A short trip to Hungarian cellars
There are many warm, sunny weekends ahead of us. When we do not know where to go for a quick trip, or when we cannot afford a longer vacation, it will be a great idea to travel to Hungary, to the nice town of Tokaj. Not everyone knows where it lies, but everyone knows the famous white dessert wine made of dried grapes.
The visit does not necessarily have to be short, but the journey itself should not take much time, unless someone wants to come from Gdańsk. For example, from Krynica Morska we will reach our destination in three hours with a hook, from Kraków - in five. Along the way, you can make a few stops in interesting places and thus make your trip more enjoyable (and most importantly extend).
Mineral springs of Bardejov
The first stop can be made in Slovak Bardejov ( Bardejov , Bardiów), located on the Topla River, in the northern part of the Ondava Foothills. It is considered by many - and probably rightly so - one of the most beautiful European cities. The entire old part of downtown with its Renaissance monuments was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. The square surrounded by picturesque tenement houses with the Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall in the center (the oldest Renaissance monument in Slovakia) enchants tourists with its charm and atmosphere. The city also prides itself on its defensive walls - the best preserved in the country. The most valuable monument in Bardejov is Egidia , the Gothic basilica of St. Idzi with 11 late gothic wooden altars. Its tower offers a great view of the city.
In the past, the city was an important center of crafts and trade - it was the local merchants who sold the wine from Tokaj to Poles. In the 18th century, Bardejów became famous for its valuable mineral springs, which we can use today. The Bardejovské Kúpele spa is located in close proximity to the town.
From Bardejów to the next stop is approx. 45 minutes drive. Presov is an industrial center and an important transport hub, as well as a cultural center. It hosts many cultural events, including the October jazz festival and the August Marian pilgrimage to the Great Šariš. The lace-making festival held at the turn of September and October, i.e. Medzinárodný f estival Paličkovanej čipky , is also of great importance for the city.
The center of Prešov is full of monuments from different eras, which clearly shows how multicultural this city is. We can find here gothic buildings, such as the oldest building in Prešov, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the beautiful Renaissance Rakoczi Palace. There are also temples of various denominations and a great synagogue, where you can see a collection of Jewish souvenirs.
After leaving the nice Prešov, we pass Košice. It is a city that in 2013, together with the French Marseille, serves as the European Capital of Culture.
The city of Bacchus - Tokaj
Our destination, Tokaj , lies at the southern foot of the volcanic mountain of the same name. The city is not big, but it is impossible to deny its charm. On one side, on the slope of the Tokajska Mountain, also known as Łysa Góra, there are famous vineyards, in the background you can see a high TV transmitter, and on the other side, the town is surrounded by the Tisza bed, which connects with the Bodrog River. The most important monument of Tokaj is the Rákóczi-Dessewffy Palace, the former seat of the great leader standing on the main street. There is also a Baroque-style Town Hall. The 600-year-old Rákoczi cellars are located on the main square, which are undoubtedly the biggest attraction for tourists visiting the town. The cellars are huge - the largest one is over 28 meters long and 5 meters high. There are solid oak barrels in it, although nowadays most of the space is taken up by tasting tables. And here is information for those on a budget! The tasting is paid, while in other cellars (maybe not so famous, but not worse) it is usually free.
The three main grape varieties grown in Tokaj are Furmint, Hárslevelû and Sárga Muskotály. The variation of Aszú is also popular, and it once delighted King Louis XIV so much that he called tokaja Aszú "the wine of kings and the king of wines." While in the city, it is worth visiting the Tokaj Museum, located in the former home of Greek wine merchants. Most of the exhibits are thematically related to wine - tourists can see a collection of ancient wine tools, city archives and statements of famous people about the equally famous tokaj. In the city center you will also find the fountain of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine Dionysus. A kind of Dionysia is held here every September and is called the Grape Harvest Days .
It is worth staying here longer, because there are many attractions in the area that are worth exploring. The resort of Miskolc is located near Tokaj. It is notable if only because its thermal pools (Barlangfurdo) are located in a natural karst cave. In the close vicinity of Miskolc, there is the Lillafüred resort with a luxurious lakeside resort. The palace is surrounded by a beautiful park with specimens of exotic trees and shrubs, and at the back of the building there are "Hanging Gardens". The nearby attraction is also a complex of caves (including Stefan's Cave) and an artificial 20-meter waterfall on the Szinva River. It is the highest waterfall in Hungary.
Tiszavirág Camping és Vendégház is located at the junction of the Bodrog and Tisza rivers. Overnight on it costs 1,200 Ft / person, and the cost of a parking space is 2,250 Ft. Motorhome owners will have no problems with access to electricity, and the campsite staff speaks English and German. However, if someone can not make up his mind, he still has to choose one of the numerous offers of the local "beaters". For an appropriate fee, they will provide us with a place for a motorhome and access to electricity, hot water and even a kitchen. It is worth considering this option - we have guaranteed intimacy. But wherever we stop, we will like it, after all, we are in Tokaj.
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