Tim and Ravi Explore Eastern Europe travel blog

At EgerĀ“s Old Town Dobo Square, its hilltop castle behind us

At one of the many wine cellers enjoying some libations.


Firstly, thanks to everyone who's been reading our journals. Secondly, if you've actually been keeping up with them, then you can imagine that Ravi is a ball of energy everytime we get somewhere new, and Tim usually arrives hoping to take a nap. Eger was a great place for both of us after some busy days in Easter Europe.

From Bratislava we took a train to Budapest and then another to Eger which is the Northeastern part of Hungary. Eger is much smaller than many places we've been, and every place we wanted to visit was a short walk away. We stayed in the aptly named Minaret Hotel in a room overlooking Eger's very own minaret. This minaret happens to be the northernmost relic of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, if you're into those things. Personally, if I see another Ottoman ruin outside of Turkey, the teacher-gene in me will inevitably turn on and I'll have to investigate Ottoman minarets everywhere, but for now, the view from our room sufficed.

People go to Eger for two reasons: the ambience is highly relaxing, and the Valley of the Beautiful Women is there. Addressing the former, Eger's rolling hills are full of beautiful buildings, vineyards, and other sundry zen-ish visual stimuli. There were lots of pedestrian streets, an inviting main square, and great restaurants. Eger has two churches (I won't even pretend to remember the names of every church I visit) that are stunning and unique. Combine that with great weather and we've already had a great time!

But as you may know, Ravi and I love nothing more than good wine and beautiful women. Thankfully, Eger's wine cellars are actually in the Valley of the Beautiful Women! As we walked south and west of the main square, we worried that Eger might be guilty of false advertising. After all, what if we actually found ourselves in the Valley of the Less-Than-Appalling Women, or worse, the Valley of the Cindy McCain Fan Club! We decided, however, that after an afternoon of carefully sipping the numerous (and cheap) wines that everything would soon be beautiful enough.

And so we spent a cool afternoon in hill-side wine cellars carved directly into the rhyolite hills (I hope my geologist father recognized that last shout-out), and came away with some of the choicest libations in Eger in giant plastic bottles for less than ten dollars.

Good wine, good weather, good times. Eger certainly put Hungary's best face forward in our first stop in this country.

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