I was born in a small, provincial town in Békés County. Although I was always fond of living there, when I moved to Szeged, I did not mind considering a larger town my home. I became attached to the town with its slightly busy, still cosy everyday life. Yet, three years passed and after graduating from the University of Szeged, I decided to move to Budapest to continue my studies.
I had never been attracted by the capital city at all. When I moved there, I was afraid of the traffic, annoyed with the crowded streets and the presence of the ubiquitous homeless people, so in nutshell, I was irritated by everything which is a common feature of Budapest. Yet, as time passed, I realized that I managed to get used to the annoying side of the city as several opportunities presented themselves. I found myself in the need of exercising, thus I decided to go jogging – obviously to the captivating Margaret Island. This was the turning point for me; I found what I had been looking for in the capital: tranquillity and nature.
The largest park of Budapest, Margaret Island is often called “the Pearl of the Danube” due to its excellent natural conditions, fascinating buildings, historical monuments and institutions offering special recreation, entertainment and sport facilities. Although the park is always crowded, it provides a feeling different from that of the streets. People come here to exercise, relax and be close to nature. As there is no traffic, people might as well feel like being detached from their everyday life.
The island is 2800 metres long, 500 meters at its widest point and occupies a territory of 96.5 hectares. It was named after the daughter of King Béla IV of the House of Arpad, Princess Margaret, who lived here in a Dominican convent, a vow made to the king during the Mongol Invasion of Hungary in 1241-42. The island preserves the remains of the Dominican convents and Saint Margaret’s tomb. It gives home to several establishments, like Palatinus, National Swimming Stadium and two hotels. Besides, the Open-Air Stage offers exciting performances while the musical fountain is a main attraction among children. While jogging, people can take pleasure in the landmarks and the fascinating flora with her diversified trees and flowers. The Danube embracing the island is magnificent in any part of the day. The inhabitants of the island also includes many animals, thus if people feel like, they might as well feed fawns.
Whenever I feel the desire for little calmness, I put on my running shoes and go to nature. Fortunately, the appeal of Margaret Island does not evaporate with the arrival of a cold spell as it is fascinating to see the winter landscape and people can go jogging in every season.