Visit the Crossroads of Europe – Where East & West Meet
Hungary lies at the crossroads of Europe. It sits in the Carpathian Basin which has been invaded, conquered and reconquered numerous times, including by the Magyars – what Hungarians call themselves – who decided to take up residence for over 1,100 years. Consider that the Magyar people have their roots in the east.
They are thought to have come from the area around the Ural Mountain range (in central Russia). Yet in the year 1000 King Istvan (Stephen) was crowned by the pope as a Christian King, turning them away from the Eastern orthodox world.
Yet since then, their orientation has been a constant fight between eastern and western forces. Consider for 160 years most of what is today Hungary was occupied by the Ottoman Turks from the near east. This was followed by nearly 250 years of Austrian rule from the near west, then after World War II they were forced by the Soviet Union to face eastward again for four decades.
Now they are a part of the European Union, a clear expression of Western values. Hungary offers a taste of the both the familiar and exotic. Sometimes you feel like you are in Austria, sometimes like you are in the near east and then you realize you are in Hungary.
Hungary is good value for the money to say the least. In the latest annual survey of the British Post Office Travel Money, Budapest rated as the most affordable of 25 European capital cities. Hungary may be in the European Union, but it’s not a member of the Euro Zone.
That means its currency the forint, goes much further for those keeping an eye on their budget. And if you think the costs in Budapest are low, just wait to you visit the countryside.
A Language Like No other In The World
Fool your friends and learn some Hungarian! No kidding, Hungarian is one of the most complex and complicated languages ever conceived. Consistently rated as one of the five toughest languages in the world to learn it has no current kinship with any other European languages unless you count some archaic Finnish or Estonian.
Do not let this stop you. Plenty of Hungarians speak English. But if you learn even a smattering of Hungarian you can become one of only about 15 million super clever souls. And don’t forget to thank your guide. Köszönöm!
See Where The Iron Curtain Really Came Down
And you thought it happened in Berlin. Hungarians have a way of fooling the rest of the world. They probably never taught you in history class about the Pan European Picnic of 1988 near the city of Sopron. That’s where the first East Germans were able to cross en masse to the west.
Hungary’s border guards turned their backs (in a good way) not only on those flocking to freedom, but also on the Soviet Union. Only Hungarians could turn a picnic into a revolt. Europe has never been the same again.
The Wine Is Incredible
Make a pilgrimage to Villany or Tokaj. Sip wine in the Valley of Beautiful Women. Hungarian wines have come to prominence since the end of Communism.
There are a range of micro climates in the highly varied hill country of northern and southern Hungary. It’s perfect for growing grapes that create just the right vintage.
The wines come in a wide variety that will wet the lips of even the most discerning palette. And be sure not to miss an opportunity to fortify yourself with a glass of Bull’s Blood. We know you will love it.
One Other Thing…
And we could go on and on. Chess at a thermal spa, the world’s most astounding parliament building, horsemen that obey ancient traditions, ruined castles, palatial mansions, narrow gauge railways, caves and subways that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and much more.
Dig deeper in this website to learn more. Then join us for an unforgettable journey into the heart of this wonderful nation.
written by CHRIS WILKINSON
edited by CHRIS KOVACS
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