Not wanting to spend all my time in the city, I asked Tim about potential day trips and he recommended that I check out Szentendre. This was an old town in the country that was well preserved and offered a nice place to walk around and buy things.
Getting there required a private train, meaning not included on my rail pass. Parting with the 260 forints made me pretty sad, but at least I had decent weather and a lovely countryside to enjoy. When I arrived, I got supplies for what would be my best cheese and bread sandwich to date. I was able to get some cheap salami to with the spicy, soft cream cheese.
Walking around the place was really nice, but it wasn’t exactly packed with things to do. I didn’t really fit the demographics of tourists either, and mostly just saw elderly couples sauntering about.
One of the places that I had to visit was a marzipan museum. The word itself wasn’t unfamiliar, but I had no idea what substance actually was. As I learned, it was a paste made of ground almond and sugar. The real draw of this place was the collection of statues made entirely of marzipan. Some were enormous and others really detailed, but I was very impressed.
Another one, smaller but more detailed.
I stopped at an old yet mediocre church located up on a hill. I went in because it was there, but the value came from the nice view of the town. I ran into a couple of Japanese people and was able to talk about Tokyo winning the Olympic bid, and where they intended to cram the stadiums in an already dense metropolis.
I walked around for a while longer and stopped by a few shops. One of the things that I was looking for was a 200 forint note, which had been suspended in the last couple years. I’m not really into gathering old money for my collection, but this one looked just as modern as all the others in current circulation, so it had to be mine… It took some effort, but I finally found one. After that I grabbed a snack at the same supermarket as before and returned to base. This day trip was definitely a nice change of pace from Budapest.
After getting my bag sorted, I was off to the next destination. Before bidding farewell to this place, I stopped at the nearby McDonald’s. Not only was I able to eat some sort of Hungarian pepper burger, but I was able to consume it in one of the nicest McDonald’s on the planet. It is located in a building designed by a certain Gustave Eiffel, known for some other things.