Blog WHS Visits
WHS #704: Hollókő
Hollókő is a traditional agricultural settlement of the North Hungarian Palóc community. The village consists of whitewashed half-timbered houses, which originated in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was completely rebuilt after a fire in 1909. The town was the first stop on my long weekend to Eastern Hungary, where I aimed to tick off 3 suspiciously low-ranked WHS.
I had some difficulty getting there. It should only be an hour's drive from Budapest airport, but there were lots of impediments:
- my flight already arrived with a delay of 10 minutes,
- the rental car parking space had moved to a far away place beyond the Ibis hotel,
- I lost my ticket to exit the parking so I had to go back to the Hertz counter for a new one,
- there was no satnav in the rental car, so I had to use my phone…. for which I forgot to bring the charger!
- using GPS for navigation the phone battery doesn't last much longer than a few hours, so I was already thinking of buying an old-fashioned map at a gas station; luckily I passed a large shopping mall where they actually had an Iphone charger for sale,
- Waze for some unexplainable reason sent me on minor roads (I even drove on a parallel road next to the highway ...).
But in the end I got there, some 2 hours later than planned. Hollókő presented itself as a small village with a very large parking lot. You have to pay for parking here, but that is only possible with forint coins or via a Hungarian phone number. Fortunately, I had received some change in the mall and had brought coins from an earlier trip. I was able to fund a visit of just an hour (400 Hungarian forint / 1.25 EUR).
This not-so tourist friendly attitude I found quite common during this short trip through Hungary, as if city planners & authorities have difficulty in placing themselves in the shoes of foreign visitors (who do not understand the language, do not know the way without signposting and do not walk around with Hungarian coins in their pockets).
That hour turned out to be more than enough to walk up and down the 2 streets of the old village. Or actually it is only one that forks about half-way. I was joined by 2 busloads of Japanese tourists and some Hungarian day trippers, but it did not feel crowded (more sleepy or even boring). Most of the old houses are now turned into some kind of “museum” or a café. According to the documentation most people still live from agriculture, but it doesn’t look that way.
The only building that I entered was the village museum. It consists of 2 small rooms with old things – other sources say "3 rooms" as the entrance also is kind of a room where a lady sits to sell tickets. The entrance fee here is also 400 forint. In the end I spent 45 minutes in town. It’s quite picturesque but there is so little to see. If I hadn't lost so much time in getting there, I would also have stayed for lunch.
Els - 14 July 2019
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Szucs Tamas 14 July 2019
Waze normally knows the actual situation very well. On M3 motorway between Gödöllő and Hatvan road accidents are very often, that can cause long traffic jams. In this case the parallel road (30) is better, and from there the minor roads are more convenient. We live here - between Gödöllő and Hatvan - and if we want to visit Hollókő (one a year normally we go there for family occasions) we take these minor roads.