The places written with bold characters in the text show the marked places in the Route-Altitude diagram.
Bodajk, the village which lies in the wide valley of Móri-árok, is really an interesting settlement, it is worth spending a little time there, and get to know its sights! After stamping in the Fenyő pub we can take a short walk in Bodajk. The first sight is the Tófürdő (Lake Bath), we can reach it along the Május 1. utca (Május 1. Street), and the Petőfi Sándor utca (Petőfi Sándor Street). The artificial lake of Tófürdő lies on a square beside a small park. The lake is filled by the springs of the neighbour hillside, and the visitors can use this bath free of charge!
After some steps we reach the fenced garden of the Roman Catholic church. We can find the Szent-kút (Sankt Well) in the garden. According to the ancient descriptions Bodajk is the oldest pilgrimage place in Hungary. The wonder-working power of the water was first mentioned in the 9th century, and the first Hungarin king, Szent István and his son Prince Imre visited it many times. Szent István had a chapel built close to the spring in the hillside.
If we walk farther on the Május 1. Street, we get to the stairs leading to the chapel in the side of the Calvary Hill. This chapel isn’t the original one, which was built in the 11th century, but it stands on the foundation of the original one. Here begins the footpath beside the stations of the Calvary leading towards the top of the hill. A nice panorama opens from the summit towards the village and the wide valley of Móri-árok. We can see the long, forest covered slope of Vértes Mountains at the far side of the valley with the old castle of Csókakő in the mountainside. We will visit it still today!
We continue our walk on the Május 1. Street and reach after some steps the access road of the Hochburg-Lamberg mansion. The neo-classical mansion stands in a park in the hillside. It was built in 1839, unfortunately it got damaged in the World War 2. The total renovation of the mansion happened in 1964 and later it worked as a tourist hostel until the change of regime. It was closed in 1990, and it is abandoned since that time. There are rare, special trees in its big park.
After this small walk we continue our hike along the Blue Trail. We go back to the Fenyő pub and turn right there. After a few minutes we leave the settlement and reach the railway crossings. First the road crosses a branch line leading towards the closed coal mines, later the main railway line between Székesfehérvár and Komárom. The rails run along the wide Móri-árok. We can find the second stamp of the Blue Trail beside the platform of the railway stop on a wooden lamp column (Bodajk, Csókakő vasúti megállóhely).
We leave the platform and walk along the access road of Bodajk. The marked path of the Blue Trail reaches the busy main road number 81 after a twenty minutes long walk on this asphalt strip (81-es út keresztezés). We cross it and walk in southeastern direction on the roadside. We pass the building of the Sandokan Restaurant and boarding house, later get to the beginning of the asphalt access road of Csőkakő village. We turn onto it and continue the walk on its roadside. After a while the road begins to climb softly in the hillside, and crosses a forest patch. After a while we reach the village on its main street, on the Kossuth Lajos utca and the ruined castle of Csókakő appears above the roofs of the houses. The Vadásztanya restaurant stands on the right side of the road, we can rest a little bit on its shady terrace and continue our walk after a while (Csókakő, Vadásztanya söröző).
We get to the square of the Roman Catholic church in five minutes. A carved wooden sculpture stands in front of the church of the settlement, it is the monument of St. Donat, the patron saint of the village and the vineyards. The well known Borút (Wine Way) crosses our road here, which goes in the western side of the Vértes Mountains and connects each other the vineyards. We go farther on the narrower and already steeply rising Vár utca (Vár Street) and reach the meadow of the resting place and car park at the foot of the Castle Hill after a few minutes. There is a Blue Trail's stamp beside the gravel car park on a wooden lamp post (Csókakő, letérés a várhoz). We can stamp with it into our booklet, this will be the first stamp of the Vértes Mountains! We can rest here or climb the Castle Hill until the ruins on the Zrinyi utca (Zrinyi Street). There is a beautiful panorama from the walls of the old, ruined fort towards the village, the plain of the wide Móri-árok and the hills of the Eastern Bakony. The old fortress was partly renovated in the past years, now its walls are more safety, than a few years ago.
