Main Square with the Trinity column
The baroque sculpture of the Trinity Column is in the centre of the main square.This votive sculpture was built by Eva Katalin Thokoly and her husband Jakab Lowenburg to commemorate their survival of the plague (1695-1701).
Sopron - A little taste of Hungary
"Why Sopron ?"
Some time ago I read an article about Sopron's Old Town which lodged itself in my imagination and refused to go away. Sometime afterwards I checked it out in the Rough Guide to Hungary and was gobsmacked by the accolades heaped on it by the usually, less then effusive, RG. On a previous trip to Vienna and Bratislava in 2006, I'd been unable to get there, so earlier this week, once more in Vienna, an opportunity presented itself. I hopped on a train at Vienna's Sudbahnhof and 90 minutes later I'd crossed the Hungarian border and finally made it to Sopron.
"Good Decision ?? Definitely!"
I did think the Rough Guide had slightly overstated the case in terms of Sopron's spectacular architecture but the Old Town is really picturesque, full of interesting buildings and historical associations. What I particularly liked is that it has not (as yet) been overprettified and apart from the very centre there are few obvious concessions to tourism. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that I arrived at the crack of dawn on Monday but the streets in the Old Town were amazingly quiet and peaceful. The route from the station and around the rest of town were full of life but the old heart of Sopron was 'quiet as a nun'.
"' Doing ' Sopron"
On this small page I am posting some transport tips, things to see and do in the Old Town and one or two general tips such as the town's connection with Franz Liszt / Liszt Ferenc. The Fire Tower is of such importance, historically, architecturally and every other way possible in Sopron that I will deal with it seperately under the 'local customs' section. Whether you've already been to Sopron or never even heard of it, I hope you will accompany me on a virtual amble through this lovely town. One of the joys of VT is highlighting good destinations which aren't so well known outside of their own country and it is my very great pleasure to present this small glimpse of Sopron.
Sopron's Tourist office is on the corner of Templom utca and Szechnyi ter in the huge yellow conference and culture centre. You will find it just five minutes away from the station by following Matyas Kiraly as far as the large white church which marks its corner with Szechnyi ter. Just turn left here and the Central Post Office and the Cultural and Conference Centre are directly opposite.
Our Trip: Sopron- Tapolca
We leisurely traveled from Sopron to Budapest, with a 2 night stopover in Tapolca. We got into Tapolca late on the first day. The second day we explored Lake Balaton region. On the thrid morning we headed out for Budapest. The following are some of the highlights off the beaten path.
First Stop: Koszeg, just to see the old city center ("Centrum" on the highway signs)
South of Koszeg is the little town of Cak. The most picturesque part of the town is this row of wine cellars. We only stopped long enough to take the picture and look around the village
A larger city with interesting architecture. We had a very nice lunch here at a restaurant recommended by the person at the tourinform office downtown.
We wanted to explore this castle in the worst way but, alas, it was closed (Open approx May- Oct.) It was still neat to see. If you look carefully you can see people walking up the hill and some sledding down! There are also stables for horseback riding at the bottom of the hill.
There is not too much to say about the town itself. But it is a central point from which to explore the Lake Balaton area. We stayed two nights at Hotel Gabriella. It is a converted flour mill and has a nice restaurant.They have a family room with 4 beds available.
To the East of Taploca along the lake side highway is a turnoff for Tihany. You can drive there and back in about 2 hours.
The next morning we took off for Budapest, which was just a couple of hours away.