We’re on our way to Ybbs an der Donau in Austria and Gyor seems like a good halfway point. We arrive at 12.30 just in time for lunch. We find an indoor parking lot so we won’t be restricted with regard to time (we still have our two parking tickets from Szeged) and set out to discover the historical centre of Gyor which is Hungary’s third largest industrial town.
We are immediately attracted by the centre. It’s spacious, clean and bright with many typical baroque buildings – the blue sky and sun help of course. We debate about whether to eat at what looks like the largest tourist restaurant in town – Palffy’s – on the main square, Szechenyi Ter, and wander down to the Danube, taking photos on the way.
Matroz Czarda with its vaulted ceiling and open door beckons to us (the temperature is not quite high enough to eat outside comfortably) and we are given a table for six as it’s the only one left. We both choose Hungarian ribs which turn out to be some sort of pork (no sign of ribs) with a tomato, onion and paprika sauce, served with French fries. I’m happy with it but Jean Michel regrets the ribs.
I see there are three different red house wines by the glass so I ask the waiter the difference. On is a wine and soda mix, one a cola and soda mix and the other straight wine. I later learn soda water was invented in Gyor.
Next stop, the cathedral, Bazilika Szent Laszlo Herma, nearly a thousand years old, consecrated in 1033. Its neoclassic façade dates from 1823 and its baroque interior including a marble pulpit from 1743. What a mixture!
I am keen to see the Xantus Janos Museum, which is said to house a good ethnic collection. Unfortunately it’s closed but we can’t find out why.
We have a cup of coffee at Palffy’s for the view then return to the car park by which time it’s 3.30 pm. Next stop, Ybbs.