Trip to the Danube Bend

With just a few days left in Budapest, it was important to visit the Danube Bend just north of the city.  This is where many people escape city life to relax in summer cottages along the riverside.  Fortunately, Annamaria’s father has left her with such a place, so we were able to enjoy a picnic and learned how to make korozott (paprika flavored cheese spread).

Our first destination was Szentendre, an artsy town with lots of artsy shops and narrow streets.  There are some views of the river, but I was too busy seeking shade in alleyways and searching for gelato to find them. 

Then it was off to the Visegrad Royal Palace, which used to be the capital of Hungary long ago.  It was a very interesting exhibit of how kings and queens really did live, from the bedding to the stoves to the stone rooms.  King Matthias used to greet guests at the top of the stairs and jousting tournaments still continue there today.  Ironically, no one knew where it was for years, since it had been buried after an a earthquake.  Then one of the archaeologists–who had been searching for it for years–literally stumbled upon it one drunken night.

For dinner, we went to a Renaissance restuarant and ate like royalty!  I didn’t partake in the venison stew and duck, but I did put on a crown.  The walk by Dracula’s former prison tower was quit eery, much of what we hear of him is legend. 

The Danube Bend was blissful, even if it was another sweltering day.  The best part was walking through the gardens at Annamaria’s house to dip my feet in the Danube.  We got to meet two of her children, rock in the swing, and eat our weight in watermelon.  It felt like the quintessential summer celebration–with a Hungarian twist!  I’ll never forget her or her hospitality.

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