This weekend we arrive at the last Sunday of Advent, so according to Hungarian custom, we also light the fourth candle on our Advent wreath.
As I am writing these lines, I am back at the office, having returned home full of experiences a few days ago from a two-day study trip organized by the Hungarian Tourism Agency. I would also like to thank them for the opportunity and invitation.
During the study trip, we visited one of the 11 touristic regions of the strategy designated by Hungary – the Sopron region – and met personally with the entrepreneurs and service providers of tourism and hospitality operating there.
Our first stop was Fertőd, where we paid a visit to the famous Esterházy Castle, a baroque castle fitting for a fairy tale, and got a glimpse of the magnificent court of the Esterházy dukes.
Due to the authentic environment and excellent acoustics of the Haydn Hall, the castle is still the center of cultural events today: it hosts concerts, festivals and exhibitions. The castle forms an exciting contrast with the former stable buildings opposite. Contemporary and history, music and art, gastronomy and wine meet in a unique way in the castle quarter surrounding the castle.
Nine permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions that rotate annually allow you to glimpse the diverse and rich collection. Exciting exhibitions are opened to the public in cooperation with other collections.
We continued our tour from Fertőd to the city of Sopron, and after lunch we were able to taste even more delicious chocolates at the unique Harrer Chocolate Factory, from 100% handmade dark chocolate to exotic, filled, alcoholic chocolates. After the chocolate tasting, we tasted fruits dipped in a chocolate fountain and hot chocolate, while we could watch an interesting projection on the process of chocolate production. Groups and individual guests are warmly welcomed at the chocolate factory.
During our first day, we visited local hotels and restaurants, each of which enriched me with many new impulses and ideas. Still, it was nice to rest at the end of the day and end it with a typical Hungarian, elegant wine tasting with at the Taschner Winery, where we could taste 8 types of local wines. Our common favorite, along with many others, was Irsai Olivér. During the tasting, we had a delicious ragout dinner and a mixed strudel, all of which are the main specialties of the region.
On the second day of the study trip, we left Sopron and headed towards Pannonhalma. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the more than 100-year-old Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma left us speechless. Now as always.
My colleagues and I spent two wonderful days together, and once again, returning from a truly promising region with a lot of experience, we offer our partners a magical trip all around Hungary. There’s a lot to explore, even for us as well!