Today was a more visually diverse day than yesterday. Slightly flatter too with no early morning climb. Instead we just turned right out of the front gates of our overnight accomodation, cycled a km and then climbed 4 meters to the top of the levy and pedalled eastward towards Esztergom some 100 km away.
The weather wasn’t playing fair and clearly the forecasters at Apple iPhone need to look out the window a bit more. They had said dry all day. To the contrary it was a wet start to the day. A persistent drizzle that periodically stopped for short periods and then resumed as soon as you put away all your wet weather gear.
The cycle path started wide and well paved and through the day got progressively narrower and rougher to the point where the last 5km alongside the river was akin to trying to cycle along an English beach. That is, a loose and soft pebble like surface that was both difficult to negotiate and tiring on the legs.
Eventually the path simply run out. No sign no warning . Nothing.
It was then a bit of a 15 km bash through small towns and across communist era type country lanes that were surfaced with badly laid reinforced concrete slabs.
Eventually we found smooth roads again just a few kilometres from the bridge that marked our departure from Slovakia and arrival into Hungary.
Three countries conquered. One left to do and only 75km from Budapest.
We have been astonished at the lack of commercial water craft in the river. This empty cruiser was making its way upstream mid morning. After the solitary commercial barge we saw yesterday these were the only two non private vessels we have seen plying their trade on the river .
Scarcity of people on the river side path was also astonishing. Today over 90 km on the pathway we saw just 3 other cyclists. All were local folk. One of whom promptly fell off his bicycle immediately after passing us.
The path got progressively worse during the course of the day. At least today we had trees and landscape between us and the river and I am told there was an abundance of birdlife in them there trees.
Talking of bird life. Things you don’t expect to see on a bike ride in Slovakia. Gobbling Turkeys . Right up there with Slovakian men exercising in their underwear .
At about 50km we headed through Komarno. An industrial river port where trains meet barges and vice versa. This bridge was EU funded is my guess .
Research reveals me correct. A three year old bridge.
The disparity between the haves and have nots in Slovakian life is pretty stark and very real. You have this architecturally designed house that sits river side and then co-existing with it on one side you have this …..
… a small riverside shack that is home to someone with slightly less economic wealth than their neighbour above but yet the same river view.
Ellisabeth bridge. Not EU funded!
The working port of Kormano. Famous for its river barge building industry and where trains meet barges.
Pretty sure I know the restaurant where people in Kormano go for their riverside wedding receptions. We ate there. Decent meal too. First smiling waitress we’ve met in Slovakia too.
Solid garlic laden bread soup. Good for cycling on a wet and windy day in Slovakia.
At least the riverside scenery was more diverse today. Lots of greenery and bird life apparently.
After almost 150 km riverside on beautiful biking paths our end was non descript and abrupt. It was a small push up the bank of the levy and then 10-15 km on roads and small country lanes to Esztergom.
The Basilica of Esztergom. Its Sheer size is impressive and it was visible on the horizon from about 30 km away. Construction began in 1822 and it was completed in 1869. It is also the largest church in Hungary.
Crossing from Slovakia into Hungary.
Hello Hungary !
The view from the Basilica looking westward and upstream from we’ve come. That being Slovakia on the opposite bank.