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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Hungarian Hinterland

Lion pointing the way to the hinterlands outside of Budapest
"I b-e-g of you, please do not drive in Budapest...", pleaded the twenty-something year old apartment management girl, in an adorably thick Czech accent.

Jo had just informed her that we had a rental car for our week's stay in Hungary.

"But please," the girl begged on, "There is no place to park in Budah-phest. You will drive forever.
No place to park."

Her plea was so heart rendering, we shortened our rental car time by several days. And for the record, Ms. "Pleaz, I am tolding you, do not drive...", was pretty much, on the money.

On the right you see how most savvy Budapestians traverse their city: by foot or trolley.

At times, except for the signage we might have been in the states
We kept the rental car a couple of days, using it to tour the hinterland surrounding Budapest.  

In the pretty town of Esztergom, we found a huge Basilica set on top of hill. Astoundingly - for me at least - it is the tallest building in Hungary.
Tallest & the longest name: The Cathedral and Primatial Basilica
of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St Adalbert

Jo posing in front of the flower honored statue
Could not believe there was graffiti carved on the columns

The church's door
The church was a mini-Sistine Chapel
Now, the church was, but my high point on the grounds was seeing the little bird below.
A Great Tit. [Insert silly tit joke here]
The countryside was quite pretty and didn't remind of anything I've seen before.

We had no idea what a beautiful little shrine by a weeping Willow tree was about, as we can't read Hungarian.
Not a clue what this beautiful little monument was all about
We had burst into laughter when on a gorgeous country road in farm country, we spotted - I kid you not - a Hungarian Hooker, who looked to be in her twenties, stood waving at passing cars. She was dressed like it was Tombstone Arizona, circa 1850. We ought to have gone back for a picture. That was the only oddity of the day really. 
 Visegrád Castle fortress high up on a hill, over the Danube
The Danube below the castle fortress

In the evening, after a bit of a rest in our flat, we headed out on foot to look for a good restaurant. Jo asked a passerby if she knew of any nearby.

The young woman looked busy to me, but she listened, then changed her own route to steer us several blocks to an area with lots of restaurants. We thanked her profusely and chose a busy restaurant with a cheery atmosphere.

I brought my laptop with me to quickly catch up on what odds and ends I could remember of the day, while Jo chatted with a couple at a table along side ours. I am never going to be as personable as Jo, but the world needs a few lone wolves too, right? 

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