This year again we visited Zagyvarékas. The village is a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city Budapest, just about one hundred kilometers away. The people here are very industrious, hard working and self reliant. The trip by train was novel, (haven't traveled by train since 1962) and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the countryside.
Nagyoroszi, Drégely castle, Slovakia
We were invited by a high school classmate for a barbeque to his house in Nagyoroszi, about fifty kilometers north of Budapest. We had chicken and pork shishkabob, plus two huge steaks on a Saturday afternoon. Later in the afternoon we took off for the ruins of Drégely fort, a Hungarian stronghold during the Turkish invasion in the 16th century. The fort is at about 1600 feet and we got lost downhill. It was a bit scary because it was getting dark and we had no water, no fire, no maps, but one of us had a cellphone. It was not until we walked about three miles to the nearest highway in pitch dark and another mile on the highway before we were picked up. The moral of the story is that one should never go on even a short trip in the wilderness without water, fire and maps.
This was the first time we ever went to "Felvidék" which is now Slovakia. The store clerk at the gas station spoke fluent Hungarian and was very friendly. We stopped at Ipolybél for directions and were greeted in Hungarian before we could say "hello". (They noticed our Hungarian license plate.) Next we stopped at Ipolyszalka near a church to rest. It was Sunday morning about 10:00AM when we heard organ music playing inside the church. The folks were singing in Hungarian and the priest was celebrating the mass in Hungarian also. After the mass we met this nice old gentleman, "Imre bácsi", who was 82 years old. We talked with him for about an hour. He told us interesting stories and he asked us to say hello to our countrymen in Hungary and America. We gladly oblige him. From Ipolyszalka we went to Párkány (Sturovo). There is a new bridge here built in 2001 called the Mária Valéria Bridge that was destroyed during WWII. It connects Slovakia with Hungary between Sturovo (Párkány) and Esztergom. The view of Esztergom from Párkány is gorgeous!