Eurotrip – Szeged, 1 November 2013

It’s the custom in Hungary when catching a bus to simply turn up and buy your ticket from the driver, even if you’re going quite far. There’s a flat rate per KM, so there’s no benefit in booking early. And if all the seats are taken, you just have to stand until someone gets off. This model isn’t great for my anxiety, I like well-planned things, but it worked out OK. Although amusingly when we got to the station there was an orderly queue at the platform, which dissolved because the driver was calling up people from different destinations to load their luggage in different places, turning the queue into a scrum. But we got on and got seats.

3 1/2 hours of steady driving across the agricultural southern plains of Hungary brought us to Szeged, and a short walk to our otel. Szeged struck us favourably, being mostly clean and well-presented. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite remember why we were here. I’d got it into my head that we should come here, when I first researched the country, but I couldn’t remember why. Turns out there wasn’t much of a reason. We spent the afternoon slowly, wandering around the old centre and looking at some (admittedly pretty) buildings, including an impressive cathedral. We considered but decided againt the folk museum and the paprika museum (basically a factory for salami and paprika, with informational signs). But we did go for a run along the river (crossing the bridge, rated the 13th best attraction in the town by Trip Advisor).  We were happy to take things easy.

Dinner at supposedly the best restaurant in town was OK, but nothing fantastic. We both had catfish – mine was almost a Hungarian equivalent of curry, with a paprika-flavoured sauce, and Rhonda’s had grilled cheese on it.

Back to the hotel, which is really nice, modern, friendly staff, nice boutique design – except it has no air-conditioning. Even in November, it is hot and stuffy in here, can’t imagine being here in August.

About simonchamberlain

New Zealand librarian and music fan, living in London.
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