The history of the castle is similar to the other Hungarian forts and castles: it was built in the middle of the 13th century, after the big Tartar invasion by the Csák clan. It was mentioned in documents first in 1299. The position of the castle was very important: it could watch the main road leading from Székesfehérvár towards the northern regions of Hungary. The owners of the fort changed often in the following centuries, it was the property of the Hungarian kings, as well. The Turkey troops occupied it in 1544, but a few years later the army of the Austrian Emperor took it back in 1566. Because of the important strategic position of the castle, it was the object of serious attacks during the next centuries. The Turkey troops occupied it again, but the united Hungarian and Austrian troops took back it in 1598, but the Turks invade it again in 1602 a kept it until 1686. After the war against the Turks the fort has lost its strategic importance, it was abandoned during long centuries. Later a thunder hit its tower, and the fort burnt down. The renovation of the castle began some years ago, hopefully the conservation will finish in the foreseeable future.
After the visit in the castle we can continue our hike. The marks of the Blue Trail enter the forest at the foot of the Castle Hill and the path rises steeply in the narrow Vár-völgy (Vár Valley). We reach the wide plateau of the Vértes in 450 meter height after a hard climb. Our path runs into a small forest cultivating asphalt road, we walk along it (Határnyiladék). After a few hundred steps the road turns left, the crossing signs go farther on the asphalt road, the marks of the Blue Trail lead us straight on a dirt road along the border of an old, already bushy clear-cut.
Later we reach the long, straight cut-lines of the forest, we walk on along them. This section is a comfortable hike in the forest, the route of the Blue Trail goes on the same elevation, without bigger climbs or descends on the wide plateau of the Vértes. After an hour we get to another asphalt road, we turn onto it and follow the asphalt strip during longer time (Rátérés az erdei aszfaltútra). After a junction the road descends in a small valley and we turn off in its big hairpin bend.
We climb back onto the plateau on a footpath, and after some minutes we get to the junction of dirt roads in the forest. The marks come from northwest together with the marks, we turn right and the and marks go together a little while. We pass a lookout point with a resting place, a small monument stands on the edge of the plateau, later the dirt road branches in two directions: we follow the marks and turn left, the marks go on straight. The route of the Blue Trail touches another lookout point, a short path marked with leads to a rock in the hillside, later our dirt road begins to descend from the wide plateau of the Vértes into a valley. We meet with the marks again at the bottom of the Antal-árok (Antal Valley). We go on towards east and after a while reach a wider valley. The well-trodden dirt road runs on the bottom of this valley, among meadows. Later we pass a well built resting place with a wooden shelter and a few minutes later a big rock formation on the left side of the valley (Gánti-szikla), finally we reach the wide, cultivated fields before Gánt village.
We turn left at a big group of old oaks and go along a dirt road behind the houses and gardens of the settlement. Later we reach the József Attila utca (József Attila Street), we walk on it until the crossing. The marked path of the Blue Trail turns left here, back among the hills, but we have to turn off and go to stamp to the Mary néni vendéglője (Aunt Mary's Restaurant), which stands on the another side of the main street of Gánt (Gánt, letérés a Vértes vendéglőhöz). The box of the stamp is located in the window of the restaurant (address: 59 Hegyalja út, Gánt). There is another stamp at the Gránás Tourist hostel, in the box of the electic meter (address: 17 Béke tér, Gánt).
If we have enough time, it is worth visiting the Bauxite Mine Museum. It lies in the vicinity of the village, it is only three bus stops in southern direction. We can find the biggest bauxite mines of Europe in the Bakony and Vértes Mountains. This museum is furnished in an abandoned shaft of the mining area. We can see the trains of the former mine-railway there, the different tools, equipments and other documents of the history of the bauxite mining. There is a huge opencast mine beside the museum, we can take a tour there on marked footpaths.
