Drégely Castle Recon Hike

Rural Hungary…and Goats

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Yup that is a big male goat…you can probably smell him just from the photo

At some point in the near future (weather dependant) we will be leading a small group hike to Drégely Castle near the Slovakian border.  Since we had never been there, we took the train to Drégely and reconned the route to ensure there weren’t any surprises that might lead the hikers to mutiny.  Of course, being a weekday  (in this case a Wednesday) there are fewer trains to Drégely than on the weekend (the Castle borders a national park so there are lots of trains for hikers on the weekend). 

In order to get to Drégely on a weekday you have to take a train, a bus, a train, wait 2 hours in Diósjenő and then finally catch a train to Drégely. The 2 hour layover in Diósjenő was fun. We wandered around the town, saw 200 year old houses, a WWI memorial monument, some very Soviet sculptures, a few churches, and a guy selling fresh milk and cheese out of the back of a van. Diósjenő is the gateway into the Duna-Ipoly national park so it is set up for tourism, or it will be in a few months. Marc and I did get a few “what are the Americans doing here” stares, but everyone was very nice and the one restaurant we stopped in served beer and coffee.

Due to the limited train schedule, we arrived at the start point for the hike later in the day than we would arrive with the group on a Saturday. As we started the hike it intermittently rained on us for about 45 minutes (the weather report said 5% chance of rain, they lied). And rain means mud, so our ingress was less speedy than normal, also it was uphill because castles are almost always on top of a hill.  

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After reaching the castle, we realized it had taken us longer to get there than anticipated and if we missed the 3 pm return train it meant a 3 hour wait at a train station in the middle of nowhere with intermittent rain & hail showers (remember the limited weekday train schedule…). As a result we ended up doing a mad cross country 5K run to try to reach the train station at the far end of the hiking trail before the 3pm train arrived and departed without us. We burst out of the trail, startling the crap out of a goat herder and his goat herd (it is rural Hungary). Upon arriving at the “station”, which consists of 2 benches next to the railroad tracks, Marc announced he had misremembered the train schedule and we had 15 minutes before the train arrived (queue death look from Julia). Kidding about the death look (mostly), it was fun and added an unexpected element to the adventure. Luckily there were two benches as the goat kids decided to take over one of them.

© Eat, Drink, and Carry a GPS 2013