Published: August 17th 2009August 3rd 2009
I know that some of you are waiting the entry of my first meeting with Ma'ri's family. You'll have to be a little more patient, as this will be my next entry for the blog. Our base for these few days is in Hejce in the North-East part of Hungary where Ma'ri's parents live. The village is only 30 km from Kosice. I've already been to Prague, but never set a foot in Slovakia. So we decided to spend an afternoon strolling Kosice. Interesting enough, Ma'ri hasn't come here for years, so it was also a re-discovery of some of her childhood memories.
Slovakia and Hungary are now both part of Schengen, so no more controls at the border. But the old style communist control buildings are still in place...in a seriously bad conditions...but still standing as an old souvenir between two countries that are now part of the European Union.
There is not a huge change once you cross the border. Once you enter the city, Kosice looks very similar to Miskolc...old communist style, not exiting at all. But the good news, is that we just needed to be patient!
Driving into Kosice, the first suburbs are
gray, full of communist buildings which are seriously less than charming. Gray multi-levels building, not a good start for our visit. The good news, is that the old city center is a really beautiful area. Cars have been banned from the center, and this is a good thing. So parked, and on for a nice 2 hours walk around town. I wish they would still operate the single tram that we saw parked in front of a pub. The main street, or should I call it square is surrounded by cafes and terraces....great for a sunny summer! We did enter St Elizabeth Cathedral, right in the center of the city. After this, Ma'ri show me the fountain where she used to run in her childhood. Shall I call it souvenirs...souvenirs...
Slovakia has also been using the euro for the last few months...Hungary is not really close to use it thought...but it will come. Another interesting point is the invasion of Tesco supermarkets all over the region...don't really know if we should be happy of this or not, but this may not be the place to jugde...so we did pick up one or two things for the family and made
slowly our way back to Hungary, riding through the countryside of both borders. Another sunny day, another lovely day. Next year, I hope to be able to go even more to the East, Tokaji wine region is not that far away from where Ma'ri's parents are living...but too many thing to do, to many people to meet for this year in such a short time...there will always be next year to do more excursions...and maybe one day pushing it a little further east...Ukraine is only 150km to the east of here...and I've never been to Ukraine.
So I can now say I've set foot in one more country...it was a short foot, but I'm very happy to have discovered the old town of Kosice...and we'll be back.
Our next entry is in the countryside of Hungary. An amazing 4 days experience for me...a true blessing full of love. But for this, as usual...wait few more days...we are coming back! I still have to select the pictures are there are too many of them, and most of them not related to a "travel blog" entry...but rather a family album!
With love from four of us!
There are more photos below