We’re really hitting our Kontiki straps now. Two days in our last city in Hungary, Debrercen, is followed up with three in Orada, our first city in Romania. The rain makes two days in Debrecen, more than enough, whilst the sun, suprerb accommodation and some new found friends make three days in Oradea nowhere near enough.
In what sometimes feels like a previous life, I went running with the bulls in Pamplona during the nine-day festival of Sanfermines some 22 years ago. There’s nothing that beats running 825 metres over slippery cobbles being chased by 15 steers/bulls weighing between 500kg to 700kg. You can hear the heavy footfall of their cloven hooves. You can feel their hot, steamy breath on your neck. You can also smell the the pungent smell of the bullcrap in the air. At least you can with most of my retellings of this story, as when I was running I managed to beat the bulls into the arena easily, by at least a minute, having not seen, heard or smelt anything that resembled a bull. I was looking to rectify that by heading to Eger in Hungary and drinking Egri Bikavér, better known as Bull’s Blood Wine.
We’ve got one last day to make the most of this amazing city and what better place to start than at the Hungarian Parliament Building. The neo-Gothic building is the largest in Hungary and was opened in 1902 after some 100,000 people helped construct it using 40 million bricks, 500,000 precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold.
I’ve got a new favourite city. Or technically three cities as Budapest only came into being in 1873 when three previously separate towns, Buda, Óbuda, and Pest, were officially unified. More often than not, people refer to only two towns merging, as Óbuda simply means old Buda and prior to 1873 people often referred to the area colloquially as Pest-Buda. Three cities or two, it matters not, Budapesht, as us locals call it, it undeniably one of the most attractive cities in the world and sure to enchant anyone who makes their way here.