Thursday, February 11, 2010

Small but Lovely Szentendre

By 9am it was already 28 degrees Celsius in the shade. Wanting to sample some of Hungary outside of Budapest, we took a riverboat to the town of Szentedre. The riverboat picks up passengers on both the Pest and Buda sides of the Danube before heading to the pretty Baroque town.

Travellers in the know were quick to grab seats on the top deck of the boat. With the breezy upper deck filled, we sat at a table in the hot, enclosed lower deck. Despite the heat, the views through the windows were great for watching life along the river.

Locals on the river banks enjoyed their weekend by sun bathing and swimming. Many leisure boats plied the Danube including rowboats, canoes, kayaks and even dragon boats with drummers beating out the pace. Countless numbers of cyclists were visible on park trails and roads. All this activity seemed to explain why, despite the heavier foods, most of the locals were fairly slim.

The river landscape is similar to Ontario. Besides beaches and parks, small houses were scattered along the banks. I wondered if people used them all year, or just in the summer.

The town of Szentendre was beautiful with its gorgeous architecture, cobblestone streets and Serbian structures. The town was packed with day trippers taking in the ambiance. Our family headed straight for the food.

According to Frommers, we were in the best place in Hungary to get Lango; Alom Langos, located in the centre of town is open March-November, Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm. We had to try it. Walking through a narrow, enclosed alleyway, we made our way to the small outdoor shop. Besides tourists, many Hungarians were lined up for lunch, but we didn’t have to wait too long to put in our order.

Langos is dough that is stretched, deep fried then topped with sweet or savoury offerings such as cheese, sausage, ham, sour cream, garlic, sugar, and fruit spreads. They cost between $2.00-$3.50 CAD and they’re similar to Canada’s Beavertails. If in Hungary, you have to try them at least once. My boys loved them.

Szentendre is a wonderful town for walking and exploring; beautiful architecture, old churches, hills, museums, galleries, quaint shops and great people watching. Not to mention, some amazing baked ice cream.

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