1587-1588: Eager for Eger

1587:  Cracking Day in Eger

Thursday 9tJuly 2020

The campsite staff were outstanding … gave us so much useful information on what to see and the practicalities … and in impeccable English.  After the previous evening’s festivities we were a little slow getting going!  A walk into town and we promptly dived in for a coffee.  Danny and I minded CO2 and had another coffee (close call for a Back McFlurry!) whilst the two J, R, P and G fans headed into the Beetles museum.  Lunch.  Minaret to be climbed.  Castle to be clambered and ice cream to be eaten!

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Where’s Wally?

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An attempt to cool down CO2.  Not sure who got wettest.

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Dobo Square.  His fame is that he was in charge of the castle when the Turks attacked and defeated them.  Actually sicknesss, lack of food and the weather finished off the Turks, so they retreated.  They came back a few years later with  a force of 100,000 and won.  As Danny, ex military, pointed out, campaigns are fought now with 8 soldiers.

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Apparently this is the most northerly minaret in the world.  98 steps, which Danny and I know about as we climbed it. 

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No passing places, so controlled batches of tourist allowed up.  Steps were steep so we used hands to help climb, and were slippery from wear.  Don’t know what their procedure is for getting people out who may have a panic attack or fall, as it really was narrow.

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 But I was the only one to step out onto the platform!  Such a hero!!!  Perhaps I just have no imagination.   

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View from the top of the cathedral.  Being renovated so couldn’t visit it.

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That minaret sure does look narrow and tall from the castle.  No wonder I had thigh ache.  

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Not your usual sign.

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A cracking day sightseeing! The day might be over, but the evening was to come.  One of the main attractions of Eger is its wine.  The Lovely Lady Street or Nice Lady Street, depending on your translation, is not, as you might suppose, a street of brothels, but a street and square of c.60 wine bars and restaurants.  Each wine bar represents a local vinyard.  This calls for a big night out.  Lisa and I did our hair and put on makeup!!!!  Some of the wines were good, some really not!  We purchased a bottle each for later … plastic bottles but cheap as chips.  And you knew what you were buying.  Really is a pub crawl with wine.  What’s not to like?!  

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Reckon he handed over his treasured violin thinking Lisa could play … wrong!

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Amazing what you can find in your hand bag!

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Despite a lightish lunch and ice cream,  or perhaps due to the wine … we still managed a meal out.  More traditional music and hearty portions, but tasty.

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Meaty!  But not ours.

1588:  Recovery Day in Eger

Friday 10tJuly 2020

Two heavy booze nights had taken its toll … for the second time we toddled into the campsite office and paid to stay another day.  Our tourist guide, aka the campsite chap, told us to visit the European version of Pamukkale … travertine terraces.  We had every intention of doing so … but didn’t.  The day oozed by with jobs.  Lisa and I dyed each other’s hair.  And then, bravely, Lisa volunteered Danny to cut my hair.  It had not been cut since September and I really don’t want to have trouble finding a hair dressers when we get back to the UK.  And Danny HAS cut Lisa’s before.  

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Im sure I only said 2″

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In the evening we wandered out again into Beautiful Lady Road … just the one sampling.  We were definitely flagging.   And back to the same restaurant for dinner. Good food again. I am missing fish though: lake fish is available, but not prepared how I would choose.  The traditional music band wandered over as we were the only people claping them … must be  cultural thing.  Having established that were were English and Irish, they proceeded to play Auld Lang Syne!  Not quite so late tonight!

1585-1586: Hungary’s Verson of the Wild West

1585:  Hungary’s Wild West

Wednesday 8tJuly 2020

Now completely alone on the campsite as the owner had gone away for the day, leaving us in charge!  Wonder if she has CCTV!  CO2 ran free and I did some more laundry.  Our destination was a few hours away, Hortobagy – wild west country.  Part of the Great Hungarian Plain where winds whistled and horsemen herded cattle and sheep.  Flat and wide horizons, but quite pretty for all that, as there are trees and colour.  All we needed was tumbleweed!  A few museums in Hortobagy about the life and the skills the herdsmen had with wood and leather.  It’s a popular destination as we saw more tourists here than anywhere else, including a few coaches.  

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Not part of Sid Vicious attire!  A wooden dog necklace  not cruel as it looks.  Kept wolves from killing the dogs and then used as a pan holder.

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The sheepskins were also used as bedding.

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A suitor would leave his smart coat at a girls house.  If she didn’t ask him to take it away, he was in .. lurve!.

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Hortobagy has the longest Hungarian stone bridge, all 9 arches of it.  I don’t know if this includes the former territories!

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Typical complex of stables / barns.

There was a massive car park which we could have slept in overnight, but we fancied being away from people.  So we headed off to Tisza River.  We didn’t like the look of the low hanging branches to our planned destination on the river bank, or the mossies and mud.   So we stopped next to the road on a dyke.  It was quite busy with cyclists and fishermen passing but, come evening, it was super quiet.  Still lots of mossies though.  On the late night dog walk, I had to wear long trousers and my jacket with the hood cords drawn tight, so the only parts of me exposed were my face and hands.

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We overnighted on the dyke over looking a field of sunflowers. 

1586:  Bike Ride to … Teaser Lake (Tisza)

Wednesday 8tJuly 2020

The guide book described this lake as smaller and less touristy than Lake Balton … sounds charming.  But, as it turned out, it didn’t deliver for us.  

We were parked on the dyke which has a FLAT tarmac mini road leading to it.  a) needs to be visited and b) we can cycle.  So off we set … CO2 ran for a bit and then we put them in the Os-car.  Mistake on my part … Oscar barks non stop unless I put a cover over the forward facing mesh – I’d forgotten.   Otherwise he can see my legs pedalling away from him and thinks I am trying to escape him … as if!?  After 10 mins of his noise disturbing the peace, we used J’s waterproof to block his view.  It worked for a while, but as soon as the wind lifted it, the barking re-commenced.  Ever resourceful, even if I was ‘asked to leave’ the girl guides, I filled the pockets with stones.  Peace reigned supreme.  We could actually hear the bird song.  On the nature front, we saw loads of big birds of prey and I spotted 2 snakes.  

Lunchtime on arrival at the Lake; so we went for a burger special – J, and a roasted cauliflower salad – me … our worst meal in ages.  A few people about, obviously on holiday, but picnic benches etc for thousands more.  Glad it was quiet on our visit.  Despite this being the eco tourism part of the lake, there were pedaloes, motorised canoes, a water park.  And of course the requisite mosquitos.  We were OK on the bike ride until we stopped, then they nose dived us in formation.  We cycled around a small spit of land, the viewing platform was closed and headed back to Jez.  Not on our must go back to!  And we’ve heard that Lake Balaton is rammed, so we will give this a miss this trip.

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 CO2 set the pace.

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Campsite and canoe safari.

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The meal I wish I could forget … not sure where the cauliflower or salad were!

Wed heard from Danny and Lisa (met in Ephasus and theyrented an apartment near our Turkish lockdown campsite) had left Croatia and were now in Hungary and planning to be where we were headed to next.  They checked out a wild camping spot and declared it unfit:  busy and mossie infested.  They’d found really great campsite.  So we stocked up for a BBQ en route and joined them in Eger.  A great night ….