Having originally booked to stay 3 nights in Zagreb, Croatia, we had a change of heart. We had had enough of Croatia and decided to move things around so we could have some more time in Hungary. We chose to stay in the northern town of Gyor for two reasons: first the train from Ljubljana was the cheapest and fastest, and second the town of Sopron was an easy train ride from Gyor.
After a slow but million times more comfortable train journey we arrived into Gyor train station. Our first impression was fantastic as we arrived on Sunday afternoon and the central city was packed with locals enjoying the sunshine and an ice cream or two. Our accommodation was less than 600 meters from the center and more than acceptable.
We spent our first full day exploring the downtown area. With hundreds of statues and amazing architecture it is the perfect place to wander and enjoy. We had a delicious picnic lunch on Rado island, a tiny island between two rivers close to the city center and escaped the afternoon heat in the local mall. After yet another delicious dinner we enjoyed a quiet stroll along the banks of the river.
Our second full day we decided to have a day trip to Sopron a town about an hour west of Gyor. Sopron has in the past been part of Austria so has a very different feel. We arrived mid morning after enjoying a bag free train journey and strolled towards the old town about 5 minutes from the train station. The old town is small with many beautiful buildings, unfortunately for us there was a lot of roadworks and building renovation happening and many of the beautiful buildings had diggers and trucks outside. Not ideal for looking at or for photos. We found the old town beautiful and perfect for urban exploring but realistically could only spend about an hour outside before the excessive heat (40 degrees!) got to us and we needed to find air conditioning and food.
The towns of Gyor and Sopron are similar but unique. They are small and easy to explore by foot and have so many amazing historical building and sculptures. We truly enjoyed our time exploring. Plus our initial impressions of Hungary were that it is vastly different to Slovenia, Croatia, and the other countries we had visited on this trip. Not only by way of architecture and feel, but also the people. It seemed that regardless of age, body shape, or location, showing as much skin as possible is the done thing!
Next stop: Budapest!