When:22 September. Tim arrives 1pm. Program of events for media begins 11.15am (see program of events later in this entry) Where: Opusztaszer National Park Hungary (see info below about how to get there). Media interested in covering the event or attending should contact: Anna Thomsen firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +44 208 788 6292 mobile: 44 7706 612 042 As Tim rides the final moments of his epic journey with his three horses and dog Tigon, he will be honored at the most sacred and important historical site in Hungary (Opusztaszer*), where in the year 896 the modern nation of Hungary was born. In a visually stunning, emotional and historical ceremony Tim will pay tribute to the original nomads of Hungary (known as ‘Magyars’) who came from the east by horse, and the many other steppe peoples who have migrated across Eurasia for millennia, including the Mongols. All interested party, media, and visitors are welcome.
Greeted by ambassadors of Mongolia, Australia, and Kazakhstan, a member of Hungarian parliament, president of the national equestrian tourism association, famous Scottish explorer Gordon Naysmith*, fifty horsemen in traditional wear, and his mother from Australia, he will ride down an avenue with up to 1000 onlookers before laying a wreath upon the shrine dedicated to the Eurasian Nomads who founded the nation of Hungary.
Following speeches and greetings Tim will announce that he is presenting his horses (two of which have traveled with him for near on three years) as a gift to a Hungarian children’s home upon which there will be twenty children from the orphanage, and the director present to accept them. Tim hopes that his journey will help inspire young people to discover their history and culture and that his horses will encourage children to get out and experience the world around them.
The ceremony will be followed by a tour of the world famous panorama painting, which in 1600 square metres of canvas portrays the journey of the Hungarians on horseback across the Eurasian steppe, and their conquering of the Hungarian plains. Inside this centre there will be refreshments, a projector rolling with film material of Tim’s journey, the opportunity for media to take personal interviews, and a spectacular photo exhibition of the Kazakhs of Mongolia. Tim will also be drawing out the route of his journey on a huge map of Eurasia for media and onlookers. All visitors are welcome to visit a traditional yurt tent, open air and roofed museums, and view the many other features of the park.
After the viewing of the panorama painting, everyone will be invited to journey with Tim to a Yurt camp on the edge of the park. Here on open pasture around fifty horsemen will put on a display of Horseback archery, horseback wrestling, racing, and other traditions of the steppe nomads. A feast of goulash will be simmering in large cauldrons over a campfire, and all will be invited to dine, and try traditional Hungarian ‘Palinko’ (a unique national spirits drink).
Under the stars of the Hungarian steppe on the day after equinox, it is here that Tim’s journey will be laid to rest.
*Opusztaszer is a national memorial park which commemorates the historical place where in 896 agreements were made by nomad tribal chiefs for the founding and birth of the nation of Hungary. It is a 55 hectare park with open air museums, yurt tents, memorials, exhibitions, and the famous panorama mural of how the Magyars came by horse from the east and conquered the Carpathian Basin. Most of the exhibitions and features of the park are highly relevant to Tim’s journey and purpose and provide a highly visual, and symbolic backdrop for the finish. About 500,000 people visit the park each year (www.opusztaszer.hu)
*Gordon Naysmith is the only Long Rider to have ever ridden from the bottom of the African continent to the heart of Europe. He is author of the book: “Will to Win”. (http://www.horsetravelbooks.com/africa.htm).
GETTING TO OPUSZTASZER
Opusztaszer is extremely accessible from the capital of Hungary Budapest.
By car: Allow two hours from Budapest. Follow the M5 until you see the turnoff to Kistelek and Opusztaszer. Kistelek is a town on the freeway, and Opusztaszer is just 10 kilometres from here. The road is well signed. www.opusztaszer.hu
By Train: Allow 2 and a half hours from Budapest to the town of Kistelek. From here the national park has scheduled buses for the 10km journey to Opusztaszer.
ACCOMODATION IN OPUSZTASZER:
A range of accommodation is available in Opusztaszer to suit all budgets.
