Europe Day Six: Hungary To Slovakia. A Scenic And Informative Three Hour Drive With A Stop In Historic Holloko
After my Sunday morning walk I had breakfast at the Hilton Hotel in Budapest, Hungary, packed and checked out of my hotel at 10 a.m. I was leaving Hungary and my driver , Marek was waiting to transport me to the Slovakian city of Kosice. I would stay here for five days, hoping to find the villages where my great grandparents were born. We where soon on the highway engaging in conversations on so many subjects. He knew so much about the history, culture and natural environment of both Hungary and Slovakia. And he was also enjoyed hunting for wild mushrooms like me!
It was about a three hour drive to Kosice, a city I never heard of before I decided to make this trip a week before I left. I had five days to learn a little about it. . My driver told me there were some thunderstorms on his drive down, but, although the skies looked threatening, it did not rain.
We did not drive directly to Kosice. I had arranged a visit to the Palocz village of Holloko , a UNESCO World Heritage Site near the Hungary/Slovakia border. So we left the main highway and drove through some small towns and villages.
After about an hour drive we arrived in Hollok. It was now sunny, perfect weather to explore this historic village. It was, and is, occupied by the Palocz people, an ethic minority who claim to be the first people to live in Hungary. They are a farming people and their village and culture is centered upon this rural lifestyle,
The village is old, dating back to the 13th century. However the castle and original homes were destroyed during the Turkish invasion. The village was rebuilt in the 17th century after the Turks were expelled. Although the homes and buildings in the village are built in the 17th century style almost all of the original structures were lost in fires over the years.
where there the homes were still maintained to look as they were three to four hundred years ago. As I said earlier, most of the original wooden buildings have been destroyed in fires over the years. However the residents still maintain the customs and lifestyles of their ancestors.
such as this cemetery I saw on my walk out of the village. It was still another great experience and my last one before I left the beautiful country of Hungary. Here is a link to a gallery in my blog website with more photos from my visit to Holloko. Europe Day Six: Hungary Holloko June 5 2022.
The forest would become mixed with pine as we climbed higher into the hills. The air smelled so fresh and clean. We talked about our knowledge of mushrooms, and knew so many of the same edible species that grow in both of our countries. I plan to return in the fall and search for some in the mountains as I am sure my ancestors did.
The hills became higher and we drove through areas rich in iron deposits the were mined for many centuries. The exposed red colored rock on some of the hills would be an indication of the iron ore contained in the rocks.
Kosice was important since the 13th century because of the iron deposits and it’s location on a trade route from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans and the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. The city declined in the middle ages but once again grew when a large steel plant was built in the 1960’s. The steel plants was recently acquired by U. S. Steel. and now employs 12,000 workers. It is the largest employer in Slovakia. We soon passed the steel plant and,
and were within the limits of the city of 250,000 residents. Marek dropped me off at the Hilton Hotel where I would be staying the next four days. I said farewell to Marek and checked into my hotel, I was excited and quickly took my luggage to my room. I was soon exploring the streets of Kosice Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my drive from Hungary to Slovakia. Europe Day Six Drive to Slovakia June 5 2022.
When I go to a foreign country I want to explore and get lost, discover the real place.