Visegrád is a small town in Pest County, 45 km. north of Budapest, famous for its medieval citadel and the remains of the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. It’s a beautiful and interesting town, but getting there is a whole other story!
Since my friend Steve had recommended Visegrád, I tried to visit it on my third day in Hungary. It seemed like just the kind of town for me – old, mountainous, a castle and a river. What more could I ask for? I was really excited when I left my hostel at 9 AM and thought I had the whole day in front of me. Well, I did – but how I used it was another question.
Finding the Keleti Train Station in Budapest wasn’t the problem. By 9.40, I had bought my return train tickets, but when I asked when the next train was, the answer was 11.25. Great, so I had to wait 1,5 hours for my train.
I had already started to get cold, as it was minus degrees outside and the train station was just as cold, if not colder as being outside. So I decided to go sightseeing. What a great idea, I thought to myself. Nah, I should’ve stayed put, but I just never do. I went to the City Park and Heroes’ Square and it was beautiful, but more about that in a later post!
I allowed myself 30 minutes to get back to the train station, which should’ve been more than enough, but just as I was about to leave the park, my stupid idiot iPhone ran out (on 70 %!! Damn you cold weather and iPhone!) and I had forgotten my city map at the hostel, so all I had left was a crappy map in my Hungary book, which didn’t have all the street names. In fact, it had none of the street names where I was, because it was too far out of the center to be on the map. Oh well, I figured I would try to remember where I’d walked before. But everyone who knows me, knows that I have a TERRIBLE short-term memory. I’m actually quite sure it’s non-existent. Tell me your name and 1 minut later, I’ll ask you the same question because I can’t remember either your face or your name.
And once again, my memory failed to help me. I got lost. I got very, very, very LOST, and only with the help of some wonderful locals, I finally found my way back to the station at 12 PM. I already knew that I was going to miss my train, but I figured I would simply get the next one and then still have at least four hours of daylight in Visegrád.
But, because the World hated me that day, the next train didn’t leave until 13.25. Another 1,5 hours to wait! This time, I didn’t move out of the spot. I stayed put and I waited in the cold before FINALLY getting on the train and an hour later, arriving in Nagymaros.
Nagymaros is a small town located just across the river Danube from Visegrád. The time was already 14.30 and the sun would set in another 1,5 hours, so I only had a short time to explore Visegrád. But the next problem was getting across the river.
Well actually, before that, I met a cute little kittie, who really brightened my day with his purrs and miaws. Such a cutie! There has to be at least one good thing in each day, right?
I walked to the river, certain that there would be a bridge of some kind that I could just walk over. Na-ah. Of course it wasn’t going to be that simple. In order to get from Nagymaros to Visegrád, you have to catch a boat, but from what I could figure out (I really don’t do Hungarian very well), the last one had already left.
So after all of that, I didn’t even get to Visegrád.
BUT on the bright side, the view from Nagymaros was absolutely gorgeous and the light from the sun was amazing. Plus the train tickets only cost me 1.500 HUF in all (30 DKK, 4 euro, SO CHEAP!), so I didn’t lose much, apart from half a day. But still, the kittie and the view was worth it.
The town itself was also a little gem, just look at these shots I took from the platform!
A week later, I decided to give it another try… I’ll tell you how that went later, stay tuned!