Jesse’s birthday was on May 5th, and our friend Eszter invited us home with her for the weekend. It was great to spend time with her family and to see a new part of Hungary. Living on the Great Plain, we forget that Hungary does in fact have hills. The landscape reminded me of central and southern Ohio.
On Saturday, we took a narrow gauge (tourist) train from Miskolc to Lillafüred. The open-air ride into the hills was chilly but a lot of fun. In Lillafüred we took a tour of Saint István cave. We caught some glimpses of bats flitting around the stalactites and stalagmites.
We took the train back down the hill and headed to Diósgyőr Castle. It was a favorite hunting castle of King Louis the Great of Hungary in the fourteenth century, and a favorite spot of the queens of Hungary for several centuries until the area came under Turkish rule.
In the afternoon, we went back to Eszter’s family’s flat for lunch and birthday cake. Eszter’s mom is an excellent baker. The cake reminded us of our wedding cake. From the expression on Jesse’s face, you can tell that he was pretty excited to dig in.
In the evening, we strolled around Miskolc’s city center. It was really charming. I was fascinated by a gate with hundreds of lovers’ padlocks. We wondered how many of the couples are still together.
On Sunday, we went to Miskolctapolca, a spa town with a cave bath. We didn’t have time to take a dip in the cave bath, but we strolled around the lake and enjoyed the adorable ducklings.
On the way back to Debrecen, we stopped at Eszter’s family’s cottage, tucked away on a hill.
Jesse kept his eyes out for squirrels, but they were elusive. This one looks like he was ready for a showdown, but he dashed into the grass as soon as Jesse snapped his picture. Hungarian squirrels have hilarious pointy ears.
Such a splendid weekend involving a cave, a castle, and a birthday cake is hard to top!