A happy Easter to you all wherever you are and however much space in which you have to move around; I hope that you remain well. The weather here in England is lovely. The South Downs, which are a short run away for me, were soggy and treacherous for runners just four or so weeks ago. Now, after a number of weeks of dry sunny weather, the chalky soil has drained, and is even cracking apart it is so dry on the surface.
Back to Paddy. At Easter time we always find we have left him mid-stream on the Mária Valéria bridge which joins Esztergom in Hungary and Štúrovo in Slovakia, across the River Danube. The bridge, some 500 metres in length is named after Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria, (1868–1924), the fourth child of Emperor Franz Josef, and Empress Elisabeth (now she has a sad tale to tell).
Paddy crossed into Esztergom and watched an amazing Easter service led by the bishop with crowds nobles, soldiers and their ladies dressed in their finest clothes and colourful uniforms. A sight that will never be seen again.
This Easter I offer you a selection of photos of Esztergom, some from 1934, and the Audible audiobook of Between the Woods and the Water, to complement that of A Time of Gifts which I posted a couple of weeks back.
Enjoy this strange Easter as best you can. Please keep inside, safe and well, so that your medical services are not stretched to the point of collapse by this terrible virus.
Thank you so much for posting these interesting and evocative pictures and audiobook. Rather a nice cheering Easter gift, in these awful times we currently are living through. I am glad England is having a run of fine Spring weather to lift the spirits. I love the South Downs. I live in the Southern Highlands of NSW, where of course it is the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”, though it carries with it that tinge of melancholy which Autumn brings. We had just recovered from the fires and now the virus.
I am so glad that I seized the opportunity to go to Greece last year,, where I visited Paddy’s house. The renovations were almost, but not quite complete and Elpida showed us round. A memory to treasure. In my retirement I have become a University of the Third Age lecturer. Usually I talk about literary figures and there lives. Charles Dickens is a speciality. However,, twice now I have run a course called Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Among my guests of course is Paddy, so much to talk about and so many good pictures. My greatest pleasure however, comes from the opportunity to introduce his writing to new readers.
Thank you again for the Blog. I look forward to it.
Sent from my iPad
Thank you for those kind and fascinating words Joanne. Glad you made it to Greece. It may be some time before that can be repeated! Keep well and Happy Easter.
Thank you very much for the story and photos of the Mária Valéria bridge and Esztergom. You inspired me to reread Paddy’s description of the Easter service at the Cathedral. It is one of my favorite parts of Between the Woods and the Water. I also noticed in the print of the town in 1664 that it was one well fortified town! Two forts on either side of the river and the castle looming above. A daunting task for any attacker. It didn’t stop Paddy though.
Thankyou Tom, another interesting read.
And wishing you a happy Easter too.
Thank you so much Tom for the very cheering Easter post….a real present.
Hi Tom – always a connection – I went to school in Canterbury and learnt the story of St Thomas Becket early in my life. Did you know that some of his bones ended up at Esztergom? They were brought back to England last year for an exhibition but are now back in Hungary.
Alun Davies DL
Honorary Consul of Hungary
Tel: 07802 767877
Happy Easter from Australia. Loving your posts, thank you.
Happy Easter. Stay safe all. Keep up the good work Tom.