Eger revisited

It had been a while since I’d been to Eger. I spent a weekend there once, the memory of which is tainted with just a smidgen of disappointment. I’d been hearing about the Valley of Beautiful Women for an age and was a little put out to see that there was only one woman. I have a vague recollection of being disappointed in the wine and can only recall there being one main square. But then time has a weird way of rewriting history and melding memories into mush.

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I don’t ever remember seeing this – and can’t for the life of me decide if it was purposely built or whether an existing church has been spaced-aged. Saw it from the bus on the way into town. We’d been up since the crack of dawn to catch the 7.15 down, a near two-hour journey that was far more pleasant than the return one later that evening.

On our way back from glamping, we got off at the castle, just to have a look-see. The town looks very different from on high.

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There’s a fair few churches and it would take more than the few hours we had to see them all. But we did venture into a couple. Candles to light, prayers to say, and all that. I don’t ever remember seeing the minaret before though – nor the Turkish teahouse in the Yurt!

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But then, Hungary is nothing if not surprising. And fair play to those with a little imagination who find a gap in the market and go for it. I had been wondering what the little blue-and-white Turkish-looking symbols were all over town – perhaps they mark a trail to this very tent.

It was particularly hot. The heat seemed to amplify the colouring with the yellows looking even more yellow than usual.

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I wrote before about how the shop signs made me question observation and the part taking photos can play in heightening our awareness. I found some old favourites and some new ones.

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While wandering the town I do what I always do – ask myself if I could live there. Perhaps not surprisingly, the answer was a qualified no. If I had to, for some reason, I’m sure I’d be fine. But it’s not somewhere I’d choose to live. There’s something a little odd about the place that I can’t quite put my finger on. I get the feeling that it has succumbed to the tourist forint and that life is now about capitalising on its offer. Nothing wrong with that at all. We live in a capitalist world. But something is missing… That said, any place that has seen the virtues of pairing wine and chocolate can’t be all bad.

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4 replies
  1. Bernard Adams
    Bernard Adams says:

    I rather like Eger . . . If you go again, go up the minaret if you don’t suffer from claustrophobia and vertigo, and if there’s nothing wrong with your knees. The Pasha’s Tent is quite new, and the Camera Oscura on top of the Licéum is a curio.

  2. hungarianhotdog
    hungarianhotdog says:

    Hey Mary, I live and work in Eger and am most upset at your rather dismissive attitude to what is the finest small city in Europe, if not the world. I urge you to re-revisit and let me show you around – my site is a good place to start. Thanks, Mary

    • Mary Murphy
      Mary Murphy says:

      Each to their own, I say. Not every city or town in the world can be everything to everyone. Sit any number of people in a room and ask them to pick between Budapest, Vienna, and Prague, for example, and you’ll get a heated debate on the (de)merits of each. My pieces are my reflections of where I visit, Charles. My take on what I saw and, with Eger in particular, what I felt. You live there, you love the place, your site says as much. And well done you. But castigating me for my ‘rather dismissive attitude’ and choosing to be ‘most upset’ hardly makes for a lively debate on the merits of your city, though 🙂 If I find myself back that way again, I’ll be sure to check out your site in more detail.


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