Have you ever heard of the term “Hot Headed Hungarian?” I like to refer to it as passionate. When the hubby first met my family he always tells the story about walking into a conversation where everyone was yelling. Imagine people speaking in very loud voices, hands pointing at one another, faces turning hues of red; and all this happening in a language considered one of the hardest to learn in the world. No they were not mad or arguing; it was just a passionate conversation! That is not to say we are not known for our tempers, it’s only that a person or people can feel strongly about things and there is nothing wrong with that. Maybe it is one of the reasons why I feel so out-of-place here in the south. I am no wallflower nor a southern bell by any means; and my time in the Navy did not help to “filter” the words that sprout from my mouth…. (shrugs)
Back to the vacation……
One of the things most Hungarians are very passionate about is preserving their heritage and culture; which brings us to castles. Hungary as a country has seen it’s fair share of conflicts and struggles over the ages. Castles built, destroyed, rebuilt, occupied, and so forth. My family was able to visit a few of those historical sites on their trip. The first was Diósgyőr Var (Castle); in Miskolc. Originally, Diósgyőr was a separate town; until about 1945, when it became part of Miskolc. Yearly in August the grounds of the castle serve as the site for an international archery competition; my kind of fun! Medieval Castle Days, not to be confused with Medieval Times, is where competitors dress and use period weapons in tournaments and exhibitions. Okay, it might sound the same but it’s not! There is plenty of activities for adults and children and vendors that sell everything from food to bows and swords.
The boys (all of them) were very impressed by the archers and the level of ability they displayed. Ladies (reading this) I ask you one simple question. Why is it that all the manly, fierce warrior types have to exist in books/movies and the middle ages; or in this instance archery competitions?? I just read a post a few days ago that mentioned a man in a kilt, working a majority of readers up in a frenzy.
Many varieties of bows were used; ranging from Tatar, Avar, Mongolian, Scythian and Hun. In the event you were wondering, I purchased a bow myself; and within a day of that I bought an armguard! On the flip side, I did play a great joke on my uncle when I told him the terrible bruising on my forearm was due to a mugging where my bicycle was stolen. The look on his face was worth the little white lie; in my twisted attempt at humor. I fessed up afterwards….
Today, the Castle of Diósgyőr is a spacious internal courtyard of cultural events, concerts, theatrical performances…..which everyone would enjoy. The boy’s got their wooden swords, made their own pressed coins, saw a medieval castle, learned some history and dined on semi-traditional dishes. I’d say it was good day and worth the price of admission.
Where is our next stop? If you’ve read anything on this blog, it’s you never know!!