Monday, 22 August 2016

Our 2014 Hungarian Rail Trip 2/4 - Miskolc + Miskolctapolca + Lillafüred

DAY 1

For the next leg of our rail trip, we stayed in the holiday resort-type small town of Miskolctapolca. However, since to get there, you need to go to Miskolc (which happens to be one of the twin towns of my hometown Tampere!), we decided to drop our bags at the station and spend our first day exploring Miskolc. At the station, we bought 3-day bus cards, and then took off to see Diósgyőri vár, the castle. It was under construction at the time, but it didn't really matter as it's not the type of castle that has a lot of stuff inside. We wandered around on the castle walls and went to a couple of tiny exhibitions there before heading back to downtown Miskolc for lunch.






Downtown, we ate at a local shopping mall and then had a look at the city itself. Miskolc is an industrial town so I didn't expect it to be particularly pretty, but I was very happily surprised! In fact, I think in Hungary, everything is pretty! We also ended up going to a really pretty, old cemetery, which was up on a hill and somehow reminded me of Paris.








Jegeskávé = ice coffee!

One of the coolest sun dials ever :)!

The town hall.



Eventually at some point in the afternoon, we decided it was time to get our stuff and catch the next bus to Miskolctapolca. Basically we're talking about a 20-minute trip, but what a difference it makes! Miskolctapolca is the most perfect little holiday resort village type of place with ice cream, lemonade, swan ponds, pedal boats, a summer sled track, and the exotic Cave Spa, which I'll write more about later. Really romantic and really summery - for me, it was love at first sight! We'd booked a pension house through szallas.hu and got a lovely room upstairs with our own balcony. Once we'd checked in, we went for an evening walk to explore our surroundings...

Getting our stuff from the station and heading to Miskolctapolca.


The view from our balcony.


Lovely ponds...



Dinner is served!
Now, there was still a little incident in the evening...In Hungary - probably in most countries, actually, but not Finland - you lock the door with an actual key. (In Finland you just bang the door and tada, it's locked! So if you forgot your key inside, congratulations!) You turn the key several times, and some locks can be quite tricky as you may need to hold the key or the handle in a certain position to be able to lock the door properly. Well. Let's just say that me and Hungarian locks and keys don't go together very well. In other words, what I managed to do was lock us inside the room AND BREAK THE KEY IN THE LOCK!! Like seriously, it went into pieces. Needless to say that the toilet (that I quite desperately needed by this point) was outside our room - yes, the one that I'd just managed to imprison us into. It was around 11:20 pm and the owners lived downstairs, so we decided to try to call them. They had small kids so we felt quite embarrassed, but what else could we do, really? Unfortunately, we could hear the phone ringing downstairs but no one picked it up. We tried to wake up the people staying in the room next to ours but they were snoring loudly in their beds - and through the balcony, I saw that they'd actually consumed quite a few bottles of wine, so no matter how we banged our door or tried to get their attention through our adjacent balconies, they just wouldn't wake up. Next I was planning to slide down some pipes through the balcony but Julcsi wasn't into my idea as she didn't want me breaking any more toes 2013 style. HELP!! We tried to call the owners again and luckily this time they picked it up and hurried to the rescue with a toolbox...It was a seriously long process to get us out, but eventually we were released! I hadn't met the owner yet as Julcsi did the check in, so once the door opened, the owner extended his hand to me and said "Hello! Tamás!", introducing himself to the moron from Finland who didn't know how to open a door like a normal person...:D :D And in case you're wondering: No, I did NOT learn from my mistake as I have another story quite like this up my sleeve...

DAY 2

On our second day in this area, we went to Barlangfürdő, or the Cave Spa. It was one of the coolest experiences ever! The water is quite cold compared to other spas in Hungary, or at least it felt like it on that day, but what a setting! You literally swim in natural caves - look:


As most of the spa is inside, what with the caves and everything, I don't have too many pictures from there as whenever I tried to take a picture, it was simply too steamy for the lens. But, here's what the place looks like from the outside:



 
We spent almost the whole day at the spa because in Hungary, you can! In Finland, many spas only let you swim for a couple of hours, which is not enough at all. For me, the point of going to a spa is relaxing, and how exactly can you relax if you need to be worried about your time being up all the time? Spas are definitely one of my favourite things in Hungary!

In the evening, we went for another walk, had some ice cream in the park plus drinks with burgers, and just enjoyed life :). I don't know if I've become old or what, but I REALLY loved Miskolctapolca and its laid back holiday atmosphere! I could easily spend a week or two there!





Our pension house.

The owners' cat <3!




DAY 3

On our final day in this area, we went to Lillafüred. It's yet another resort a bit more than 10 km from Miskolc, in the Bükk Mountains - super beautiful! We decided to go there by this cute, old-fashioned train through the forest:









Once we had arrived, we decided to walk around the artificial Hámori-tó lake, which was so beautiful! I seriously felt like I was in Pocahontas or something! You could also rent row boats and pedal boats, though we did neither.





Then we went to Anna-barlang, which is a natural limestone cave that was discovered in the 19th century. I hadn't really visited any caves before this one so I was quite interested in the experience. While waiting for our turn to enter, we took a closer look at the nearby waterfall, and afterwards, we wandered around the castle-like Palace Hotel, Palotaszálló before having some soup and heading back to town.




The views are really gorgeous!

Some pictures from inside the caves!







Palotaszálló - a pretty gorgeous hotel, no?

Raguleves, soooo good!

Lillafüred is such a gorgeous place! When Miskolctapolca is good for families with children with a lot of simple activities for all age groups, Lillafüred is probably better suited to older people, or people who appreciate nature, I guess. I loved both!

Once we were back in Miskolc, we noticed that there was a crazy queue at one specific ice cream stall. We figured that it would probably be worth it to join it as with a queue like that, you were bound the get something good...We ended up with the hugest ice creams in the world :D :D :D! Delicious, too!




In the evening, we (or I, but it's fun to force your partner to do stuff with you...:D) wanted to give the sled track a go. In Hungarian, it's called Bobpálya (I know, I know the strangest words in Hungarian :D!) and it was definitely worth the ride! I have fond memories of something quite like this from when I was a kid and we used to go camping with my dad and my sister...we went to a place called Messilä in Hollola, Finland and rode this type of track over and over again. Now it's no longer there, but luckily you can bump into random things in random places like Miskolctapolca :D.

LOVED IT! Nothing to add :D.



We also bought the picture of us coming down the track but unfortunately neither one of us remembers where we've put it. I hope it'll turn up one day!

After the ride, we had a slushie each plus some wine on our balcony before packing it up again and moving on to Eger the following day. Stay tuned :)!


2 comments:

  1. Vähän ihana toi luolakylpylä! Voittaa kyllä jopa Blue Lagoonin mun mielestä (tosin tykkään sellasesta 40 C vedestä ennemmin kuin kylmemmästä :D). Mitä tossa keitossa on muuta kuin porkkanaa? Näyttää vihreältä - kurkkua???? (Tietty oon kiinnostunein ruoasta :D

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    1. Joo, oli kyllä oikeesti hieno! Mäkin silti tykkään sellasesta kuumasta vedestä, erityisesti jos ulkona on kylmä :D. Keitossa on porkkanan lisäksi herneitä, persiljanvarsia ja kyssäkaalia tms. Ruosta pitääkin olla kiinnostunut ;)!

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