Gordon: We have read that the Danube valley is not the most interesting area of Romania. As a result we made the decision to leave the Danube in Budapest and for the past two days we have been heading east towards Transylvania.
The plains of Hungary have turned out to be a pleasant cycling experience. The land is largely flat, with fields of ripening sunflowers and forage crops, as well as patches of woodland. The towns are charming, each with a treed square and a number of benches. These provide excellent habitat for hungry cyclists to fall upon fresh bakery goods.
Traffic has been light on most of the roads that Pocket Earth has sent us down. The drivers are a little less courteous than they are in France or Spain, but still much less threatening than the yahoos in Canada. Today we spent almost half of our ride on the paved lane ways on type of flood dykes. This was idyllic cycling, with views over the plains, a good riding surface, and only a handful of other vehicles per hour.
At one point during the ride today I noticed a car apparently parked astride a rail line. When we went over to investigate, we realized that the rail line, including a kilometre long bridge, was also the highway. A barrier and traffic light at each end allowed one way traffic, when a train was not also using the same stretch of tracks. A bit funky, but an efficient use of infrastructure.
We ended our ride in the water sports resort town of Abadszalok. The temperature was over 30 degrees again today, so we happily joined the locals for a swim in the lake.
We are staying in a small guest house a few minutes walk from the lake. Although our host speaks only a few words of English, she gave us an enthusiastic welcome, and insisted that we immediately sit down for some “schnapps” with a beer chaser. As we had just come from lunch, where we each had a half litre of beer, a mid-afternoon nap became essential. Such are the rigours of travel in Hungary.
Our tripometer turned over 3,000 kms today.