Getting ready for Norway
Eger is famous for two things; Bull’s Blood Wine and Thermal Baths. It is also the where the locals, three sheets to the wind on the aforementioned Bull’s Blood, gave the Ottomans a bloody nose and most strange of all it has a museum dedicated to The Beatles. It also has a perfectly named Valley of the Beautiful Women. According to legend a beautiful goddess lived there apart from the time the country was under Soviet occupation and the valley was renamed; Valley of the bearded shot-putting steroid-enhanced minger. The bottom line is Eger is wonderfully preserved jewel-box of a town.
We had to make a little detour on our way from Budapest to Eger due the fact our Habitation door on our Knaus Motorhome had decided to lock itself shut and was not going to budge. We tried all the usual nonsense like leaning on it and emptying a can of WD40 into the lock but it was not for budging. We managed to source a caravan repair shop on the South side of Budapest and decided to give it a go. The outcome was a broken spring and after about an hour with three burly mechanics with magnificent moustaches smoking 40 fags, drinking 17 cans of beer and noshing a KFC and 4 kebabs between them a new spring was made by hand and fitted and we were on our way. And the cost? €20 to me and about 2 years off their life expectancy for them
Having bought a vignette we decided to take advantage of the motorway as we headed East and the journey was best described as dull. We did pass The Hungaroring F1 circuit which is synonymous with dullness as well. How apt. But after the non-stop bouncing around we had in Italy it was good to be on flat smooth tarmac.
We had a day in Eger planned and it consisted of bathing, eating and drinking and for once we sort of stuck to the plan. The first thing to note is there is far more to see and do here than there is in Bratislava, the beer is also a quarter of the price and so to keep it this way we would not recommend this place to anyone is planning on getting trolleyed with their mates just before entering into some sort of nuptials.
There are three Baths in the centre of town all heated by the hot springs that all burble up curtesy of the Eger Patak. We hoped to go into the Turkish Baths but unfortunately they do not open during the day on a Monday and Tuesday and so we had to make-do with The Outdoor Baths. We soaked ourselves in the various pools of differing temperatures for a couple of hours and very prune-like we dried ourselves off and went for a walk and some lunch.
Main Outdoor Pool
Eger is blessed with a traffic-free town centre which makes it a delight to walk around without the noise of cars or the dodging of scooters to behold. Eger Castle which overlooks the town is the spot where 2,000 Huns fought off 100,000 Turks in 1552 and where the legend of Bull’s Blood wine was born. The ladies of the town played their part by pouring endless barrels of burning oil over the ottomans while the men drank endless barrels of the local red wine staining their beards a fluorescent crimson. And so the rumour went around the Turkish army that the men were so brave because they drank the blood of bulls which had stained their beards. It was all to no avail as the Turks came back a few years later and conquered the place.
The main square is named after the brave leader, Dobo Istvan and is flanked by some great examples of baroque architecture and a fountain that alternates between blowing water and steam.
Love a bit of Re-use me. Minaret to Spire in one easy step
The Minorita Church
Castle through Steam
We had a pleasant lunch on a terraced café before we tried our latest Hungarian delicacy, the snappily named Gozgomboc. Looking at the pictures we thought we were in for a white ice-cream dessert interlaced with chocolate. What we actually got was a steamed dumpling with some sort of jam and covered with brick-dust. It must have weighed-in at about 2.4 tonnes, in fact the only food I have had that was heavier was a deep-fat fried Pizza in Scotland. It was a considerable amount of time before we could move.
He ain’t heavy it’s my Gozgomboc
Like a pair of porked-out sloths we descended upon the slightly unreal and un-nerving area of Szepasszony. This is a sort of pre-planned pub crawl laid out in a square. They may have been in old cellars in the past but now the sell their wares behind mock-castles from steel vats the size of Glasgow. But it is a good idea to try a few as we found the quality varies huge amounts between ‘castles’ or we were getting used to it. You either have the choice of buying the good stuff in bottles are buying the wine equivalent of cooking lager by the tanker. Tasting is quite easy; you have the choice of Red or White, then Dry, semi dry or sweet. You then get served a teaspoon of your choice and make the decision of how many tanker loads you require. We bought 5L of red and White plus a couple of good Bull’s Bloods.
Inside our cellar of choice
So there is our take on Eger. A thoroughly delightful place to spend the day and as cheap as chips.
Love to All