Yesterday was Gord’s 59th birthday and I wanted it to be special so we cycled for sixty kilometres in steady rain. The forecast kept being revised throughout the day, pushing the time back on when the rain would actually stop. We were mostly up on a dyke with loose gravel that we had to wallow and plow through before we finally opted for the wetter but faster road. We were soaked by the time we checked into our room in the town of Komarno and spent the evening sipping on hot tea after our equally hot showers.
Today we woke up to a changed world with sun and not a cloud in sight. I proclaimed the day Gord’s Birthday take two, as we cycled off through the quickly disappearing puddles from the day before. Slovakia is a much nicer place in the sunshine, but even the sun can not hide the fact that this is a region of ruins.
The youngest of these ruins are the unfinished houses abandoned during the recent economic crisis. Next are the carcasses of the Soviet era factories and apartments that litter the urban landscape. On the Slovakian and Hungarian side of the Danube, there are also lots of crumbling Victorian gems reminding us of more prosperous times.
We are now in the town of Visegrad where the Danube makes a turn to the south towards Budapest. After our 80 km ride I settled in for a much needed nap just as my old and retired husband grabbed a bottle of water and the camera and set off to climb up the steep hill to see yet another ruin. This one is a 13th century castle ultimately destroyed by the Ottomans.