Magyarorszag Mysteries (Back To History)

Charles Brown, an American detective writer, went through the airport doors and headed to the open taxi’s door. A man in an elegant dark suit was standing next to it and smiling at him. For a second Charles glanced at him and was bewildered with his attractive face of typical national features. He shacked his hand and sat to the car. That was not an easy trip for him, crossing the ocean, but, first of all, he was a real adventurer who was eager to write a new book and he has already found a perfect place for his crime scene- Castle of Diósgyőr located in Miskolc, Hungary.

Map

The name “Hungary” (or Magyarorszag in Hungarian) may originate from the Medieval Latin Hungary, which is translated as the “Land of Huns”. Another source states that the name is derived from the Turkish words meaning “ten arrows” or “ten people”. I guess, it is pretty fair, as the population of the whole Hungary for today is circa 10 million people. Not much, I agree. Only in Kyiv, as I know, population is more than 5 million, you can compare! Hungary was part of the Celtic world, later the Roman Empire. Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It was founded in 896 before France and Germany became separate entities. How about that? In the picture above you can see the map dated 1301-1382 and you definitely pay attention that it is very different from nowadays. Hungary was a large country with a seaside and huge territory in the heart of Europe. What about now? Look at the map and compare, perhaps you will be disappointed as well as many Hungarian nationalists who still dream of seeing their country in its full-scale original size. Then they can enjoy lovely Adriatic seaside and many oxygen-rich forests of the Carpathian  mountain ridge.

Hungarian Symbols Of Power

When Charles came out of his car he was impressed with the majesty and beauty of the Castle of Diósgyőr. From the first breath he knew he chose a right place for his next book. He quickly asked his Hungarian assistance to let him in and feel this magnificent place from inside. In his mind he has already sat in his mental writer’s time machine and traveled back in time…

Castle

On the display of his time machine he saw the first number – 1241. This was the date when it was built and firstly destroyed by the Mongol invasion. “How much these walls have seen” he thought about the role of architecture, place and memory in re-constructing the sense of self-identity in a built environment. Charles slightly touched the wall and felt how his hand shivered from some electrical impulse. He felt so joyful as if he has got a taste of History…

Castle 1

The castle reached the peak of its importance during the reign of King Louis the Great. King Louis was famous for his campaigns in Naples, where with the help and leadership of God regained command of the Kingdom of Sicily, in Rome, where the Roman nobles greeted him with “Long Live the Hungarian King”. When he entered the city, people accompanied him to the stairs of St Peter’s Apostle Church…“What does Louis fell at that moment?” Charles thought again and tried to imagine…

Charles Arthur Brown regarded himself as a real warrior, leader, a strong personality who can conquer this world, digest  and split it out. He was a tough man. In his early thirties he has already seen and felt a lot. He was an orphan without not much information on his family. As he found out his mother died during his birth, she was on drugs, so having a healthy boy was a miracle for this butterfly. As Charles knew somewhere he has a sister, older one, who has been left alone in some other hospital. His grandparents died long before his birth. Chances to get some information on his dad were zero, since his mom’s reputation was “well-known” in certain circles. He can be anyone. He grew up completely alone, a very shy boy with so many complexes. He did not like socializing, instead he was always writing something. His small notebook accompanied him whenever he went. He managed to graduate from school with excellent grades almost at all subjects, but especially he liked literature and history. He entered faculty of History and was a good student until one day he met HER…a mysterious crazy girl who showed him a world from which he was hiding among his notes. He tried everything with her, including drugs…during one of the overdoses they had a car accident and girl died…she was behind the wheel, but Charles felt guilty. He was severely injured, physically and emotionally. He went to a hospital for mentally disabled people…his young student’s years were abruptly over, he had to learn how to be an adult with serious emotional problems. One of his doctors found his notebook and encouraged him to write more as well as to think about publishing a book. This doctor saw a real talent in him, talent for writing very weird stories that you cannot stop reading as they caught your attention to the full. Several years later Charles left hospital as a writer whose first two books became bestsellers…

Castle History

Later this Castle was a wedding gift for the queens of Hungary, which it remained until the Ottoman invasion of Hungary in the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century it was already in ruins. Archaeological excavations started in the 1960s. In 2014 the castle was completely rebuilt, the reconstructed rooms are furnished with Medieval-style furniture.

Castle in Photos

“Mr Brown, hey…Mr Brown!” a young Hungarian assistant was desperately trying to bring Charles back from his traveling in the past. He even touched his elbow lightly. Charles slowly turned his head and blinked twice.

“What?” he said angrily.