After the stamping procedure we turn back onto the route of the Blue Trail and leave Gánt village. We walk on the fields again, and reach the forest after a twenty minutes long walk. Our route goes straight at the crossing of dirt roads, towards the wide Pap-völgy (Pap Valley). The dirt road runs on the bottom of the valley among meadows, forest patches and climbs very hardly. After a half an hour long walk our road will be steeper, the valley becomes more narrow and we climb back onto the plateau. Later we get to the access dirt road of Mindszentpuszta homestead (Letérés Mindszentpusztához). We turn left onto this road marked with and reach the houses of the homestead on a meadow in a few minutes. Woodmen and other forest cultivating workers lived here until the 60s of the previous century. At present a part of the buildings are weekend houses, one of the them is used as “key house” – it means tourist hostels without staff – the rest of the homestead decay slowly. We find the stamp of the Blue Trail on the wire fence of the key house. After stamping we walk back onto the path of the Blue Trail.
Our wheel tracks descends in the forest into the wide Ciklámen-völgy (Ciklámen Valley) and we turn right onto a small path after a little while. We climb the side of the Som-hegy (Som Hill) on a small, meandering footpath. This hardly visible path leads in a sparsed beech forest in the high undergrowth. We cross wheel tracks in the forest, later reach another dirt road after a quarter hour long walk. We turn onto it and leave the forest after a few minutes. We get to a wide, grassy field with small group of trees, our wheel tracks meander among them. There is a good panorama towards north from the top of a hunter’s highstand standing beside the road, later we reach a small asphalt road in the forest. We follow the asphalt strip, first on it, later in the forest on a parallel footpath, but after some hundred steps we turn right into a valley.
The wheel tracks begin to climb on the bottom of the valley, later appears the path marked with signs leading to the modest ruins of the small Castle of Csák (Letérés a Csáki várhoz). We reach the fields and clear-cuts of the plateau after a twenty minutes long climb. Our dirt road crosses them, turns back in the forest and descends slowly to the main road leading from Oroszlány to Csákvár. The marked route of the Blue Trail turns left here, but if we turn right, we get to the small Kőhányás settlement after some steps (Kőhányáspuszta, letérés a pecsételőhelyhez). We can find the stamp of the Blue Trail beyond the tourist hostel, in front of the Steinau Guesthouse near to the chapel on a wooden column.
This small village or rather bigger homestead was mentioned first time in 1753 in documents and 68 forest workers lived here in that time. The road is very old, first time the Roman Empire had a military road built here, but it was used through many centuries. It had got asphalt surface in 1925, the chapel was built in 1878.
We continue the hike along this main road towards north-west, and walk about 300-400 steps beside it. A dirt road branches out from this asphalt road, we turn right and walk along it. We cross a high voltage power line and reach the forest again. The route of the Blue Trail turn left in the junction of valleys and climb back onto the hills. Our dirt road meanders in the beech forest and after a while descends into the next valley. We get to a narrow asphalt road on the bottom of it (Letérés Gesztes várához). The signs turn left here, but it is worth to start right on this road, because the painted marks lead us to the Castle of Várgesztes!
The narrow asphalt strip crosses grassy, flowery meadows, passes resting places and after a hairpin bend begins to climb very hard in a hillside. After a five minutes long steep ascent we reach the ruined castle of Várgesztes. We don’t know exactly the date of its building, but probably it was built after the Tartar invasion in the middle of the 13th century. It changed owner many times in the Turkey times, but in 1652 the Hungarian troop occupied back and renovated its walls. Later the fort has lost its importance and the soldiers left it. The stones of the fort were used at the building of a monastery at Majkpuszta. The ruins of the castle were excavated in the 60s of the previous century and were partly renovated. A tourist hostel and a restaurant work among its walls, but recently they are closed because of a big renovation, so we can't visit the inside of the castle.
After visiting the castle we go back on the access road until the branching of hiker's paths and reach Várgesztes village following the signs. We can stamp into our Blue Trail booklet in the pub of the village (Várgesztes, Vadász söröző) (62 Arany János út Várgesztes). There is another stamp in the grocery of the settlement (35 Arany János út, Várgesztes). We hike along the main street of Várgesztes until the small artificial lake. We turn off from the street there, walk along the promenade on the cost of the rowing lake and reach the foot of the Zsigmond-kő (Zsigmond Rock) soon. We enter the forest and a very hard climb begins in the hillside. After a while we get to branching of the short, but very steep path of the signs (Khrsz jelzés a Zsigmond-kőre). If we follow it, we reach the rocky forehead of the Zsigmond-kő after a few minutes long very hard ascend. A beautiful panorama opens from this place onto the wide valley of Várgesztes village and the castle!
