blablacar to kosice
What a tremendous few days in Budapest. I decided to split off from the group to see more of the north. The six Dutch guys would travel down to Croatia. I wasn't interested in going that far south just yet. I was more inclined to see the Baltic countries before the weather turned.
Growing up, my dad's two brothers had created a family tree of the Hellinger family. I had heard the countless stories of love and loss, a famous film directing great-uncle and my great-great-great grandfather who lived with his family in Humenne, then part of the Hungarian Empire. I was close to Humenne, Slovakia, which made the choice of going to the east an obvious decision.
My goal of this trip was to find out any kind of information about the Hellinger name. The two days I would spend in Humenne was catered toward this research.
My first step was to find a ride to Kosice, Slovakia where I would take a 1.5 hour train ride to Humenne. I found an affordable Blablacar that would take me from Budapest to Kosice directly. I ended up riding with two Ukrainian cooks who were both going home for the weekend. Thinking I was the only BlaBlaCar rider, we stopped at a hostel to pick up another traveller. The gentleman had just quit his job in Israel to travel a year the world. His goals were to see parts of Eastern Europe of South America. In a years time, he'd be getting his green card to work in the U.S. as a IT professional.
The drive was six hours to Kosice. Once I got there, I headed straight to the train station. I made the last train of the night by five minutes! I arrived in Humenne around 5pm.
I settled in for the night while dining at the hotel restaurant.
Old town in Kosice, Slovakia
Some intense clouds overhead
finding city hall and research
My search for the town hall was incredibly hard. I first asked the hotel receptionist who had no idea what I was talking about. She ended up giving me directions to a restaurant around the corner. My next stop was the police station. I walked in with 4 officers staring me down. I asked the same question as politely as I could to the male officer at the desk. He shooed me away due my lack of the Slovakian language. A nice female officer stopped me at the door to ask what I needed. I tried explaining to her what I needed. It took a good 15 minutes to describe my problem. She finally gave me an address. And, of course, I ended up at another restaurant... I decided to use my phone to figure this out. It didn't end up well. There was no way to determine if there was a building with documents of family members from the 1800s in town.
I went back to the hotel to cool off from the scorching sun. I did a bit of research about the family name in general. I came up with a list of Holocaust victims with the same last name. I have no idea who they are or if they are related to the Hellinger family. I will have to ask my uncles about this.
I was upset I didn't find any type of documentation about my family living in Humenne. There has to be some kind of way to find this information. I'll keep at it.