Town One: Leaving Budapest around lunch time we headed north stopping at a hardware store for some silicon [roof hatch has a small leak] and had some lunch. Our afternoon stop was the town of Szentendre and after finding an easy park on the road next to the river. This was a pleasant town and bigger than we thought, lots of café’s, souvenir shops and local clothing etc. Walking through the main street we could hear the unmistakable Aussie accents of many people, they were at the beginning of a river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam taking 2 weeks. We continue to be thankful that we can do the traveling we do in the motorhome, instead of 2 weeks we will be ambling along taking 8 weeks.
Yes we had a coffee and shared a cake, that we don’t feel as guilty. We are also trying to limit our ice-creams to one scoop instead of two. I think a job as an ice cream critic would be my ideal job working my way across Europe evaluating the ice cream in all the towns along the way. If anyone knows where I can apply let me know!! We set off and spent the night in a large car park near the river at Vac. Szentendre was a pleasant town and worth the visit even though it was very touristy.
Town Two: Vac was a surprise as we didn’t see any signs of tourist anywhere. They had a small tourist train and many signs on the building with explanations on them but no tacky souvenir shops. The first thing we came across was the market, one our favourite pastimes. We bought a set of bike lights from a stall and some eggplant from another stall. After our coffee and cake we strolled through the town before heading off on the road again. On the way back to the van we did spot a stall selling Kürtőskalács, or chimney cakes, these are a sweet bread, rolled onto a wooden mould a baked over coals, glazed and rolled in a sweet topping or nuts. We have had these before and gave in to temptation buying one, they are yummy. Vac gets a thumbs up as a place to explore.
Town Three: Holloko was recommended to us by several people and we still had the afternoon free. Unfortunately when we arrived the first thing we noticed was the car park as most of it had been fenced off full of building materials. Let me first explain what Holloko is. It is a village where on 2 streets there are over 60 houses that are heritage listed as they have historic significance. Unfortunately at the moment they are in the process of upgrading the roads and many of the houses. So instead of the picturesque village we were expecting it looked more like a construction site. Nothing seemed open or inviting, but give it another year and it will look great and worth a visit, just not at the moment.
To top it off the campground that we thought might be nice to stay was closed. Back on the road we found a place to stay thanks to a blog site [Bessie], where we stopped in a car park of the Buddhist Park. When we arrived it was pouring with rain and there was a lady with a flat battery who after getting some jumper leads from another car we were able to help back on the road. In the front of the park they had a café and shop where we asked if it was ok to stay. It was a quiet night as it was off the main road with only a few noisy cows. Be sure to visit Holloko but make sure their construction work has finished first.
Town Four: Eger. We felt it was time to spend a couple of days in one place to catch up on some maintenance, washing and send a few emails etc. The campsite at Eger is just on the outskirts of the town and is an easy walk to the centre, but I would recommend taking a bike if you have one as we were pretty worn out by the time we walked into town, up to the castle and had a look around and back again. We arrived at the campsite around mid-morning but didn’t go to the town until about 2.30. When we reached the centre of town we were also confronted with a renovation site. The square was being completely repaved with new drainage and gutters. However this was only in the main square and the rest of the town was still intact and pleasant to walk through.
There is a large castle which is near to the centre of town, after paying a small fee we roamed around and had great views of the town. A group of people were dressed in costumes of past soldiers and after assembling at the top of the castle, paraded through the castle and into the town. No cake today but on the walk back had an ice cream instead. A very generous scoop for less than $1 Australian or 70 euro cents. We had a beer earlier and for two beers of 500ml each we paid less than $5 Australian or 3 euros. Upon return to the motorhome we were very tired and had a quiet evening. Eger is a town full of beautiful buildings, parks and lots of café’s and pubs. It will look a lot better when they finish the renovation works in the square.
On Sunday we spent the day in the campsite catching up with the washing, emails and I had a small silicone job to do on the top hatch. At was also a day of people watching as we saw many people going and coming and setting up various configurations of tents.