A week after my very unsuccessful attempt at getting to Visegrád, I decided to try again – this time with a friend by my side. We finally made it there and had a great day with gorgeous weather, hiking in the mountains and studying old buildings.
A few days earlier, I had found out that my friend Christopher, who I know from high school, lives and studies in Budapest. I felt stupid for forgetting this, but it was really nice to have a friend to spend the last few days with.
Since Christopher also enjoys hiking, I decided to invite him to Visegrád, hoping that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes that I made the last time. We caught the train early in the morning, got to Nagymaros 45 minutes later and caught the ferry, crossing the Danube river to Visegrád. I couldn’t believe how easy everything was that day, and I was glad that I didn’t have to miss out on this gem once again!
The name Visegrád is of Slavic origin and means “the upper castle”, which is very appropriate for a town that is widely known for its 13th century castle. The castle is called Fellegvár meaning “cloud tower” and can easily be reached by foot from the town.
We first walked to the hexagonal Solomon Tower from 1258, where we got the first views of the Danube river from above.
From the tower, there is a marked trail all the way to the castle. The walk from the town to the castle is about 4 km. and it goes up all of the way, so you can imagine how tough it was! Even for an “experienced hiker”, as I would call myself, it was tough.
We hiked through a forest, following markings on the trees, overlooking the Danube river at all times. The weather was beautiful, it was like an autumn day with about 8 degrees and sunshine. It was the perfect weather for hiking and just the right temperature.
The sun was on my face, I had fresh air in my lungs and the sound of the birds singing in my ears. It was a beautiful day and I was happy to have Christopher there to share it with me.
When we finally got through the tough hike and got to the castle, we were astonished by the amazing views that we could see from up there! Although the views had been great throughout the hike, nothing beats getting to the top, where you can see everything.
The castle is open for the public to visit during the summer months, so it was closed, when we got there. But they had obviously forgotten to lock all of the doors, as I managed to open one. I had a look inside, but quickly shut it again – I’m not that much of a crime rider afterall.
Since it was still early, we decided to walk a few kilometres to a viewing tower on Nagyvillam Mountain at 377 m., where we expected the view to be even better. But unfortunately, it was also closed. Apparently, Hungarians don’t expect tourists to come to their country during the winter months, so touristy places are generally only open during the summer.
But the tower was located on top of a mountain, so there was still a great view, although trees blocked most of it.
On the way back to the town, on a different trail than the one we walked up on, we came past a cable line going down the mountain and sled tracks – I can imagine that this area is packed in the summer!
The way down was easy and took no time. Soon we were back in Visegrád, waiting for the ferry to take us across to Nagymaros, so we could catch the train back to Budapest.
The trip to Visegrád was my last adventure in Hungary, as I had to leave for the airport early the next morning. But it was a great way to end my time there, although it won’t be the last time that I visit this magnificent country.