A day in Mezőkovesd and Eger

As part of my Hungarian culture class at university, I went on a day trip to the cities of  Mezőkovesd and Eger. I learned more about old-fashioned Hungarian crafts, the Siege of Eger (Hungarian vs. Ottoman Empire) in 1552 (unfortunately, the pictures at the dungeon didn’t turn out that well), and got to take some nice pictures I would like to share with you today.

Five cities in nine days

I had a spring break of ten days only a while ago and decided to visit some pretty cities during those free days. My route:

Vienna – Bratislava – Prague – Budapest – Debrecen

I will let you know more about those truly wonderful destinations throughout the next weeks. For now, just enjoy some of my favorite impressions of each city:

Vienna

I visited Vienna together with Malou, a study mate from Dortmund. We stayed with a super nice couchsurfing host for three days. We cooked together and he showed us some of his favorite spots in Vienna in the evenings. During the day, Malou and I strolled through the city, took tons of pictures, and climbed up the Gloriette  to enjoy a beautiful view over Schönbrunn castle and Vienna

Vienna Wien Schönbrunn Sissi by Laura Konieczy

This picture is dedicated to my best friend Janni (I’m working on our list ;))

Bratislava

I stayed in Bratislava for one and a half day. Since my couchsurfing host was busy during the day, I mostly walked through the city, gazed at its beautiful architecture and interesting statues and tried out some vegan and eco friendly cafés before we hang out together.

Bratislava Pressburg Prešporok Slovakia Cumil Statue by Laura Konieczny

Meet Cumil (transl.: peaker), the most famous guy in town.

Prague

Prague was my last destination before heading back to Hungary. I stayed with an Indian friend’s friend (the world is a small place). During the three days I spent in Prague, I visited most of the famous tourist attractions. However, I actually found Prague too touristy – Vienna and Bratislava didn’t seem to be so obvious about being tourist destinations. That is why my favorite place turned out to be a park near the Michael’s Bridge: it’s super quiet and super pretty during sunny spring days.

Park in Prague in Czech Republic by Laura Konieczny

Parks might be my favorite place in each city.

Budapest

My friends Hendrik and Tobias came to visit me in Hungary. I played their tour guide in Budapest (and actually was surprised about all the knowledge I have acquired about Hungarian history , and Budapest by now), they drank Hungarian beer and palinka, and we simply had a great time together.

Oh, how I missed those crazy guys 

Debrecen

Of course, I also wanted to show my friends “my” city in Hungary and was proud to show them around the lovely little town of Debrecen that had SICH HERAUSGEPUTZT as spring and my visitors from Germany arrived.

Kossuth Tér in Debrecen by Laura Konieczny

Kossuth Tér in Debrecen – the city’’s pretty main square.

Road trip to Romania

I have spent the Easter days traveling Romania with four of my friends. The destinations of our road trip:

Debrecen – Cluj-Napoca –Sighișoara – Sibiu – Debrecen

I have experienced Romania to be a very diverse country.

What I’ve learned during the three days I spent in Hungary’s Eastern neighbor? This, for example.

  • Some of the roads are almost as good as highways – most aren’t. It took us eight hours to drive the last 350 kilometers home due to shitty roads and roads under construction.
  • Quite a big number of Romanians uses horse carriages instead of cars on a regular basis.
  • Some of the most interesting houses to see on the road can be found in Roma villages. They are very pompous and colorful – but rarely ever finished.
  • Romanian houses are often painted in pretty and bright colors.
  • Many Romanian cities have at least two, sometimes three, names: a Romanian, a Hungarian and a German, because the country used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian-Empire.
    • Romanian/ German/ Hungarian
    • Cluj-Napoca – Klausenburg – Kolozsvár
    • Sighișoara – Schäßburg – Segesvár
    • Sibiu – Hermannstadt – Nagyszeben
  • Count Dracula’s birthplace in Sighisoara is a simple yellow-painted house. The view from the top of the city where it’s located whatsoever is very pretty.
  • Romanian pastries are just as tasty as Hungarian.
  • My favorite hostel to stay at was The Spot in Cluj-Napoca, a very artisty owner-run hostel that just opened past November.
  • The by far best vegetarian, (raw-)vegan food can be found at Samsara Foodhouse in Cluj-Napoca.
  • I found Sibiu to be the prettiest out of the three cities we visited.