“I am sorry, sir, but here is your personal guide as you asked – Ms Lokietek”, his assistant shyly replied  and showed towards a young lady who was standing a bit further. Charles again turned his head, this time in the other direction, and saw HER…and at this magical instant of time he gasped for air…

King and Qeen

Hungarian King Charles had already buried two young wives, so it was not surprising that he wanted to forget it and find new love. A lot of fight tournaments and parades were held in the royal court of Timisoara. He was having a frivolous life and started to think about having a family again. Thus, he met Elizabeth Lokietek who was the daughter of Polish King Wladislaw the Short of Elbow-High. Because of his short height he was nicknamed ‘Łokietek’, a diminutive of the word ‘łokieć’. It translates as “ell” or “elbow”, a medieval measure of length, as in “elbow-high”. Elizabeth gave a birth to five children. From the five, Andrew became the heir to the Naples throne, and Louis later became Hungarian King.

Castle Inside.jpg

“Mr Brown, please follow me, I will show you their bedroom,” said a very attractive lady wearing a specific medieval dress of that times at whom Charles was frankly staring. He does not for how long he was not able to say a word or even move as if he was struck by lightening. He almost does not feel anything except pure admiration of the natural woman’s beauty. He knew many woman, but he has never seen these big black as coal eyes who were looking at him so innocently and smiling. Yes, exactly “smiling eyes”!

“Their bedroom?” Charles asked abruptly. Ms Lokietek quickly turned her head and looked at him quizzically.

“Yes, sir, royal bedroom…” she replied and blinked with her long thick eyelashes.

It was quite odd for Charles to happen to be in the bedroom with a woman almost at once after several minutes after they met. It has never been so quick before. “What are you thinking about now?” thought Charles and tried to change his completely lost look to much serious one. He decided to leave his inappropriate feelings and thoughts for later. It was strictly unprofessional to do like that in a foreign country where he came for work.

Royal Bed.jpg

Many Hungarian kings and queens slept in this bedroom. I believe you paid attention to the size of the bed, isn’t it too small? You are right, it is indeed. However, the most weird is that people who slept in it never do it in their full height, I mean they never stretch there fully according to their size. Usually they slept in a bended position, since sleeping straight was a bed sign associated with dead. It was accepted that only dead sleep straight in their tombs. Wow, what a logic?

Royal Bathroom.jpg

At that times there was no usual bathroom. As I found out these things showed above were replaced to their room where king and queen took so-called bath. The question is whether they did it separately or not? Who knows, let each of your imagination decide!

Clothes always play an important role in our lives and it is still. Every epoch dictated its own trends. It is very pity that you cannot try on these fabulous dresses. I am certain we, dear dames, would look pretty in them!

Royal Wardrobe

And you too, dear cavaliers. Would not you like to try on one of these heavy things? I bet you would look so powerful and strong like real knights in armors who is ready for a battle. On Guard!

Warriors.jpg

Charles listened to his guide very attentively. He regain control over his unexpected emotions and took everything with his writer’s curiosity and professionalism. He even started to made notes while walking with this young dame. She talked with passion about this castle, Charles admired her gestures and voice. Her delicate voice sounded like crystal. Moreover, her English was so well that it almost amazed Charles. She spoke clearly, slowly, but with a hidden delight that was visible only for him, who caught her every word, her every comma…

View From The Castle.jpg

“Ms Lokietek, will you excuse my brevity, I have one question?” Charles stopped her with a little gesture. He came to her closer almost took her by her hand. They were standing on the top of the castle and looking at the beautiful, almost breathtaking view, of the surrounding city Miskolc.

“Certainly, Mr Brown,” she shyly whispered and looked aside.

“What is your name?”

“Beth…Elizabeth!” she proudly pronounced and looked right at him. Her gaze was silently deep.

“Are you kidding me, you are Elizabeth Lokietek, and you work in this Castle as a guide, the castle where so many years ago lived another Elizabeth Lokietek, Hungarian Queen…Oh my, I came to the right place!” he loudly claimed and started to laugh. Elizabeth also smiled and caught his laughing tone.

“Yes, Sir, you really came to the right place, King Charles, your Majesty, if you excuse me!”she playfully admitted and joined laughing. Her playful tone immediately brought back all his sweet feelings and images in his head. His heart jumped wildly and he felt happy. As happy as a lark…

Castle Views.jpg

To be continued!

Greetings From Hungary

Dear little Friends, I attached this greeting card specially for you!

Designed by Ann!

Looking forward to your thoughts, ideas, remarks, comments!

Hope yor Queen or King is with you! If not, then I wish you to meet him/her as soon as possible! How about today?

Yours Ann

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From Kyiv With Love (Movie)

Are you ready for a sightseeing tour around my Kyiv? Then wear your most comfortable shoes and let’s go…but take it easy…it is only the Introduction:

My dear little Friends, please feel free to leave your comments and ideas on my movie. I will much appreciate it and give you a big hug then!

