Leg 8: Krakow to Reggio di Calabria


This leg started in Poland and finished in Italy — the southern tip of the boot, in fact. We’ll start this recap with the ever-popular educational segment, The more you know…

The more you know…

Farming in Hungary is not so much a grid

I’ve become fascinated with the various farming patterns on the ground in Europe. The image above shows farmland of all shapes and sizes. I can’t explain this in full, but might have found some clues. As it turns out, Hungary’s farms underwent several upheavals during the last century. Here’s what a delightful website had to say about Hungarian (and Soviet) agricultural policy between the Second World War and the 1960s:

Before World War II (1939–45), Hungary was a country of large landed estates and landless and land-poor peasants. In the land reform of 1945, about 35% of the land area was distributed, 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) among 640,000 families and 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) in state farms. In 1949, the government adopted a policy of collectivization based on the Soviet kolkhoz, and by the end of 1952, 5,110 collectives, many forcibly organized, controlled 22.6% of total arable land. Peasant resentment led to a policy change in 1953, and many collectives were dissolved, but the regime returned to its previous policy in 1955. As a result of the 1956 uprising, collectives were again dissolved; but a new collectivization drive begun in 1959 was essentially completed by 1961.

If anyone out there knows why Hungary’s farms look like this, or if the explanation above doesn’t satisfy the full answer, please contribute in the comments.

View from the sky…

More figher jets, these ones Hungarian

I found out that Hungary has three air force bases, and one of them is outside of Kecskemét. That was enough reason to visit the place and look at some more fighter jets. I’ll purchase a cola for the first person to identify those jets.

These Balkan mountains look rather bare

The only reason I post this picture? It looks like the forest comes to an abrupt end here, and not because of an altitude-induced tree line. I found a story online about illegal logging in Albania, which isn’t too far from this spot in Serbia, but I don’t even know if this picture is evidence of logging. It just struck me as an odd shot.

Balkans on the way to Italy

These are the first big mountains I’ve managed to fly over on the trip. Don’t worry, there is more coming soon.

The grand entrance to Reggio di Calabria

This was maybe the coolest landing so far — sandwiched between mountains and beside an ocean. Reggio is the spot to beat.

One Response to “Leg 8: Krakow to Reggio di Calabria”

  1. I think most of those planes, at least the fighters, are Saab JAS 39s, though a couple of them (most notably the two in the back of the row of four) look like they could be MiG 29s. It’s hard to say for sure.

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