Hungry in Hungary

Esztergom Travel Blog

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Sunflowers in Hungary's fields
We've spent the last few days biking through the Hungarian countryside. The bike paths are pot-holed or non-existant, but the roads are quiet, so it can be quite peaceful. Our favourite part about biking through Hungary so far is the fields of crops we pass on the route. Sunflowers, wheat, hay, corn and many others are are growing tall in this sunny region and attest to the fertility of the Danube flood plain. On the other hand, some of the buildings here in the smaller towns are quite run down.

After our first night in Hungary, we didn't have any accomodation arranged, but we've managed to do quite well finding rooms even though no one speaks English. Here in Esztergom, a man riding a bike with a baby in its basket flagged us down and gave us a pamplet for his guesthouse.
Esztergom at night
His old lady accomplice then ran beside us through the city, leading us in the right direction.

In Hungary, we've stayed in the world-famous cities of Mosonmagyarovar, Gyor, and Tata. In Mosonmagyarovar, we found the only oriental food restaurant in the city and we enjoyed it so much, we came back a second time. We also sampled that city's hot springs, swimming with the old Hungarian men and ladies. In Gyor we got lost trying to leave the city and ended up biking through very run-down areas. In Tata, we had a pleasant stay; there was a lake and we walked around it, taking in the view of Hungary's only water castle.

We had a bit of an adventure today to get here to Esztergom. We wanted to avoid the hilly and busy roads to Budapest, so following our guidebook's advice, we hopped on a train to the Hungarian/Slovakian border.
Sunset over the Hungarian/Slovakian border
This train was very old and not very accessible. We had to carry our fully-loaded bikes up into the train while the train men yelled at us in Hungarian. Eventually they just let us stand in the loading area with our bikes and people had to squeeze by us. Luckily the train ride was only 20 minutes long and a very nice man helped us get our bikes off afterwards. We got our stamps at the border crossing and spent the day biking through flatter Slovakian paths before returning here to Esztergom, Hungary at the end of the day.

Esztergom used to be the coronation city of Hungarian kings and the centrepiece is a huge basilica on a hill. It is so beautiful that the city is known as 'the Rome of Hungary.' We checked out the church inside the basilica and were a bit disgusted by one of the relics they had, a skull in a glass box. Finally, we relaxed outside on the hill for an hour or so, taking in the fine sunset over the Danube and Slovakia.
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Sunflowers in Hungarys fields
Sunflowers in Hungary's fields
Esztergom at night
Esztergom at night
Sunset over the Hungarian/Slovakia…
Sunset over the Hungarian/Slovaki…
Esztergom
photo by: coolguy