Eger (Egg-air) is a little city to the East of Hungary about 2 hours on the train. We headed into town and checked into our unlovely but adequate hotel the Unicornus! The best things about the Unicornus was the helpful reception man, that ran around after Girl Viking like you would not believe. Frankly I’m pretty sure he heaved a sigh of relief when after 2 days we had to move hotels (or maybe he just pretended they were full.) We now we are up in the eaves at the Hotel Minaret. All is well.
We are enjoying the small town pace of Eger, walking everywhere, its a pretty village with a little stream flowing through and a castle on their overlooking and great restaurants and things to do. The churches have onion domes which is always good.
Night one we found a really nice restaurant with fine cuisine and entertained ourselves watching a very awkward first date at a nearby table. Cute because they had both got dressed up and it was a good restaurant so he was trying, but somehow the boredom/ lack of chemistry seemed to get to both and even great food and a cocktail didn’t help them. When they left there was no holding hands. And after that we had to entertain ourselves.
The next day we went to the castle twice! Firstly for the walking around which included the dungeons which were dank and uninspiring. Then we went on a tiny little train to the valley of the beautiful women (hilarious) This is where all the local vineyards have a wine tasting cellar. We did a wine tasting and at the same time get some Hungarian pronunciation lessons and whilst Eger is famous for its red wine called “Bulls Blood” it also produces seem pleasant enough white wines made from a large blend of grape varieties.
We then caught the dinky train back into town crammed full of school kids who thought it was funny to share with English speaking foreigners, until I got out my phone for something and they saw it was an iPhone. There was a lot of nudging and exclaiming and my credibility rose immensely. Girl Viking sat up front with the driver – who wasn’t going to let us on because he was full…. but the kids just squashed up a bit.
After a bit of hassling the reception man and the Unicornus for details (on god knows what) we then went back up to the castle for dinner in the restaurant which was pleasant as the sun went down and the temperature dropped to a very nice 25 degrees.
Next day in Eger saw us venture out of town to a town called Szilvásvárad ( I think sil-vas var-ud) which is one of the homes of the Lipizaner horses, most famous for the Spanish riding school in Vienna, developed by the Hapsburgs and relatively rare. We went on the bus, arrived the little town to thunder-storm sounds, the woman from the horse stud drove us up to the ranch and after a little look around Lucy went riding on a strapping great Lipazaner gelding and I went to the the nearby fancy castle hotel, where they decided I was a guest and forced towels on me and directed me to the change facilities and so I thought it would be rude not to partake of the wellness facilities and at least have a swim or two and a sunbathe poolside in the beautiful parklike surroundings.
After a spot of lunch (rock melon and proscuitto) and a chat to the charming hotel manager who also offered to charge my iphone for me, I paid (for the lunch you will be pleased to hear) and wandered off down the road to this charming round church which had been locked up earlier and the fences were too secure for the middle aged person to access! There was another group of school children waiting at the gate and eventually a chap arrived on a scooter and unlocked it. Happily all the kids went inside and I got to sit outside and sketch a little in my sketch book in solitude and get photos in architectural isolation.
I then scooped up Lucy and headed back into town on the bus. Another delightful day in Hungary!