Gorgeous Gyor: Why nowhere in the world beats it

Why I love living in... Hungary

Gyor City Hall.

Gyor City Hall.

 

Gyor, the name sounds so exotic doesn’t it? I’ve been living in Gyor, Hungary for more than 14 years, and nowhere in the world beats it. I have lived in England and Saudi Arabia, traveled in nearly 35 countries, and not one city has the culture, the beauty, the excitement of Gyor.

So what is so special about this city of 130,000 people?

Situated just a few miles from the borders of Austria and Slovakia in the northwest of the country, I love that I can get in my car and be in another country, with another language and cuisine, in under an hour. Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna are all within easy reach. Yet even those cities do not touch the beauty of my adopted home.

Gyor is a city with a rich history which is evident in the old city walls, the statues and baroque architecture. Hungarian as a language is unique, and I am thrilled every day to learn a new word, idiom or grammar rule. After 14 years of learning, I am still fascinated with the language.

Hungarian cuisine isn’t as well known as it should be. Cold fruit soup, cabbage rolls stuffed with meat, and poppy seed cake are just a few of the delights. Gyor also has a tremendous café life, and with great places dotted all over the city, I am never far from an espresso or a slice of that world famous dobos cake.

I sometimes miss the fry-ups I had back home in Limerick, yet the breakfast of salami, spicy paprika, tomatoes and freshly baked bread just can’t be beaten. Due to the great weather, fresh produce is readily available and even a trip to the market turns into a culinary adventure when tasting strawberries, plums and cherries.

With the three-day celebration of Irish-Hungarian friendship in summer, and the spring festival when the city is filled with flowers and classical music, Gyor is always alive and filled with energy. With a top handball team, excellent facilities for swimming, an ice rink, healing thermal waters, the ballet and a great theatre company, I’m never left without something to do or somewhere to go.

Perhaps best of all are those long, warm summer nights. Winter is cold with snow, but Hungarian summers are hot. Those evenings spent sitting outside, talking with friends and family, having a drink, listening to live music and watching everyone else do the same are a reminder that life is for living, enjoyment can be had, and nowhere in the world is like Gyor.

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