Sunday, July 20, 2008

Second City

After another "misreading of the bus schedule" episode, I still managed to catch a bus shortly after noon for Debrecen. (Now, for the most part I'm pretty good with schedules. Its just that I didn't read the fine print on the schedule, which was in Hungarian anyway, telling me that the morning bus I planned to take didn't run on Sundays.)

No worries though. I eventually ended up where I wanted to go. The long bus rides between towns are now pretty much over since the last few places I plan to see are a lot closer together. Considering Debrecen in Hungary's second largest city, my initial impression was that it seemed pretty comatose. Kind of strange when you consider who much history the city has. Hungary's Declaration of Independence from Austria was proclaimed here in 1849 and this is also where the country set up a provisional government in 1944. At any rate, there aren't a lot of major sights here I had planned to explore so I expect to have a couple of relaxing days before I head out. This place definitely has an "old Europe" vibe to it.

For the most part, I spent the day hanging around in the main square. A giant stage was set up and there was some sort of folk music concert on the go. My hotel is right on the main square too - a big art nouveau palace - spacey comfortable digs for sure. I have to say, that as far as hotels have been concerned on this trip, I've made out remarkably well. (knock on wood) Essentially, I'm just backpacking around and I've had quite a few nice hotel rooms considering I just show up at the front desk.

Before I forget, I should mention that I also have a (very) tenuous connection with Debrecen. Turns out one of my favourite history professors from my University of Windsor days is originally from here. I recall telling him I'd try to make it here if I ever got the opportunity.

Small world.