In Hungary, Budapest gets all the attention and deservedly so, it’s a magnificent city with all a tourist could ask for. Yet Debrecen, Hungary’s second-city, exudes a charm all its own. Who wouldn’t want to escape the hordes of foreign tourists in the capital, and head for a more subdued yet fascinating cultural experience in Hungary’s far-east?….
‘You need to go to St. Andrea’, people kept telling me. Indeed, Hungarians continually urged me to visit this award-winning winery in the Eger Wine Region to sample their take on the famed Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood from Eger) blend. In February my wife Anita and I dropped in unplanned but St. Andrea’s tasting room was under renovation. When my brother Paul visited from California two weeks ago, we toured Eger and figured a tasting at St. Andrea would be the perfect finish to our day. With reservations made well in advance, Paul, Anita and I showed up for a late afternoon tour. Without exaggeration it was to be one of the most compelling winery visits I’ve had—anywhere….
The Hungarian parliament building is nothing short of an architectural masterpiece. One cannot visit Budapest without falling under its magnetic spell. Still, it took 10 years of annual visits before I finally toured the interior a couple of weeks ago when my brother visited. What took me so long? Well, I’m not entirely sure but I now know that I overlooked what turned out to be one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had in Hungary. The history, the opulence and the sheer magnitude of this magnificent structure make the tour a must-do activity in the pulsing Hungarian capital….