Today we drove from Gyor to the city of Pecs, in the center of Hungary. Pecs has a 2,000 year history and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a city filled with many cultures and it is a wonderful place to walk around with lots to see and do.
Like other ancient cities we have visited, the very large city square allows for limited car traffic. It is similar to a massive pedestrian mall.
We walked around all afternoon, stopping for lunch at a tavern, then coffee and dessert at a cute coffee shop run by a very nice and friendly English-speaking man and his much quieter wife.
I like to check out the English books section in bookstores we come across, so I did that. Most bookstores have at least a few shelves of books in English, and my biggest fear is not having a book to read (This won’t happen. My suitcase is full of them.)
Our little hotel has a decent gym in its medieval cellar, so I will spend some time there in the early morning.
photos: Pretty Pecs; the delicious reasons I need to hit the gym; city government building
Our last day in beautiful (but still very rainy) Siena was mainly a lazy and relaxing one. We got laundry done, which took a few morning hours. The streets were pretty much empty – so different from yesterday evening.
We went back to the Boccon del Prete restaurant for lunch (we had been there a few days ago). With many places closed on Sunday, it seems lunch spots are at a premium so we felt happy to get a table and have a delicious spaghetti-with-meat- sauce lunch.
Tomorrow we leave Siena drive to the Viareggio area to enjoy a few days of exploring there. It is two hours from here and on the watee. It will be a nice change of scenery although the 7-day forecast doesn’t look great right now.
photos: Siena looking like a postcard; the book exchange – I love finding this in a place I’m staying; Siena – empty of people this morning
We drove to Saluzzo today, a medieval city that is about an hour from where we are staying. The fog was very thick when we started, but as we drove up in the mountains a bit it became much clearer.
We got to Saluzzo on their big market day and many roads were closed off in the center of the city. We drove around for a while before finding parking on a side street – it seemed that everyone in Saluzzo was at the market.
We checked out what they were selling: meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, and clothing, shoes, household items. The market was similar to the one in Alba on Saturday, but still fun to walk around.
We had wanted to tour La Castiglia, a castle there, but it was not open today. The ancient church was closed for a funeral. No matter – it was still quite a beautiful town to walk around. We bought some tomatoes and a couple kiwis.
We had lunch at a busy restaurant with a fantastic buffet. Again, it seemed as though everyone in town was there. We headed back to Alba after buying a few bakery treats at a forno – a bakery – we walked past as we went back to our car.
photos: the ancient city; at the market; decorated streets for a festival this weekend
We visited Barbaresco today, a small city with beautiful – but foggy today – panoramic views and plenty of vineyards. They make wonderful wine there, but it’s tough to find an espresso in town. We never did.
We enjoyed the beauty of the surroundings and the quiet solitude we felt there. Tourist season is over for sure – we may have seen three other people during our time in the center of town.
We drove to Neive, a neighboring city that’s just a little bigger than Barbaresco. We easily found coffee there and we checked out the area. A school seemed to be for students all the way to high school, and kids dashed out on the streets at lunch time.
We had lunch in one of the two restaurants in town before heading back to Alba.
photos: autumn in Neive; Barbaresco view; Tiramisu dessert!