Two weeks ago playgroup was up in Esztergom, which is about an hour and a half train ride North and a little West of Budapest. We’d been meaning to go see Esztergom for a while so we decided to take advantage of playgroup being up there and make a day of it. Esztergom was originally the capitol of Hungary until it was destroyed in one of the many invasions of Hungary and the King decided to move to the hills of Buda which are a little easier to defend. The basilica there rests on the place where the first King of Hungary, Istvan was crowned by the Pope after accepting Christianity for himself and therefore all of Hungary apparently.
Playgroup was really fun and Sylvia’s house had a beautiful view of the Basilica that Esztergom is known for. Avery got to go swimming in the little pool they had there and she swam until she was shivering so badly she almost couldn’t talk. Even then I had to pull her out against her will. After playgroup Sylvia was really kind to pick up Ivan at the train station and then drive us all to the Basilica.
The inside was very pretty and very large. Ivan says it’s the tallest building in Hungary and one of the largest in Europe. I’m not sure where he gets his facts from, but I would believe it.
After seeing the inside I went up all the millions of stairs to the top of the dome to see the Danube bend from up high. Ivan was nice and stayed down with the kids, which was good because the last set of stairs was so narrow the stroller would not have been a good idea, and I was nearly dead on my own by the time I got up there. The kids would not have been fun to haul up with me. The view was nice, but not as exciting as I was expecting I suppose.
There was a museum built on Roman ruins that was neat to see from above.
We took a boat back to Budapest because the boat dock was significantly more convenient to get to from the church than the train station, and also so we could see the Danube. On the way to the dock we had a couple minutes so we stuck our feet in the Danube. It felt really good. It was one of the hottest days of the Summer and the temperature was up in the mid 30s C or mid 90s F if I remember correctly. The boat trip was about 3 1/2 hours (there’s a faster one, but it’s more expensive and didn’t leave when we needed it to or something like that). Avery fell asleep about a half hour in and slept the entire trip. Evelyn on the other had ran giddily around the entire boat for the whole three hours. Kids are funny.
From the river is the best way to photograph the basilica I think. We also saw the castle at Visegrád.
And the new bridge north of Budapest that we learned last week they just built about two years ago.
We got home around 9 and got to work on getting Avery to go to sleep after a 3 hour nap. Esztergom was a lot of fun though.