So, before we begin, let me just say that I’m basically a spoiled rat. My mother gifted me this trip for my graduation and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful. I was able to go with my boyfriend and the place we were staying at was already taken care of plus some extra spending money. Now, this was kind of a bad idea given the nature of this city, but you will see that in a minute.
The road trip from here to Eger was supposed to take around three hours, which is quite much, but we didn’t care, our trains aren’t well equipped and we wouldn’t have been able to stop for snacks and stuff. During these three hours we discussed what we wanted to do, where we wanted to eat and what kind of wine we wanted to bring home.
At this point we agreed that we would visit The Valley of Szépasszony (literally translates to “Pretty Lady”, by the way) and we would try out a wine in each and every cellar. I hope you already see why this was a bad idea, but if you still don’t, let’s just say that there are about 40 cellars in this place and you can’t get less than a deciliter of wine at once.
We also decided that we want to drink some good coffee and eat sushi.
Either way, while we were driving to Eger my boyfriend had a great idea. He said that Kékestető is fairly close to where we were originally going, so he could just readjust our GPS and we could go up into the mountains. Sure, sounds great.
This place is the highest point of Hungary. You would expect it to have some pretty wonderful sights and plenty of things to do, right? We thought so too. The best part of this trip was the way up when we got to look over the city of Gyöngyös and basically the whole Great Plain. The sides of the mountains were insanely steep and it was both energizing and terrifying at the same time. But when we got up we realized that this place wasn’t as fun as we originally thought.
This is what people were taking pictures with:
It’s a rock with some random info below it. That’s literally it, that is the highest point of Hungary. It was anticlimactic the least to say.
Besides this we could’ve gone into a pub to eat and drink, bought souvenirs at little shops and looked at the scenery. And that was basically all you could do on Kékestető. We just got two magnets for both of our parents because it’s a tradition by now.
Then we went on our way to Eger.
We arrived much later than we anticipated, but thankfully we got there just as the cleaning lady was supposed to leave so she could still give us keys to our room. It was nothing special, we had our own bathroom, an AC, TV (that we literally didn’t use, not even once) and we got some biscuits. Good enough, we knew that wouldn’t be sitting around in there for too long.
Before we move on to talk about what the trip was like, let me tell you something: Eger’s traffic is horrendous. I don’t have a driver’s license, but I’d say that I can navigate through fairly complicated places. This wasn’t one of them. Traffic lights were put in weird places, stop signs barely made sense and we constantly got scared of the lights that let pedestrians across the street. Those things literally shout out “You can cross X Street.” At first I thought some political movement was campaigning on the streets because you couldn’t tell what this thing was saying, just that it was a person’s voice trying to get your attention.
Now, onto our activities.
We first went to this city’s mall called Agria because we wanted to get some food. We ate some Chinese while still discussing what we were supposed to do in such a big city when we are not interested in historical monuments at all. By the time we finished our meals we still had no idea, but we knew that I really wanted to get a new book, so after we got back to our hotel we decided to go back to the mall into the bookstore.
Yeah, I’m gonna have a new Hobby Mania post about these two in a short while. (They are from the same trilogy.)
After that we walked into the coffee shop as well. Turns out, there is one from the same chain in our own city, so we wanted to give a lot of coffees a try so we could continue drinking them at home as well. No, it wasn’t Starbucks, I’m not willing to pay that much for a drink, although the Café Frei shops aren’t all that cheaper either.
Anyway, we got an “ice cream coffee” and one that has caramel and orange in it. Let me tell you, the looks are nothing compared to the taste.
Then we got back to our hotel, put down our stuff (including the car keys) and set off to the Valley of Szépasszony to start our journey. We walked for about 10 minutes and realized that the weather is insanely hot and we haven’t eaten enough. Well, crap, what could we do now?
The obvious answer is: get drunk real fast.
