Vác You Been Up To?

Well, since you asked, I have to say we had an amazingly pleasurable day this last Friday. As I have mentioned previously, our friend Kat’s mother and aunt were staying with us. We offered to take them to Vác, a small town just 34 km (21.12 miles) outside of Budapest. Depending on the train you choose from the 3-4 options each hour, the ride can take either 28 minutes or a lengthy 45 minutes. The one-way fare is a paltry 650 Huf, less than a Starbucks Grande espresso.

Leaving home about 10am, I really thought we would be returning home close to early afternoon. Arriving at the train station, we decided to take the next very train after we had tickets in hand, regardless of how long it took. After all, the scenery would be new and different for our traveling companions. It did take us 45 minutes, but the train was clean and comfortable; the scenery was of interest to our companions.

Aunt Alice has problems walking, but Mary Beth is a champion walker who can keep pace with my long strides making her a desirable walking companion. Alice enjoyed Ron’s prodding pace, so she was quite comfortable being at his side, knowing he would accommodate all of her needs for a stop and sit break in stride. There were a few times when Mary Beth and I were so far ahead of them, we had to backtrack to make certain they knew where we were.

Once in the center square, I had convinced the two of the ladies they definitely needed to see the Memento Mori where the Dominican church crypts, including a few mummies are stored. When the white church across the square was under reconstruction, these were excavated. These crypts long forgotten were newly rediscovered, sealed in an airtight space; thus, all the clothing and much of their bodies remained intact. What I had not shared with the women was that the exhibit was downstairs. Had I done so, Alice would not have gone. As it was, with the investment of a ticket, she managed to get down and back up the stairs, exuding the magnificence of the display. Ron and I had seen these multiple times, so we waited.

The main square is utterly charming after a reconstruction from the last 8 years or so. Especially in the spring and summer months when the weather is agreeable, sitting at an outdoor café is a luxurious experience not to be missed.

Not too far off of the square is the Desszert Szalon at Köztársaság út 21. Here you will find some of the most unusual and lushest desserts in Hungary. The owner won the 2009 World Cup for Dessert Chefs. Rather pricey as one would expect, the ladies opted for an ice cream cone and the use of the bathroom.

The day was spent strolling, relaxing, and taking in the scenery. One of my favorite walking areas is the József Attila sétány, which runs along the Danube. A well-maintained park includes areas for children’s play equipment, bike paths, walking paths, benches to relax and flora abounds that would please any gardener.

As the day wore on, we decided to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in the town. Quite honestly, it is the only restaurant we have had meals at when in Vác. It has never disappointed, so there has never been a reason to change. Remete Pince is set on a hill on the small Fürdő lépcső utca 3 (Telephone: 27-302-199; Hours: noon to 10pm). What makes this our perpetual choice is the garden that adorns a large section above the outdoor seating. You can dine while feeling you are in a botanical garden. Sheer delight!

After our praise worthy, but light lunch, we continued our exercise regimen so we could indulge in dessert at Choco Cafe Váci Csokizó on the main square at Március 15 tér 20. Mary Beth, Ron and I ordered different slices of 3 pastries and then with great precision, divided them in 3’s. Alice, not being a dessert eater, was perfectly happy with one morsel of chocolate.

This was the topper for the day. We meandered back to the train and finally arrived home by 5:30 pm. My only regret was not having my camera. I did use my phone for some shots, but the battery was not fully charged when we left home. Next time…

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