You know our routine by now. Given a warm and sunny Saturday, we will not be found running an errand, undertaking a chore, or pursuing any other such nonsense.

 Our road trip today took us to Esztergom, Hungary. Once it was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary (before Buda became a Pest and took over), but has always been the seat of the Catholic church in Hungary. The Esztergom Basilica is an impressive structure, towering 72 meters above the Donau. In fact, the basilica is the third largest (in height) in Europe, behind St. Peter’s in Vatican City and St. Paul’s in London.
The basilica was designed in the Classicist style and is remarkable in its simplicity.

 

 

Estztergom lies across the Donau from Štúrovo, Slovakia, and was a major border crossing between the two countries. In 1944, however, retreating German troops made waste of the bridge, and the inability of the Communist Czechoslovakian and Hungarian governments to get along meant the countries were disconnected for almost 60 years. The new bridge, part of the EU Welcome Package, was opened in 2001.
The basilica sits on “Castle Hill” among corresponding ruins and a park that made for most excellent exploration by all of the children.

The Emperor Foxhound is not spoiled at all by his European outings.

 

Tiny daisies picked from the field in her hair. That’s my daughter!

Ruins roaming makes a family “hungary.”  There are but a handful of restaurants in the immediate area; this one, with pretty outdoor seating and satisfying Hungarian fare was deemed a great choice by all.
On the walk back to the car I added a few of these painted wooden eggs to my ever-growing collection.
The drive along the rural stretch to and from Esztergom was sprinkled with little villages and the dusty remains of Communism. As I now have a rather extensive collection of border crossing photos I am moving on to scenes from “The Social Times,” “Happy Times,” or before “The Changes,” terms our Eastern European friends use to refer to the days under Communism.
Even in its day, waiting at this bus shelter would hardly inspire a factory worker. Compared to some we have seen in the Czech Republic, though, this one is fancy.
“Glory be to work with us to do the honor.” Now that is inspirational.