Hungary was not a country we had focused on or researched well. It was a country on our road on the way back through Europe. It surprised us with its huge fields, smiling sunflowers and the first real cycling paths we came across on the return through Europe.
All our photos our available here: The Return: Hungary.
We really enjoyed sleeping in between the sunflowers. They gave great cover so we would be out of sight and it made us happy from going to bed to waking up the next morning and being surrounded. We found small patches without sunflowers to set-up our tent. Very often we would see hares and deer scurrying around in between the field of sunflowers, jumping off in the distance before we would be too close.
It is always enjoyable to find the small roads because of less traffic. But sometimes the amount of time is doubled and it is not always worth it. Especially in Hungary we were surprised a few times by the quality of the road because we tried to take short-cuts while the better option probably was to follow the road.
Fields provide ample of camping opportunity and we have never been disturbed during our sleep in Hungary. We came across our first bicycle paths and especially many bicycle signs. Surreal!
We would find dreamy camping spots like these with great sunsets and sunrises.
At Vac we met up with the Danube and it was nice to see this river again since we crossed it at Ruse between Bulgaria and Romania. We hadn’t planned cycling along the Danube but we were inclined to be in Vienna on time. It was actually nice and not too busy, although we felt a different kind of bicycle culture on the cycling path. Cyclists still greeted each other but almost nobody would stop for a meaningful conversation. While usually if we would come across another cyclist we would ALWAYS stop 🙂 It is just part of the community of bicycle tourers. But different when you are on a high trafficked path.
We found a hostel in Vac where we could camp in the garden for a reasonable price. From here we crossed the Danube to cycle on the other side of the water. We came across a really nice local market with arts, crafts and local produce where we bought the most delicious honey ever! By the way, the local bakeries and small shops in Hungary have been the best in a long time! A very delicious strudel, dead cheap was available everywhere and provided the best morning snack to us. And we could regularly indulge in some really great ice-cream. Close to a cyclists dream!
From the surprisingly beautiful city of Esztergom we crossed the Danube once again, this time to enter the following country: Slovakia. Neither of us had ever been there before and we were looking forward to get to know the country and visit its capital Bratislava.