect
Imre Makovecz, one of the proponents of organic architecture, heavily
influenced by traditional Hungarian art.

[{Image src='08_Paks.jpg' caption='Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

It is really a pity only a few of the locals ever notice the presence of
the Danube. It is one of the veins of Europe, it is a direct link to the
seas and oceans, it is beautiful, and quite simply it is an unexploited
surface of the water for doing sports, to sit by and relax, to make
excursions in the Imsós forest, which is regularly flooded by the
Danube.

[{Image src='09_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

I hope that this virtual tour will motivate you to come and visit
Hungary: Budapest is a must-see, so is Lake Balaton, and there are many
beautiful places along the Danube too: Esztergom, Visegrád. And maybe on
the way, you might pass by a stop at the best part of the Danube: Paks,
the town where I live.

[{Image src='10_Paks.jpg' caption='Danube river, Paks, Hungary\\© [AirPano|https://www.AirPano.com]' alt='' width='900' popup='false'}]

\\ \\
[26 panoramas of Danube at Paks|Geography/Europe/Hungary/Pictures/Paks]

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