After Várgesztes we reach the northern side of the Vértes Mountains, the wide plateau already disappeared in this area, deep valleys cut into parts the mountains. As we get to the ridge of the hills, we begin to decend onto the next valley. We reach the resting house of the Mátyás-kút (Mátyás Spring) at the bottom of the valley beside a narrow asphalt road after a half an hour long walk from the branching of the marks (Mátyás-kút, erdei pihenő). Unfortunately the springs of the Vértes don’t work permanently in the last dry years, they give water only after longer rainy periods. After the spring we climb back onto the hills, but later get to this valley again.
So we reach the narrow asphalt strip again, but we don't turn onto the road! We follow the marks on a long meadow at the bottom of the valey, but the road begins to climb in the hillside. We reach the Szarvas-kút (Szarvas Spring) after a few minutes (Szarvas-kút), unfortunately it is only a seasonal spring, similar to the Mátyás-kút. A new wooden shelter stands beside it in the hillside. The next climb begins at the Szarvas-kút until the ridge of the next hill, meanwhile we cross the asphalt road in the hillside. After a quarter hour long climb we get to the ridge and the slope begins immediately on the other side. It is a very exhausting section of our hike, hopefully we can walk continuously in the shady forest! When we reach the bottom of the next valley, we meet with the path of the marks again, the two signs go together some dozen steps, but the path of Blue Trail turns right and the climb begins again. If we get to the ridge of the next hill, we notice the branching path of the signs leading on the ridge to the forgotten, ruined castle of Vitányvár (Letérés Vitányvárhoz).
Similar to Várgesztes castle we don’t know exactly, when it was built, perhaps it happened after the Tartar invasion. The Turkey troops attacked and occupied it many times in the Middle Ages, and when the Hungarian army reoccupied it finally in 1597, they demolished the walls of the fort, so it lost its importance. Nobody have excavated its ruins, the abandoned walls stand in the forest at the end of the narrow ridge, only the path of the Blue Trail leads beside it.
When we leave the ruins, we continue our hike among the hills and valleys. After a half an hour we reach a narrow forest cultivating asphalt road and we begin the final descent from the Vértes. After a while we get to a junction of asphalt roads (Körtvélyespuszta, útelágazás), our route turns left here. After a few steps we leave the narrow asphalt strip and walk along wheel tracks. We pass by the abandoned cemetery of the former Körtvélyespuszta homestead, later the path of the marks branches off from our way. After a while we reach the upper end of the Mária-szakadék (Mária Gorge).
Our path descends very steeply in the side of the gorge and after a rocky section we reach the lower end of it after a quarter hour. The tourist hostel of Csákányospuszta appears on the left hillside at the edge of the forest (Csákányospuszta, turistaház). We continue our hike on the pebble access road of the tourist hostel, but after about 700 steps we leave it. Wheel tracks branch off towards north from the road, the marks of the Blue Trail follow them. We turn right at the junction of wheel tracks after about 500 steps, the ruins of an old chapel stand here on the grassy meadow. We cross a small brook after smelly sheep folds and turn onto an asphalt road. We get to the main road number 1 on it beside the building of the Birka Csárda restaurant (Birkacsárda). We cross the main road and continue the walk through the cultivated fields. If we turn left, towards north, we can see already the hills of the Gerecse.
We cross the small Csákány-patak Brook at the farther end of the fields and after a while we get to the football pitch of Szárliget village. We turn onto the long Baross utca (Baross Street) here, and reach the pedestrian overpass of the railway station on this road. We cross the rails and platforms on this bridge. The steel box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped on the wall of the building of the station, beside the door of the office (Szárliget, vasútállomás). If we finish the stamping procedure, we finish our hike through the Vértes Mountains, as well.
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