When…… I woke up Sunday morning and announced to my husband I had finally come up with a fitting title for my new post, he looked at me with sheer confusion. That in itself is not out of the norm. When I repeated myself again with a short explanation, it was followed by a pause (of the remote control) and then I went along my not so merry way…… Travel guides and reviews, as helpful as they be. Are at times are a tad “boring”. Don’t get me wrong it’s always nice to read up on a places history, as it relates to cultural understanding. In the past, when I’ve looked up Tokaj, Hungary on the internet, the results were pretty much what I had expected.
I would usually be the first to get up in the morning. I’d walk down the csiga (snail style) staircase and head to the kitchen to make myself a fresh hot cup of coffee. Nearly every morning with coffee in hand, I would go outside to the backyard.
Though the most memorable thing, was and always will be the fresh, crisp and slightly dewy smell of the morning air!! It’s very difficult to explain the scent. Maybe….countries, cities and towns; like people have different smells to them; indigenous and unique….
About the time I finished my ritual of stretches and coffee, my mother was awake, and making her own cup of morning brew. There is a farmer’s market (piac) in town, open almost every day. If there was anything we needed food wise and more, we would find it there. Lined up on both sides of the street are tables set up by local farmers, craftsmen, butchers and so on. We’d find freshly laid eggs (even the chickens themselves, one never knew), cow and goat’s milk…… still warm!
My mom always made it a point to introducing me as her daughter from America. “What gave it away?” I’d laugh.
With my bulking camera always in tow; happily clicking and sampling away. Granted my spoken Hungarian isn’t perfect, but I can understand pretty well.
So by now you might be thinking to yourself, so lets hear it? This post was initially going in a different direction; that was until I had a serious misunderstanding with “auto-save”. Course change……insert pictures and type as we go.
Important note: When you are visiting Tokaj; remember the names of these three streets: Rakoczi Ut.——>Kossuth Ter. (city center) —–>Bethlen Gabor Ut., and you won’t get lost.
Time for foodie stuff!!
After food, coffee, desert, chocolate we have to find a way to work off all those calories. There is Kopasz Hill/Tokaj Mountain/Hegy (whichever way you choose to refer to it as). Hiking the mountain is a popular activity of choice. There is a road that you can also drive up on. Beautiful panoramic views for miles and miles! I’ve heard rumors of building a lift to take tourist to the top of the mountain. If that is the case, and it’s available in the winter; I’m bringing my snowboard!! (BTW…I do have some great pictures from the top; regretfully I am not able to find them; even after going through nearly 3,000 pictures. I’m sure they are somewhere on a disk, sorry!) This will have to do for now….
The River (not referring to the Garth Brooks song)
As you see from the picture above Tokaj situated where the Tisza and the Bodrog come together. There are many boat tours that depart from Tokaj. Varying in duration from a few hours to an entire day trip to nearby cities. Many people also enjoy “adventurous” voyages on their personal watercraft. Whether its fishing, sunbathing, swimming (at your own risk), or some high-speed thrill…. The camping area on the opposite side of the Tisza is very popular as well.
What have I forgot?
The Paulay Ede Szinhaz (theater) has concerts, musicals, stage, opera year around! In front of the building is the refurbished Jewish Synagogue.
A few more bits to offer…. The Toldi Hotel, I’m not sure about their rooms, but they have a great indoor pool, hot tub and sauna! Panzio’s (pension/inn) are abundant in Tokaj; they are privately owned and offer personal appeal. If you like, you can visit the small boutique inside the Coop Grocery Store; ask for Zsuzsa Poczkodi; a very nice woman who runs/owns her own panzio.
The nightlife in Tokaj is more lively during the summer, it is not like Budapest the capital, but more of a relaxed version.
Best Langos: I always forget the name of this place…..but as soon as you come across the bridge into Tokaj to the circle, go right and it is immediately on the left with the big wooden door and the line of people waiting. The best gyros in town (yes you heard me correctly); awesome late night snack try:
If you are wondering about transportation from Budapest. The Keleti Palyaudvar Station (Rail), has IC (inter-city) service to Tokaj and beyond. I don’t pay particular attention; if I remember correctly it is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours by train and slightly more by car.
So, there you have it, a secret peek at what Tokaj has to offer (did not include all the many antique, gift, wine, etc. shops and more places of interest).
Surprisingly enough, there is more to Tokaj then just wine. It might be the capital of wine country in Hungary; but it really does have more to offer. Don’t let those wine “snobs” discourage you from a visit. I promise you WILL be pleasantly surprised. One almost last thing about wine cellars…try the “Katakomb“, down the road from the railroad station if it is really your thing!
P.S. Any opinions, suggestions, corrections, or questions, the comment box/e-mail is always open! I’ll be signing off for a few days to check out my new Windows 8 laptop OS (thank you honey), and make plans for Memorial Day, (Hubby and I happen to be former USN).
Thanks again everyone….for reading my post!!! More to come…never know the topic!