 

All Roads Lead to … L’viv or Eros and Rose Delicious Date

Lviv Ice CreamEros woke up…this morning earlier. His dream-fantasy made him exhausted, his body and brain flooded with pleasure. He had been wrung like a sponge. He hardly stirred from his bed. Eros was curious why a short message on his birthday from someone he even does not know made him lose his head. His life was so calm and stable, he got used to his bachelor’s life and did not let himself feel so stressed over women. Eros could not let him feel so confused and so helpless. He took himself and his emotion in hand, had a very cold (almost icy) shower and came downstairs for breakfast. Eros Clumsy had a usual lovely breakfast chat with his mom as if nothing has happened. He deleted this strange message from his phone and went to work. He was decisive and refreshed, ready to immerse fully into his adorable work. As a senior computer administrator Eros has been dealing with many software tasks at the UK Council in Ukraine. He liked his job and did it very well. He even received a diplomatic status and moved from country to country. Dolly always followed his son and enjoyed every new designation. They learn new languages together and exchange experiences. When he came to his office he was smiling until he found out that today will not be the same as he get used it. Immediately he should go for a business trip to L’viv to install some software. Surely he was not against some summer trip to a very nice city, but somehow he felt odd about his new task for today. Maybe was something in the air or it was because of his sleepless night. Eros got to his car and started the engine…A few seconds later the door of the car burst open and a woman’s silhouette slowly slipped to the car saloon. As soon as he dropped his eyes on her Eros knew…she was Rose,  a flower or a woman whose late evening message turned his life upside down…

“Good day, Mr Clumsy! I am ready to go!” Rose said cheerfully, closed the door and took off her summer glasses. While arranging her things and mini-skirt she recognized that she did not hear any reply back. She turned her head and looked directly at him. And the picture she saw was impressive. Eros was sitting motionless like a frozen statue, his eyes wide open and he did not breathe…at least it seemed to her. This view made her feel uneasy, she thought that he might not feel himself well. She slowly touched his elbow.

“Is everything alright, Mr Eros”, – she asked worriedly. Eros suddenly became aware of her touches and words. He jerked back his arm and pressed on gas pedal. They journey to L’viv was in silence. In the city Rose and Eros had a strange conversation based on some jokes from Rose’s side, however, Eros was in his most awful mood. Moreover, when he found out that she will be his boss and that from now on he will work with her and that this is not exactly a business trip rather a test for him he understood that he  got caught…

Coffee Mine XIX Century

This is a picture of an entrance to a very famous Coffee Mine in L’viv, yeah, you did hear me right, a mine. This picture was made in XIX century. You may guess that it is not a real mine, since we know too well how coffee is made, it cannot be simply dug out from the ground. Otherwise everybody who has a plot can try his/her luck. The owners of this coffee shop are smart enough to make their future clients intrigued and believe me it works.

StrudelAnyway, whatever one may think, this is not a simple coffee shop, but a real museum of coffee and its production. Here a choice of coffee will surprise you a lot because it is very diverse and for all tastes. I even do not mention the deserts that are so yammi.

Every time Rose was in L’viv she cannot refuse herself a very small caprice – a cup of Benderivs’ka coffee with strudel and ice-cream. However, today she ordered ice-cream for Eros to cajole him at least a bit. His attitude and behavior were so cold, she could not imagine that. She knew how odd he was, but that was even beyond her expectations. Rose pined her hopes on the delicious flavor of ice-cream that must melt his heart (literary and figuratively).

Cups of Coffee

While they were siting and enjoying friendly atmosphere of this coffee mine Rose decided to try to find out what was wrong with him and she kindly asked him, “Eros, why are you so angry at me? Did I do something wrong? I confess that my style of testing my future employees is not so common and maybe even called unusual, but I prefer getting to know my colleagues in informal way, this is my know-how and…”, Eros abruptly stopped her with his gesture and quickly replied, “Miss Flower or…sorry, miss Rose, who can be happy to get such a strange message almost at midnight from an unknown person…it is not polite, did not your parents teach you the manners?”

Oh, so that made you angry at me…I see” Rose made a sigh and smiled. “Then why do not you get your belt and give me a spanking?

“Very funny, miss Spice”, shortly admitted Eros and stared at her. She was too beautiful like from his dream, so he cannot be angry at her, but he was not ready to leave his guard off. He knew that as soon as he let her in he would not have peace in his life. 

Coffee Pots

This coffee mine is a kind of shop as well. Here you can find very nice cups and kettles.

