The slow mornings continued to prevail, this time eventually making our way to Székesfehérvár – a city in Hungary that used to be its capital in the middle ages. After taking a Hogwarts-style train to the city, we walked through empty, serene roads lined with fruit trees to try and find sustenance – we sneakily picked off some ripe, tantalisingly orange apricots and ate the fresh flesh to temporarily fix our hunger.
At long last, we finally settled on bEAT restaurant – fine dining in the city without a hefty cost. To start, an amazing Hungarian meat and cheese platter served with slices of soft sourdough baguette. For mains, Hungarian ratatouille; slices of tomato, pepper, onion and more, in a rich tomato-y sauce, mixed with eggs and with two slim sausages atop. To finish we had the ultimate cheesecake, with a nutty, slightly green tinted biscuit bottom, flower petals and a lip-staining blueberry sauce.
Bellies heaving, we bumbled back onto a bus and made our way to Bory castle – a small castle built by one man for 40 years (this is what happens when you detest group projects). Architect and sculptor Jenő Bory constructed this knights castle in the 20th century, making sculptures on the side of this gargantuan endeavour, making money to make his masterpiece. It’s said that the castle is a symbol of his eternal love for his wife, so that should make 90% of most husbands/boyfriends/partners’ gifts pretty much redundant (where my castle at).
Bory considered the castle his own work of art, also covering walls in paintings and lining corridors and pathways with tall stone sculptures – over several hundred can be seen on the premises. Mosaics feature sporadically amidst the architecture, alongside stain glass windows, fountains and a plethora of plants, shrubs, flowers and grapevines.
We explored the castle, strolling through the gardens, skipping up spirals of stairs and looking out onto Székesfehérvár from the tall turrets. Castle-exploring is of course notoriously exhausting so soon we hopped back onto a rickety bus to the train station, sleeping our way back to Budapest.