It is soon time for Midsummer here in Sweden and that brings back a few memories from our first Midsummer together. As we’re both from the cold North, Midsummer is a special tradition for us. The very first one together occurred while we were living in Bratislava and we decided to go to Budapest for the weekend. We wanted to take advantage of the fact that we could take Friday off from work. Actually, we had been to Budapest also the weekend prior to Midsummer. That time Susann had come to meet me when I arrived back from a visit with my family in Sweden. For this weekend our plans included both Budapest and a visit to the smaller Hungarian town of Eger in the north-east.
Budapest: a City We Love Returning to
Budapest is one of Susann’s favorite cities and it is a place that we have returned to many times. This time we arrived on Friday morning – Midsummer Eve – and a sunny Budapest greeted us. There is something very special about Hungarian summer! We had booked our accommodation in the area around Corvin and did spend a few hours walking around before heading there. The central streets get really hot during the summer, but the cheerful atmosphere is still something to enjoy.
We did also as most of the times we visit Budapest, take the opportunity to walk around a bit at the Nagy vásárcsarnok – the Great Market Hall. It is nice to spend some time strolling among all the colorful stands with local specialties such as salami and paprika.
After checking in at our accommodation, we decided to go on a small adventure. We jumped on a tram heading along the Danube in order to see what else came up. Well, after several stops without anything of particular interest we got cold feet and decided to take a tram back in the opposite direction. The adventure had to wait for another day.
Eger: A Day Trip with Many Surprises
In the morning on our second day in Budapest, we headed to the train station. From there, our plan was to take a train to the small town of Eger in the north-east. I believe that the train ride took around two hours and we arrived in the town around 11 am. Hungary has amazed us with several small cozy towns and Eger was for sure one of those. Our first view of the town included Aá few quaint streets and a green park; that was before we came to the main part of Eger. At one of the larger squares, we found a restaurant and had some garlic soup. We learned to like the Slovak garlic soup during our time living in Bratislava, and the Hungarian kind was of course to our liking.
After the small lunch break, we headed to conquer the main attraction in town – the Eger Castle. The castle stands on a hill close to the center of Eger. It is an impressive sight and a must-see when visiting the town. On our way up the hill, we were greeted by our first surprise. It started to rain. Within seconds the rain was pouring down and the thunder was echoing around the buildings. To Susann’s delight took refuge in a book shop along the street, so there was no problem waiting for the storm to pass.
We were soon again heading up the hill and entered the castle. Here we could enjoy a great view out over Eger. This was the second surprise of the day as we had not expected the view to be so nice. We were soon returning down the hill and back towards the train station. Fortunately, the adventure did not end here, we had an evening left to enjoy Budapest.
Budapest: a Scramble to See Something Before Leaving
We have mentioned before that it is possible to see a lot in Budapest in a short time. Like when we last year visited Budapest for 6 hours. So for our last hours before going to the train station for our train back to Bratislava, we decided to visit Városliget – the City Park. I had actually not explored the park previously, just a small part of it. Here we found lakes with birds, trees and green fields. We also enjoyed the view of the Vajdahunyad Castle, built in 1896.
That was eventually the end of an amazing weekend in Budapest. We have visited several times before this particular Midsummer weekend and hope to return many more times.