First I just wanted to start with some fun facts about Hungary’s geography:
1) Hungary borders 7 countries and no bodies of water.
2) Before WWI Hungary was about 2/3 times bigger than it is today including all of Croatia, and Transylvania (now in Romania). At this time Hungary was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but due to the Treaty of Trianon after WWI Hungary lost most of their land. Today many Hungarians blame their countries recent hardships on the fact that Hungary has been split into all these smaller countries. When you travel Hungary you can find small stickers that say “big Hungary” in support of trying to regain these lost areas.
3) Some of Hungary’s most famous regions are the settlements on a long the Danube, Lake Balaton (the largest Lake in Central Europe), the plains below Budapest, and the more mountainous region in the north.
So why am I spitting off all these facts about Hungary’s geography? Well, my goal for my time left in Hungary is try to explore as many of these regions as possible. This weekend marks the beginning of this exploration.
On Saturday I spent time exploring the small town of Szentendre which is a quaint city between Esztergom and Budapest. Szentendre is that small, adorable town that you just can’t help but fall in love with. The town is full of winding cobble stone roads that roll by small stores, ice cream parlors, and restaurants. For me, Szentendre is the perfect place to explore because you can hangout in a park near the river and play frisbee, and then finish off the game with a wonderful meal along the water. All of this and more all in Hungarian prices aka not expensive.
On Sunday I took a day trip two hours north of Budapest to Miskolcs where you can find what is said to be one of the best thermal baths in Hungary. This bath is popular because it was built within a cave system, so as you whirl around the relaxing tunnels you are surrounded by beautiful natural rock formations. While I was there I was able to take a mud bath. I assumed that the mud bath would be bathing in some thick substance like you might see in the movies, but oh no in Hungary a mud bath in literally a bath tub of water with some mud and dirt in it. Definitely an interesting experience!
This upcoming weekend my whole program will be heading to Lake Balaton for some adventures up there! Stay tuned!