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Arfully exploring Eger: Taking the Bull’s Blood by the horns

Traveling through Eastern Europe is straightforward and manageable due to the train system. Departing from Deli, Keleti or Nyugati station, it’s virtually a traveling smorgasbord offering such options as international and regional excursions.

Baroque Church
Amy Carothers

Travelers seeking a day trip from the Hungarian capital will enjoy exploring Eger, a provincial town renowned for its medieval castle and Bull’s Blood wine. Riding the rails through the sunflower-filled fields that as the journey continues eastern over the plains transform into vineyards.

Arriving at the station and after short walk to the Centrum, the central hub is filled with colorful markets, architectural facades and towering churches surrounding the main square.

Strolling along Kossuth Utca, continuing on to Dozsa Ter, the Eger Cathedral, Lyceum and Baroque-styled Minorite Church provide a picturesque setting before reaching the medieval Castle District.

A tiny slip yet sturdy gate allows passage into another era as if walking under the Ippolito Gate and towards the Bornemissza Bastion has visitors stepping back in time. A historic tale of self-preservation allowed the castle to be defended against the Turkish attack due to Bull’s Blood magical elixir.

The famed Bull’s Blood, a dry red wine was rumored to make its drinkers strong like its animal namesake and the superstitious invaders feared the Eger soldiers which lead to their victory.

Before leaving, make sure to sample Eger’s signature wines and traditional cuisine. The Nemzeti Kavehaz is a delicious way to taste regional specialties as well as the popular restaurant’s vintage wines. The bottom floor is a delightful café that children of all ages will enjoy especially the towering desserts and eclectic setting.

An insider’s tip, art aficionados will appreciate the second floor’s art-filled restaurant. An arty ambiance, the walls are decorated will Hungarian paintings and the chef specialties are masterpieces as well. Indulging in a pre-dinner sweet wine and then the signature Bull’s Blood with the main course, provides a sweet and savoring pairing that complements the Hungarian Goulash starter and a poultry and ratatouille main course.

Eger’s medieval fortress, striking Baroque and Romanesque buildings and panoramic city views will have travelers 'Egerly' looking forward to a return trip.

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