We went to Cellar NR.2 first, which was obviously a small family business. Now, to preface this: I like dry white wine. Mostly. If it’s done well. My boyfriend is quite the opposite. His eyes bulge out and he makes a grimace whenever he drinks wine that isn’t completely sweet. He can’t even handle semi-sweet.
When we sat down I ordered something really dry and the woman serving us started asking about my preferences (How come I like dry if I don’t really drink? What taste profile is my favorite? etc.) and she praised this specific one so much that even my boyfriend decided to get a glass. As you can probably already guess, it didn’t go down well, although he was sitting with his back to the woman thankfully. I liked it, he didn’t, we moved on.
Then we ordered two different kinds, although they were both dry reds. The one I drank was called “Egri Bikavér” (Bull’s Blood of Eger) and even though it’s really popular… It just wasn’t my thing. And I said that to the woman as well, to which she just replied: “No, no, it has a really pleasant taste.” Screw my taste buds then…
We paid quite quickly and left.
Cellar NR.4 maybe. I can’t remember to be completely honest because at this point we were already a tiny bit buzzed. This cellar wasn’t very memorable though, anyway. I ordered a semi dry white while my boyfriend finally came to his senses and got a semi sweet. It was nothing special, but the decoration inside was really pretty.
Reminder, at this point we had only drank 3 glasses (approximately 3 deciliters) of wine. And we could already feel the dizziness coming on.
I’m so sad that I can’t remember the number of this one… This cellar was sooo good, if you ever visit Eger you need to try their wines out. I remember sitting down, looking at the menu and ordering something red and a glass of ice wine. It’s my forever favorite, so we really couldn’t miss out on it even though it cost like 5 times the regular price. This was their signature drink called Hópihe (Snowflake).
We pretty much downed the red and started tasting the ice when we realized that we were kind of in trouble. Our legs started giving in and we could barely speak like normal people anymore. Yeah, it was embarrassing.
Anyway, I asked the waitress if we could stay for a little while to get ourselves together because “I was afraid that if we had to walk to the nearest bench we would fall fast first on the concrete 2 times.” I’m honest while drunk. She just laughed and asked if we wanted some bread with grease and some garlic (which is, if you didn’t know, insanely good for absorbing alcohol) and we said yes, of course.
After half an hour we were finally good, paid, thanked her and left. But not to go back to our hotel.
“Juhász pince” is the name of this one. We visited this cellar because I had a really bad craving for strawberry wine and we knew for a fact that this place has a really good brand of it. Unfortunately though, I don’t remember much from this point, only that we drank a glass of strawberry wine and paid.
Then we had to walk back to our hotel which took 20 minutes this time around.
Interestingly enough, we woke up without a hangover. Although, I highly doubt that anyone could have a hangover from half a liter of wine. Either way, we were just fine, except for the fact that we were really hungry, so we ordered some pizza and recollected our memories from the last day.
Then we went for coffee.
Afterwards we really didn’t know what to do with ourselves because the city’s sights are mostly historical (not to mention the fact that they are also quite expensive). In the end we just went back to the Valley of Szépasszony to buy the bottles of wine we wanted to bring home.
Then we went back to the hotel and chilled out for most of the day before deciding to attempt another wine tour in the late afternoon.
This time the weather was a little more chilly and we had eaten plenty of food beforehand. Unfortunately though, we realized that if it wasn’t easy to get drunk then we didn’t like drinking all that much. We called it a day after like 3 glasses.
Then we went home and ordered some sushi which ended up being way too much so we had a great breakfast to look forward to.
We originally wanted to go to the beach or to a thermal pool but the weather was simply awful. It was raining and we were pretty sure that even lighting was coming our way so we didn’t want to risk it. Instead, we went to the coffee shop for our final round in Eger and got two wonders:
Yeah, the baristas are awesome in this place.
Anyway, after this we had nothing to do, so we got our stuff together, packed into the car and were on our way home. I’d say that this was an awesome way to celebrate my graduation.