Lions Everywhere

You should remember that L’viv is a city of lions, so lions will follow you everywhere whenever you go. It is said, Lviv, or as it is often called Lemberg, reminds Prague, Vienna or Krakow by its atmosphere. This is a city where every street, every cobblestone retains its legend. His majestic name tells a rich history of the city. According to legends of the old chronicles, Lviv was founded by Prince Danylo Galician and named a city after his son Leo Danylovych. However, citizens love to tell another romantic legend about the origin of the city.
Once upon a time, near the high mountains around the area of future Lviv city there were small villages. The mountains were covered with forests, where farmers successfully hide from attacks of enemies. But once a luck turned away from them – people began to disappear. It was found out that they were stolen by the king of beasts – the lion. He lies in wait for those who dare to walk alone in the wood, stun them by a big paw and eats victims in his cave. Panic swept all the villages in the district.
Once in the tavern appeared a brave knight, who promised to kill the predator. He asked to forge so strong sword and armor that none force could break or bend it. Village blacksmiths worked all day and night long without a break, but in vain. It seemed as inevitable bad luck.
A traveler who got lost somewhere has come to tavern to eat. He said he knew how to conquer the beast. Let all the young girls prick a little finger by needles, drop  two or three drops of blood to a common Chan, where weapons and armor should be dipped.
The farmer did it. And the lion’s fangs and claws could not do anything with enchanted armor. Then mighty cut a head of furious lion by magic sword and exclaimed  “People you are free!”.  Since then, the mountain where this story has happened was  called lion mountain, and the town that grew up under the mountain – Lviv.
If  this story was real, or just imagination of the people, no one knows.  But a fact is that Lviv city fascinates anyone who at least once visited here.

Chocolate Heaven

L’viv can be called a chocolate city, since every you step you see various chocolate shops and you cannot pass by…chocolate is too delicious and aromatic…meeting the serious demands of even the most critical chocolate fans. Legend has it that Chocolate from Lviv was well-known from the middle ages. In the 19th century, chocolate was exported from Lviv to aristocracy throughout Europe.

A Man in Chocolate Cage

Here you can find only hand-made chocolate, which is a bit more expensive, but it’s worth, trust me. On the ground floor of this chocolate shop you can even watch the process of its production. In my film devoted to L’viv you can see it through the glass windows. Everything is open for visitors.

Adam Mitskevitch Monument

Rose did not manage to melt Eros’s heart even with the help of huge dark chocolate bar, he was still silent and only answered her questions concerning their future work together. Unfortunately he showed his indifference and sometimes hostility towards her, which made Rose very upset. She did not get used to give up and she did not get used to refuses. Rose Spice was the young daughter of David Spice who adored and satisfied all her wishes, she has never heard any “no” answers in her life. Now she also felt that inexpugnable wall should be broken very soon…

Alive Bier

L’viv can be also called a brewing city…here you can taste a live beer almost at every corner. Beer was brewed in Lviv since XV century and in 1533 Polish king has issued a decree allowing brewing beer in the city. Important role was also played by monasteries, where monks were brewing this wonderful drink from best hops, molt and pure artesian water. Owing to its quality Lviv beer shortly became popular in Austro-Hungarian Empire. And now in the time of Ukraine independence beer in Lviv doesn’t lose its legendary taste and quality and is popular among citizens and tourists.

Flower Clock

“Isn’t this clock beautiful,” babbled Rose and stopped next to it.

“Yes, maybe,” coldly replied Eros and turned his head. He looked at her once again as if he wanted to check whether she was a reality or a vision. Eros again felt himself not so well. Rose also turned and simply stare directly into his eyes. The tension between them could have been cut with a rusty knife. He saw a curiosity and stubbornness that leaped in her eyes, but he also saw a flicker of interest and gentleness. She was Amazon strength and beauty in her white suit. She was gorgeous, tempestuous and hot.  He felt that he lost his control…

Maybe…that’s all what you can say about this wonderful and charming flower clock, now I can really understand what a difficult time in office is waiting for me with such a cold, callous, aloof and insensate to any beauty man who…” Rose could not finish her sentence because her lips were quickly covered with his and he kissed the breath out of her…

Caramel World

You can make lot’s of window picture while walking L’viv streets. This is the pictures of the city made of caramel (boiled sweet). Have you every tasted it? The first types of caramel were hard candies that date back to the 17th century. In America, the settlers cooked sugar and water together to make these sweet treats. Caramels were a candy staple for many years because the ingredients were affordable, they were easy to make at home and they had a long shelf life.

Opera House

If you did not see Opera House, it means you did not see L’viv, it’s the city cultural symbol. If you ask someone who sight of architecture he\she likes the most, you will hear a certain answer that the Opera and Ballet theater named after Solomiya Krushelnytska is the one. Local people never stop saying that there are no even than the Opera is and it is one of the most beautiful not only in Europe but in the whole world.

L’viv is a very symbolic city of Western Ukraine. It does not look like any other Ukrainian city, it mostly looks like any other Western Europe city with many narrow streets like in Italy, typical architecture like in Poland and beer pubs like in Germany. You will not feel here like abroad, most probably you feel yourself here as cozy as at home. My advice to you to come here in autumn or winter when the tourist season is not so high and the city shows you its charm in full.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Yours Ann