Trip Start Jul 15, 2004
Trip End Jun 15, 2005

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Flag of Hungary  ,
Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sopron was gorgeous.  Probably the nicest baroque city I've been to in Hungary, though of course no match for Budapest in terms of anything but cleanliness.  Sopron has a pretty interesting history actually, in the wake of World War I the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved and the old borders were completely redrawn.  Hungary in particular lost nearly 2/3 of its territory, the northern portion went to the newly formed Czechoslovakia (today making up the entire country of Slovakia as well as the Zakarpatsky Oblast of Ukraine), the southern and eastern parts went to Romania (the region of Transylvania) and the newly formed Yugoslavia (today making up the Vojvodina region of Serbia, most of Croatia and a small portion of Slovenia), and the extreme western edge of the country went to Austria.  Of the territories that were due to be divided from Hungary only the city of Sopron and its immediate vicinity was given the right to vote on whether to stay in Hungary or not and they voted to remain.  As a result the region of Sopron is a small piece of Hungarian territory jutting into Austria.

A few friends and I actually decided to walk across the border to get some Austrian beer but one of them forgot his passport so the border guard told us to go back because "Hungarian beer is fine."  Incidentally, it really isn't.
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