We’d just arrived in Budapest at 8 AM that same day on the Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul. Then from the airport, we’d traveled for three hours to the north of Hungary. This is an area famous for nature, hunting and the famous medieval castle of Boldogko.
We should’ve been exhausted after our 18-hour flight, but we were too excited to be tired. After a delicious lunch of traditional Hungarian dishes at a hunting lodge, which included lots of paprika of course, we boarded a red-and-white train with wheels and drove to Boldogko Castle.
Our transportation was a combination of a train and a van. But it certainly was fun and a little surreal to ride it. We boarded it at the hunting lodge and then soon we were driving along the country roads, all the way up the mountain to castle of Boldogko.
This impressive fortress castle is on top of a hill, near the towns of Miskolc and Sarospatak in the north of Hungary. It looks very impressive from afar. And from the top, there are some beautiful views that are simply perfect for Instagram.
THE DRESS AND CONVERSATION OF A LADY FROM THE MEDIEVAL TIMES
At the entrance, we were met by a lovely young lady in a medieval costume. She introduced herself as one of the women who worked at the castle.
Of course I thought she was a guide in a costume. However, according to one of my Hungarian companions, she was one of the characters in the castle.
The lady was speaking in very old-fashioned Hungarian. Basically, she was using the kind of Hungarian language that is not used at all anymore in everyday life. In addition, she used the mannerisms and demeanour of a Hungarian lady from the medieval times.
This got me interested as she was so good at playing her character. No matter what I asked her, she always gave me a very old-fashioned response.
So I began asking her trick questions like: “What do you eat for breakfast?” Or “Don”t you get bored staying in the castle all day?” Or “What do you do all day here?”
She refused to get out of character. In fact, she answered every single annoying question I put before her exactly as expected of her character. All her responses were entirely within the character of a medieval lady in a castle.
AN UPHILL CLIMB TO BOLDOGKO CASTLE
This certainly made for a very interesting afternoon, especially as she led us up the castle via a climb up a hill. So even the entry to the castle wasn’t via the 2019 entrance but via a rocky path that invaders probably used centuries ago.
I have to admit, this was a challenge with jet lag and after an 18-hour flight from Asia on Turkish Airlines. But I was glad for the opportunity to burn some calories.
After our visit to the castle of Boldogku, the Hungarian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Joszef Bencze, who was our official host in Hungary, led us down to the cellars underneath the castle for dinner.
MEDIEVAL DINNER AT CASTRUM BOLDUA
The cellars of the Castrum Boldua under the castle of Boldogko were dark but full of delicious smells. It turns out that this too is a recreation of a medieval dining room.
The waitstaff are all in costume and the food is all game meat roasted on spits. Just like in the olden days, we had to sit on wooden benches, drink wine out of jugs, and eat with our hands.
The biggest surprise was the medieval food. Giant platters of the most delicious game meat were laid in front of us along with sides of potatoes, red cabbage and other vegetables. This was my first medieval dinner and it certainly seemed extremely authentic.
Jetlag was already getting the better of me, but I refused to give up eating, When else would I ever taste a medieval meal in a castle in Hungary? What a wonderful way to start my very first day in Hungary, living a Travelife.