A Travellerspoint blog

Hungary

Hungarian Hovering

Slovakia and Hungary in a week

semi-overcast 20 °C

We left Czech in a blaze of glory and headed into Slovakia to rest up for the Easter Weekend in a town called Nitra. It is on the south western side of Slovakia and is the oldest city in the country. Being the Easter weekend though, everything was closed. We had a relaxing bottle of Slovak wine for dinner and then to the Irish Pub which was only serving nibblies because of the public holiday. The Slovaks were extremely friendly and practised their English on us, thank goodness. Our hotel was the best yet though, the shower alone was worth the visit. We know what you are thinking, shower whoopee doo but this shower talked to you when you switched it on, had blue lighting and sprays coming out from all directions. You could listen to the radio or turn it into a spa bath. We had lots of showers over the two nights as in some ways it was the only thing to do. These Europeans take their public holidays seriously, as well as their ice-cream and their pizza. I think there are more pizzerias than traditional restaurants.

After two slow days in Slovakia, we crossed the border, again without any fanfare, into Hungary and headed for Budapest. Our hotel was easy to find but when we arrived the front desk person told us we were early before he even knew who we were. On further investigation he had no booking for us let alone be early for anything. He fussed and frazzled for awhile until realising that out of the 300+ rooms there was easily one for us. We think the hotel used to be a hospital, wide corridors and a real hospital feel. The shower was the complete opposite of Nitra and caused us to be fussed and frazzled. Lets call it a disaster.

Out to explore Budapest on the public transport, like the locals. For the next three days we traipsed and hiked all over the Buda and the Pest side looking at castles and other historical doo dahs. Adam learnt that in Hungary they have a special move that we have dubbed the "hover" which involves the waiter handing you the bill and then hovering over you until you give him a tip. Obviously we did not realise this delicate manouevre and it had to be explained to us. We learnt after that and even think we can turn the "hover" into a dance move. Angela was taken by a brochure for a labyrinth, never one to pass up a puzzle, we headed for it. We decided it was a big fat rip off and a severe OH and S issue with all the dark tunnels and trip hazards. It was by no means a labyrinth. Hungary is known for its thermal baths so we decided to treat ourselves and head to one in the big inner city park area. It was very relaxing and fun to be swimming in cool weather right next to people wearing shower caps. After a big busy day we dined at a cafe by the Danube. Angela got violently ill from the tuna salad, who would have thought getting seafood in a land locked country could make you ill. Due to Angela's weakened state the last day was one of R and R.

The one specific place that deserves a mention is the Museum of Terror. It is in the actual premises of the Nazis headquarters and then the Communists headquarters. It still has the cells and torture chambers that were used against the Hungarians and really evokes emotion. We took a good two hours to work our way through the history of the building and the Hungarians. It depicts the atrocities towards the Hungarians in such a way that it feels eerie and gives you a real sense of the cruelty and suffering. The final room is a name and shame room which has pictures and names of the people that committed these extreme acts of violence. It has their birth and death dates as well and it looks that a lot of them are still alive. Very Very moving.

A town called Sopron (Shop-ron) was our next destination. A two and a half hour drive towards the Slovenian border. Lonely Planet called this town "Little Prague" so we were immediately sucked in. It is a pretty little town that still has its medieval wall around parts of the old city. We are staying in a great little pension which finally has a comfortable bed as am not sure how mcuh more our backs can take. We are thinking about visiting Tesco (or the like) to get our own pillows. They are all flat and lifeless. Adam is still LOVING his goulash and we have found ourselves a rhythm which is great.

Tomorrow we head for Slovenia, a new country and a new adventure. Enjoy the photos!!

Posted by Ange and Adam 12:03 Archived in Hungary Comments (1)

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