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.