Departing Germany we caught a 1st class train (because we purchased tickets several days in advance and because we got lucky, the price for 1st class was the same as 2nd class) and rode 5 hours through Austria before arriving in Sopron, Hungary.
This border town eased us gently into the new Hungarian way of thinking, with most signs and menus in both Hungarian and German. The city center of Sopron is found through a maze of circular alleyways lined with alternatingly beautiful and crumbling stone buildings.
Some alleys carry you deeper into the old town, while others dump you into sunken bazaars with more walkways crisscrossing above you and street stalls in every direction. While exploring one of these alleys, we spotted a sign for a free art exhibit inside and up a winding staircase. Climbing the stairs we heard lights beginning to click on and were greeted by a smiling Hungarian man who proceeded to walk through and explain the entire exhibit to us. His excitement to utilize his English and explain complex ideas expressed through art was contagious. The whole exhibit was completed by a single artist, though you would have never known it looking at the 5 rooms of drastically different styles (pointilism, abstraction, surrealism, use of a single inked line, etc.).
After meeting our friendly art purveyor, we continued to explore the rest of the town, including the Roman ruins where life used to be bustling with a forum, church, and gladiator games (when the city was known as Scarbantia on the commercial Amber Road).
Walking through town and back to our hostel, we heard a low sputtering engine and the next thing we knew there was a bright green + yellow plane flying 60 feet above our heads, fluttering all the tree leaves and momentarily flustering the two of us. With nobody else in the town so much as turning their heads to the sky, the plane continued canvasing the city, seemingly following us on our path back to our hostel. Lee joked they were on to me, “the dessert spy”, since I try to get a glimpse of all the sweets wherever we go!
With all its charm, you can still readily feel Hungary’s past of wars fought and lost, and communisms grip slowly fading since 1991.
Did you eat any of those desserts upon which you spied?
You know we had to just tryyyy a few 🙂 See the response to Alexis above! And as younknow, Lees favorite treat has been the Turo Rudi: a sour cheesecake covered in chocolate in the shape of a more-round twix. They are grocery store buys and he is quite addicted to this Hungarian favorite!
The country side and floral blooming and clijmbing everywhere is stunning! L0ve the bright colors; LOVE YOU MORE!! xoxoxoxoxo Mamacita
That art purveyor will be talking about you Americans for years…I’m sure! Beautiful pictures.
Thank you! How are you liking your fabulous new camera?
Ohhhhh….it’s AMAZING! Perfect for the new blog!
Super latest update! Very clever to book
Tickets on the 1st class train so inexpensively! Fun, Fun!! Love You!!!
I support your pursuit of sweets wholeheartedly, and, of course, we’re lead by Dad! What’s your favorite dessert so far?
Oh! Well we tend to start the day with a pastry from a local bakery, and then wonder through various shops and too expensive cafes to see what they can offer, taking in the sights and sounds. By the afternoon, Lee is usually ready for a tiny cup of coffee (that comes in an espresso sized cup, with sugar, cream, bubble water, and a sweet biscuit acoutrements), which means it is time again to spy all the fancy desserts.
Only on special occassions do we indulge in a proper (non-breakfast) treat. We’ve eaten cakes and streudels, ice cream and cookies. My very favorite was the “Berliner”, a sugar coated jelly doughnut (we ate it for breakfast afte rleaving Berlin and had a laugh about JFK’s “I am a Berliner/jelly doughnut” comment years ago.) You can see, we have many a reason to call something a “special occassion” and celebrate with a sweet! 🙂
Ich bin ein berliner!