 

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Road Trip nach Rumänien

Die Osterfeiertage habe ich mit vier Freundinnen in Rumänien verbracht. Unsere Route:

Debrecen – Cluj-Napoca –Sighișoara – Sibiu – Debrecen

Ich habe Rumänien als sehr ambivalentes Land erlebt. Was ich während der drei Tage in Ungarns östlichem Nachbarland gelernt habe? Unter anderem Folgendes:

  • Einige der rumänischen Straßen sind gut ausgebaut – der Großteil jedoch (noch) nicht. Für die letzten 350 Kilometer von Sibiu nach Debrecen brauchten wir acht Stunden und sind über Buckelpisten von Baustelle zu Baustelle geschlichen.
  • Ziemlich viele Rumänen benutzen ohnehin lieber Pferdewagen als Autos.
  • Die interessantesten Häuser kann man unterwegs bewundern, wenn man durch ein Roma-Dorf fährt. Die Häuser sind bunt bemalt und haben glitzernde Metalldächer. Fertig gebaut werden allerdings die wenigsten (das hat etwas mit den Steuern zu tun, wie mir ein rumänischer Bekannter später erklärte).
  • Rumänen streichen ihre Häuser generell gern in hübschen bunten Farben.
  • Viele rumänische Städte haben zwei, manchmal sogar drei, Ortsnamen, weil Rumänien einst Teil Östereich-Ungarns waren:
    • Rumänisch/ deutsch/ ungarisch
    • Cluj-Napoca – Klausenburg – Kolozsvár
    • Sighișoara – Schäßburg – Segesvár
    • Sibiu – Hermannstadt – Nagyszeben
  • Das Geburtshaus von Graf Dracula ist ziemlich unspektakulär. Der Blick über Sighisoara, den man vom höchsten Punkt der Stadt hat, ist dafür umso beeindruckender.
  • Rumänisches Gebäck ist genauso lecker wie Ungarisches.
  • Mein Lieblings-Hostel während unserer Reise: The Spot in Cluj-Napoca: ein inhabergeführtes Künstler-Hostel, das erst vergangenen November seine Pforten öffnete.
  • Das bei weitem beste vegetarisch und (roh-)vegane Restaurant, in dem ich seit langem gegessen habe, ist ebenfalls in Cluj-Napoca: das Samsara Foodhouse.
  • Sibiu hat es aufgrund seiner hübschen Altstadt und der netten Cafés trotzdem auf die Spitze meiner Liste der hübschesten Städte in Rumänien geschafft.

Enjoying everyday life in Debrecen

I have been super lazy when it came to blogging throughout the past few days (shame on me). The reason for that is as simple as: I was busy enjoying my everyday life. Besides taking English literature and Hungarian classes at the university, I am keeping myself busy by sporting, meeting my friends and engaging in social activities (yes, that’s pretty much the same I do in Germany minus working).

To give you an impression of what my daily life looks like, I have put together some impressions of the past two weeks’ activities.

Ich war in den letzten zwei Wochen ziemlich blogfaul (Schande über mein Haupt). Der Grund dafür ist ziemlich unspektakulär: ich war zu beschäftigt damit, meinen Alltag in Debrecen zu genießen. Neben meinen Uniseminaren über englischsprachige Literatur und meinem Ungarisch-Sprachkurs bin ich ständig auf Achse: ich gehe joggen, treffe Freunde und engagiere mich sozial – genau wie in Deutschland abzüglich meiner Jobs.

Um euch nicht ganz außen vor zu lassen, möchte ich heute einige Impressionen meiner Aktivitäten der vergangenen zwei Wochen teilen.