Those wishing to stay overnight at the Yurt Camp with Tim are invited to bring their own tent. The cost per person will be 800ft (about $4). There are also places in Yurt tents for 1600ft but places are limited. Please Email Attila for details of this at: Cseppentő Attila
Below is a list of further accommodation Opusztaszer ranging from luxury hotels to camping:
Ópusztaszer: Szeri Kemping Tel.:06-62-275-257/103-as mellék
Erdei Vendégház Tel.: 06-30 303-4195
Platán Vendégház Tel.: 06-30 209-1020
Mózes Vendégház Tel.: 06-62-275-134
Szeri Ifjúsági Szálló Tel.: 06-62-259-630; Mobil: 06-20-823-0121
Baks: Krónikás Park Fogadó Tel.: 06-62-269-311
Kistelek: Aqua Hotel Tel.: 06-597-038
Vándormarasztaló Kemping és Motel Tel.: 06- 30 943-6351
PROGRAM OF EVENTS FOR MEDIA
11.15AM sharp – Briefing for media at park headquarters
Briefing at the National Historical park Headquarters for media. Briefing to be held by the director of the park, Agnes Nyulassy, and moderator for the day Janos Loska (President of Equestrian Tourism Association of Hungary).
12PM – Tim appears on the open plain.
Media interested will be escorted (car transport necessary) several kilometers to an open plain where Tim will appear alone with his three horses and dog. Excellent opportunity here for filming, photography of Tim in the open steppe environment.
1PM – Tim arrives to a guard of honour at the shrine for the birth of the Hungarian Nation.
Tim will arrive across a small field to the entrance of the park. Here he will turn onto a paved avenue where around 1000 people will be waiting for him.
At the far end of the avenue it opens out to a circle and the steps of the most important shrine in Hungary- that of the foundation of the country in 896. Waiting will be a guard of honor, including fifty mounted horsemen in traditional wear.
At the base of the memorial Tim will be greeted by the Kazakh, Mongolian, and Australian Ambassadors, the president of the national equestrian association Janos Loska, a member of Hungarian Parliament, Tim’s mother Anne, and famous Scottish explorer Gordon Naysmith.
After greetings, Tim will be given a large wreath which he will then take up the steps and place on the memorial in honor of the Eurasian nomads who had made this same odyssey in the past.
There will be some short speeches by dignitaries and Tim, then the chance for questions from the media.
1.30PM - Tim announces that he will present his horses as a gift to Childrens home.
Tim’s horses, two of which have traveled with him for almost three years, have become his companions and are the real heroes of the journey. At the steps of the memorial, there will be 20 children from the Hungarian orphanage of ‘Tisadob’ and its director to receive them. There is a surprise in store for Tim from them too.
1.40PM – Opportunity for journalists to field questions to Tim and for more photos.
2.00pm – Tour of the park, refreshments, opportunity for personal interviews with Tim.
From the ceremony at the memorial site Tim will move into the Panorama centre. Media is welcome to join Tim for a short tour.
Inside the centre refreshments will be on offer and on a huge map of Eurasia, Tim will draw out, and explain the route of his journey from Mongolia.
Here there will be a chance for personal interviews, press material (including cds and dvds) available, and a projector rolling with film material.
Inside the centre there will also be a photo exhibition of the Kazakhs of western Mongolia (and the author, who will greet Tim on horseback will also be there), and the opportunity to view many other features of the museum.
2.30pm Tour of the panorama painting which depicts the journey of the Magyars across the steppe and their conquest of the Carpathian basin.
This highly spectacular and evocative mural portrays the voyage of the Magyars (the original Hungarians) across the Eurasian steppe to Europe. Thousands of figures of horseback warriors are depicted and one gets a general sense of the nomads who for millennia fought and migrated across Eurasia (like the Mongols under Ghangis Khan).
3.00 – 4.00pm Tim will be available for personal interviews.
Around 4pm (or earlier) until late: Fifty horsemen to put on display at nearby Yurt camp, goulash and Palinko on offer to all. Tim also available for interview.
Tim will travel to a Yurt camp (yurts are the collapsible felt tents of the nomads as found today in Mongolia and Kazakhstan) on the edge of the park, where all media is invited to watch fifty horsemen in dress performing horseback archery wrestling, racing, and other nomad traditions. The camp is centred around five Yurt tents and a campfire where Hungarian goulash will be simmering in big cauldrons for all. Media is also welcome to try the Hungarian ‘Palinko’ which is the traditional Hungarian spirits drink, and take more interviews from Tim.