June 15, 2018
How can I resist?
An hour’s drive east from Uzhhorod near the Austro-Hungary-Czech town of Mukacheve, the hilltop Palanok Castle pops up from the surrounding plain. How can I resist the climb? (Actually, there is a parking lot about half way up.)
“This 14th Century castle is famous as the site where Croatian-Hungarian princess Ilona Zrini held off the Austrian Emperor’s army before finally capitulating in 1688.”
“The castle is also popular among Hungarians for its association with Sándor Petőfi (1823-49), the Hungarian national poet who was held here during the century the building served as an Austrian prison.” *
At the top of the castle I met a group of young students. “What part of the world are you from?” I asked. They responded, “Zimbabwe” and added, “Perhaps you have heard of Robert Mugabe?” I thought for a moment and reacted, “I think he is even older than me!” We all had a good laugh.
*Ukraine. Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. 4th edition. May 2014. pg 144.