Day 2, Thursday: Visiting class mates, Štúrovo, Esztergom, Paja and Klari
In the morning we visited two of my class mates: Laci Brassói and Tivadar Rózsár. Both are keen gardeners and vintners. At Laci’s we met his wife Teri and daughter Gabi. Immediately cakes, fruit, pálinka (Hungarian short drinks) and wine appeared from nowhere. After a chat, taking Laci with us, we drove to see Tivadar. Regretfully his wife Ilonka was not at home, nevertheless the goodies appeared there too by magic.
For lunch Gabi and Adi had invited us to Štúrovo, across the Danube in Slovakia. Knowing it only from the bad old days I was surprised to find a neat little town with modern shops, advertisements in two languages and people milling around talking freely both in Slovak and Hungarian. We dined in a very good restaurant called Casablanca. After a brief stroll in the town we returned to Esztergom.
Esztergom is the ecclesiastical centre of the Hungarian Catholic Church. We looked around the castle and Basilica complex. It was the first time that I saw the area of the ‘Russian Hospital’. When I lived there no Hungarian was allowed to enter it. Now the whole area is public, beautifully landscaped and renovated and the buildings have been returned to the Church.
In the evening we visited my cousin Paja, Gabi’s younger brother, and his wife Klári for dinner and a long overdue chinwag.
The Brassói couple, Teri and Laci, with me
Their daughter Gabi has joined us.
Just to prove that Ann was there too!
Cheers to old class mates!
View of Esztergom from the Rózsárs’ window
View of Esztergom from Štúrovo, on the other northern side of the Danube
The same view but this time blocked by Gabi, Adi and me.
After lunch at the Casablanca a ‘doggy bag’ for Adi, but instead of the dog Adi had it for breakfast the next day.
A stroll in the town to work off the lunch
A small park in the centre of the town
An illusion that shows why once Esztergom and Párkány (Štúrovo) were considered twin towns like Pest and Buda. The Basilica seems to loom over the town, in fact, it is on the other side of the Danube.
View of Štúrovo from Esztergom, taken from the castle ramparts
Part of the ecclesiastical complex with the palace of the primate.
The castle ramparts at the back of the Basilica, with part of the castle in the background
The ‘tourists’ looking at the photographer from the point where the previous picture was taken.
Further downstream (East) on the ramparts
A memorial erected on the millennium of the coronation of St. Steven, Patron saint of Hungary.
Looking down onto the old ‘Russian Hospital’ complex. The building is now an ecclesiastical college.
A longer view of the area, now beautifully landscaped and meticulously maintained
Taking a stroll in front of the college
View of the Basilica from the ‘Russian Hospital’ complex. The tunnel on the left leads to the town.
A closer view of the ‘garden’ admired by our ‘tourists’
Bishop Szelepcsényi’s statue at the entrance to the college. He founded the first seminary in Esztergom in 1660.
The Basilica from the front
Statue of King Steven I, founder of Hungary
The not so well loved modern statue of a mediaeval knight.
Entrance to the castle courtyard
Bells found during a recent excavation. On the left is the entrance to the open air theatre.
View of the church of St. Thomas from the castle
My cousin Paja and his wife Klári
This time I have joined them in the picture.