Matt Forney
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Győr

Thoughts on Visiting Győr, Hungary

I recently had the opportunity to visit Győr, a small city in northwestern Hungary about midway between Budapest and Vienna. Győr is best known for the Battle of Raab (its former German name) in 1809, where Napoleon’s armies defeated a combined Austrian and Hungarian force during the War of the Fifth Coalition. The French victory at Győr was significant enough that it is commemorated at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Here are my observations on what I saw…

Győr

1. The rural/urban divide isn’t as pronounced in eastern Europe as it is in the West.

Degeneracy is relative. By American standards, Budapest is as non-pozzed as a city can get. As I remarked when I came here months ago, the amount of blue-haired freaks and other human detritus is very low (it’s a bit higher now due to tourist season). Homosexuals are almost invisible: the only time I’ve run into one was a Belgian pot dealer who was trying to buddy up with me and a Swedish friend of mine at a bar.

From a Hungarian perspective, Budapest is Gomorrah, because like all large cities, it’s more sexually loose and morally lax than the smaller cities and the countryside. As Melissa Mészáros (who showed me around Győr) put it, people in Győr and other minor cities dislike Budapest for the same reasons upstate New Yorkers despise New York City, or why people in downstate Illinois hate Chicago.

Thing is, there’s a massive gulf between how people in upstate New York live versus how people in NYC live.

That gulf doesn’t exist in Hungary. Győr is visibly more conservative than Budapest: there are far fewer bars and clubs, and people tend to be more laid back. The center part of the city is off-limits to cars and the only public transportation option is buses (the city is too small for a metro, or even tram lines). However, the sense of mutual loathing that exists between American cities and the country isn’t present here. While Hungarians in Győr might view Budapest as a Babylonian fleshpot, they aren’t wishing it would get quaked off the face of the Earth, like many rural Americans wish would happen to L.A. or San Francisco.

This is because Hungarians, whatever their flaws, still view themselves as part of a united people. Even left-leaning Hungarians feel a deep connection to the nation, which is why it’s such a serious insult to call a Hungarian a “hazaáruló” (traitor to the nation/homeland). Even excluding the turd sandwich of diversity that Americans have been force-fed for decades, left- and right-wing white Americans don’t view themselves as part of the same tribe anymore.

Győr

2. Christianity is alive and well in rural Hungary.

It’s common for nationalists from the West to claim that Christianity is cucked and needs to be “pushed” because it is “falling,” but a visit to any medium-sized or small town in eastern Europe puts the lie to that. On Sunday morning, Melissa and I attended a festival being put on by the local Catholic diocese, featuring numerous homemade food vendors and a children’s choir. We also had the opportunity to meet Böjte Csaba, a famous Hungarian monk from Transylvania widely beloved for his orphanage and his charitable works.

Győr

I can’t even name a Christian celebrity in the U.S., or at least one who isn’t known for being a worthless shitbag. For that matter, I can’t think of a Catholic festival (or a festival from any Christian denomination) in the U.S. that would attract anyone other than old farts. In Győr, I saw young families with children at the festival.

Győr

Melissa and I also visited a nearby museum set up by Győr’s Catholic diocese commemorating Bishop Vilmos Apor, who was killed by the Soviets near the end of World War II because he was protecting Hungarian women from being raped by the advancing Red Army. Apor was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1997, after achieving near-legendary status among Hungarians for his actions (the communist puppet government that ruled Hungary during the Cold War officially suppressed knowledge of Apor’s actions as well as those of the Soviet “liberators”).

Győr

Again, I can’t think of a religious figure in the U.S. who has this level of respect or reverence.

Győr

The reason why Christianity is dying in the West is because Westerners are spiritually dying, if they’re not already dead. In any country that still loves life—Hungary, Poland, or anywhere else in eastern Europe are prime examples—the Church is as strong as it’s always been.

Győr

3. If you want to really experience a country, you need to get away from the big cities.

I’m not going to bother with some trite explanation of how the “real” Hungary is found not in Budapest. The real reason you need to get away from big cities when traveling abroad is simple: tourists.

Most people who go abroad are morons whose top preoccupations are getting drunk and failing to get laid. In Budapest right now, the tourist season is in full swing, with hordes of British stag parties wandering the streets embarrassing themselves and packing bars to fire code violation levels. Beyond being intolerable, they make it difficult to interact with locals.

Fortunately, these idiots rarely venture out of big cities because they’re cowards who won’t even shit in a public toilet unless it’s been mentioned by Lonely Planet or reviewed on TripAdvisor. While Győr has a number of tourists due to its strategic location between Vienna and Budapest and its significance in the Napoleonic Wars, they’re small in number, meaning I can walk the streets and have a peaceful lunch without hearing two fat American girls loudly whining about how Hungarian guys won’t give them the time of day. The only problem residents there are Gypsies, but they’re a problem in Hungary in general.

Győr isn’t as nice as Lviv, where I was maybe one of a handful of English-speaking visitors during my initial visit, but it’s still pretty nice.

Overall, I would recommend Győr for a weekend visit at least. It’s quiet, clean, beautiful, and isn’t full of retarded Brits whooping about in furry costumes.

Read Next: Brief Thoughts on Living in Budapest, Hungary