105km today. From the campsite I crossed back over the river into Slovakia.
The path was excellent to begin with. Passed some ruins from the 1500s
Unfortunately, after a while, the path turned from smooth tarmac into this:
And got somewhat worse. There must have been about 10km like it – was hard work, and I was worried about damaging the bike.
After a lunch stop in a village en route, I made it to Eztergom. You can see the cathedral from a long way away, but it’s difficult to get a sense of its size until you get close.
The Mária Valéria Bridge has been rebuilt twice, following each world war. It took until 2001 for it to be rebuilt following the second. I’d been reading “A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh Fermor while on my travels. This tells of his journey on foot across Europe in the 1930s. In it, he talks about crossing the bridge.. “my passport stamped at the frontier post at the Czechoslovakian end of the bridge, The red, white and green barrier…at the far end marked the beginning of Hungary.” And then relates, at some length, the scene in Eztergom. No such excitement today – I just walked over. It’s a good read; a bit meandering in places, but I enjoyed it.
Having left Extergom, the path was off road and close to the river. I stopped for a swim. The water was cool and pleasant
Shortly the path joined a fairly busy road, apparently just for a few km, before a ferry crossing. When I got there, the ferry had stopped last year, so it was back onto the road for most of the rest of the day. As well as being quite unpleasant, it also meant I missed a lot of the river views, as the path on the other side followed the river more closely.
Today has been quite difficult in terms of the path (or lack of it), and the lack of direction signs. Everything up to this point had been remarkably easy
Eventually I made it to the camp site Szentendre. This is on a little island, which must flood in the winter as all the permanent chalets and the toilet block are on stilts.
I had a tasty burger from the bar on site. The waitress complimented me on my English. When I told her I was, she proceeded to tell me about two “very nice” guys who’d come over from England on Harley Davidsons. She seemed quite confused when I explained I’d come over on my bike!
After my burger I wandered into town for a look. It’s charming – lots of pretty cobbled streets. There are a couple of unusual museums I plan to check out tomorrow.
A short day tomorrow should get me to Budapest in a few hours.