When living in a new country, it’s probably best not to see only one city. Following the advice of my father to go somewhere in Hungary besides Budapest, a few friends and I took a day trip to Eger in early October.
I wasn’t going to blog about Eger at first, but then I thought, small towns deserve as much recognition as big cities! Why not tell you all about somewhere you’ve most likely never heard of? So here’s a short post about the cute little town of Eger, Hungary!
Eger can be reached by a two-hour train ride from Budapest. The best advice I can give about Eger is just to stroll around and take your time. It’s not a very big town, however it is quite charming. There are a few pretty churches, a nice main square, cute restaurants, a castle, and best of all, Szépasszonyvölgy, or more commonly known among tourists as the Valley of Beautiful Women.
After some wandering and lunch upon arrival, we set off to find the Valley of Beautiful Women. Just follow the signs all over the city and you’ll eventually run into it. After being in the city for so long, some greens and trees were a nice change of scenery.
The valley is known for its vineyards and wine cellars. While we were there we tried some Hungarian wine and even got to smash some grapes! Truckloads of grapes line the streets and the pungent smell of wine fermentation fills the air. Treat yourself to a few glasses of wine during your visit. I also suggest walking around before choosing where to taste wine and not picking the first place you see; the better places are often slightly tucked away.
I’m not exactly sure where the Valley of Beautiful Women got its name. Perhaps all women seem more beautiful after a few glasses of wine?
After exploring the valley, we went back to the main part of town to visit the castle. We were satisfied just walking the grounds and not paying for entrance inside the castle. From the castle you can experience spectacular views of Eger.
Last but certainly not least in Eger, I tried my first chimney cake! The real name for it is Kürtőskalács, but I’ll just stick with saying chimney cake. I had already been in Hungary for a month and somehow not tried one of these delicious traditional foods, but I’m glad a waited for the real deal. Throughout Budapest you can find cheap mediocre chimney cakes, but this was really fresh and tasty. Kürtőskalács is made from sweet dough wrapped onto a baking spit, rolled in sugar, and roasted over charcoal while basted with butter. Trying one of these is a must while in Hungary.
Happy and full, we walked back to the train station and napped on the ride home. It was great to see another part of Hungary besides Budapest, and I regret not seeing more cities outside of Budapest during my time here. I have one week left and I may try to sneak in a trip to Szentendre, however that is to be determined.
There is something to see everywhere, so remember to explore all the small corners of the world! Now that this post is done, I must stop procrastinating and return to studying for my finance finals… Wish me luck! (See you in a week, Minnesota!)