Published: November 1st 2007October 13th 2007
From the Cycle Path to Gyora
I've 'tweaked' this one a bit (B&W and Watercolour). Click on the photo to get a better view.
12th October - 13th October............. Gyora, Hungary ...................
Bratislava is right on the border of Austria and Hungary and so it wasn't long before I found myself in my 4th country this trip, and all on a bicycle. Hungary does not have the obvious wealth of Austria but it is a return to houses that are more cared for. Rural towns appear as somewhat 'peasant' communities. One gets the impression that not a lot happens here. Gyora on the other hand is quite a large town with a delightful old centre which is popular with tourists, also attracted by the Thermal Spring Bath. I arrived mid afternoon and decided to stay another night so I could spend more time wandering and discovering. There was a wonderful laid back and talented band that got the crowd dancing and singing and people coming out of their shops to watch from their doors and windows. I opted for a beer in the sun while I tapped my feet. It has started to get cold, particularly with any breeze - the ol' chill factor.
I listened and watched the band the next day as well before spending the afternoon at the Thermal Springs. These
Shop Sign, Gyora
A young boy was watching me as I took this. My camera has a large screen so he could see the image I had taken and gave me the thumbs up as a sign of a good snap.
large complexes are very much social and sedentary. Obesity is the vogue here, unlike Austria, and there were a few bodies that made a wave or two as they entered the various pools. The most energetic it gets is two water slides. It is fun discovering the different pools with a variety of water temperatures, depths, one with a bar, two that lead outside through plastic curtains (the air was cold but the sun lovely), one in a grotto that a group of women were enjoying for its acoustic qualities for their singing, tiled beds in the water to lay back and stare at the 'stars' in the ceiling of the dark room, waterfalls that suddenly come on etc.
14th October Esztergom
The cycle way is not as complete and sign posted, you are much more likely to hear dogs barking and cars appear more prevalent and roads are noisier. Esztergom is 66km from Budapest and is one of Hungary’s most historical cities positioned on the start of the 'Danube Bend' where the river changes from W - E to a southerly direction. Before I even realized I was about to cycle into the city I could
see the majestic 72m high central dome standing out on the Basilica on Castle Hill. It is complemented by an old quarter of late baroque and neo-classical buildings. Across the river the stark ideologically inspired high rise of Slovakia can be seen. At the Basilica I visited the Church's treasury which "is the richest ecclesiastical collection in Hungary and contains Byzantine, Hungarian and Italian objects of sublime workmanship and great artistic merit" L.P. The affluence of the church is certainly a site to behold, gold on gold, on rubies etc. The thing I don't understand is the tendency to venerate the past cardinals etc by keeping bits of their bodies and enshrining them in bejeweled gold. What do they do after someone has died? I can just see them huddled together as a group saying shall we keep the thigh bone, some of the skull or what? How do they make this decision? "Well we already have St Steven's fibula, maybe...."
Well I have put on long pants and even gloves for the first time while cycling. That wind is getting cold. The last 1-2 hours of the day's ride was tedious for the first time
Buskers in Gyora
A wonderful laid back and talented band that got the crowd dancing and singing
this trip. No cycle way, a bit hilly, some wind, cold and noisy traffic. Szentendre has most of its architecture and cobbled streets unchanged and attracted an art community many years ago. Today it is the 'Hahndorf' of Hungary, lined with eateries and souvenir shops. Staying overnight made it more pleasurable as being cold and with the tourists and Budapest day trippers gone for the day, it was much like it would have been.
There are more photos below