Hungary Adventure, Page 2
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Pictures and Stories About Bicycle Adventures
By Bicycle, September, 2005
Above Left: We're at the Budapest East Train Station. We are early and discover that train departure times and tracks are not posted until the last minute, for security purposes - kind of frustrating for outsiders, but we understand. It is almost Sept 11.
Above Right: We find and board our train. We sit with a really nice young lady who speaks English - turns out that she is a Lawyer, visiting her parents in Eger for the weekend. We learn that all the locals know that the trains always depart from the same track and same boarding area all of the time. Hmm. All trains are electric.
Above Left: We arrive at Eger, home of Bulls Blood wine. Dennis takes to Bulls Blood like a Frenchman takes to Cabernet Sauvignon. But first we tour the city. The land has changed hands many times. We will spend the night in a hotel across from a Minaret. The Eger Castle (Var) is on the hill top in the background of the picture and statues of town heroes occupy the foreground in the Eger town square. The very name of Bulls Blood came from Turkish rulers doing battle with local townsmen - the local ruler released the town wine to the men, who drank and fought boldly. The Turk invaders thought that the men had drank bull's blood for strength and courage, as the liquid was running down their faces and beards.
Above Right: One of the two Fasola created Rought-Iron Gates. They have exquisite craftsmanship and are very artistic.
Above Left: Battlements of the castle. Cannons and Ballasts are in place.
Above Right: View of a Minaret from the castle wall. It happens that we are staying at the Minaret Hotel, next to the Minaret. We are surprised that the minaret was not torn down when the Islamic government was replaced - we appreciate that the minaret was not taken down. Respect and tolerance for different religions and beliefs is to be applauded.
Above Left: Frank (left), Krisztina (middle), Terry (right), and Dennis (behind the camera). Frank (an Anglesized Hungarian name) and Krisztina form the road support crew. Frank was a Chemical Engineer for the former communist government. Krisztina, a former teacher, has already been busy keeping our tour afloat, we had a threaded bicycle pedal that fell off the bike a few times - Krisztina, within a two hour period got an entire new crank component installed. Good work!
Above Right: While we are waiting for the new pedal and crank, we shop at the local market for fruit, cheese, and bread - the stuff of "Roaming Road Warriors." The lady who sold us the apples refused to make the sell until we tried a slice of each different type of apple, then she washed the fruit for us. That was the kind of courtesy that we received for the entire trip! Its a respect for travelers and people on bikes in particular. We just started our journey and its already wonderful!
Above Left: Most of the roadside ditches are covered with black berries and raspberries. Berries for miles. We get our fill.
Above Right: Every large farm plot and every town has a religious shrine, usually a cross or a statue of Mary. Kind of interesting for a former Communist Country formerly occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Oh yeah, check out the cool vineyard. The country topography that we are in is similar to Burgundy, France - Grapes everywhere!
Above Left: This young man saved our trip. We had a low pressure tire with a problematic Presta tire valve. We couldn't hand pump enough air pressure into the bike tire. The day and time was Saturday evening. Not only did he figure out a short term fix, he would not let us leave the shop, his house, without making sure that all of our water bottles were filled. He refused to take any money for his help. What a wonderful experience.
Above Right: A picture of the tire shop in the village of Tarnaszentmaria where the young man, above left, helped us.
Above Left: A pair of powered gliders over Hungary.
Above Right: We are in Domoszlo. Its now about 6 pm (1800 Local). We still have about two hours to ride. This village is a closing up from its Saturday Market Day. This gentleman is a Vintnor, I wrote his name down so that I would not forget - it stats with a 'B', the paper disappeared. He insists on us traveling bicyclists share his wine - the wine was very good. We would have loved to have stayed and drink more wine, but alas, there is still a long pull ahead of us, it goes uphill for the last hour. We explain, we appologize, we feel appreciated, we feel sorry that we had to leave such a kind gentleman.
Above Left: We are in Matrafured, very near our hotel for the night. We see this beautiful flower box display on one of the local resort community homes.
Above Right: Its Sunday morning. We are hungry for some reason. This is one of many food spreads at our hotel, Hotel Avar. Its a match made in heaven!
Above Left: Mount Kekesteto Summit, Hungary's Highest Peak. We biked up in rain. The rain was a blessing in disguise. We were working very hard, the rain helped us keep cool but the rain fogged up the lens.
Above Right: This is a one room cabin on the side of the road. Its beautiful and seemingly well maintained. We think this is commonly called a Mother-In-Law House.
Above Left: Terry is wearing a new reflector. It works. The countryside is awsome.
Above Right: Travel advice from Frank and Krisztina. They just happenned to be driving by us. Its nice to be cared about.
Above Left: Its Monday. We are leaving the cool mountains for a warmer valley. This is a view over the village of Matrakeresztes. We are heading for a larger town called Paszto, located in a river valley basin. We can feel the heat building up.
Above Right: We are out of the mountains and about to enter the town of Paszto. Its warmer and our one Presta Valve tire is low again and we can't seem to keep air in it.
Above Left: We just happen to ride by a bicycle shop, although we are actually looking for a bike shop. We do have a cell phone. In fact we are renting an international cell phone. But in any case, we feel that we can manage this Presta Valve problem on our own, keeping in mind that we speak very little Magyar (Hungarian).
It takes a while to communicate the problem, but we end up buying a little funnel tipped air adapter that converts a Shrader Tire pump valve size into Presta Valve size. Shrader Valves are what car tires use and the most remote gas/petro/fuel station in the world will have a Shrader Valve based air pump. The adapter cost 80 HUF (Hungarian Forint), about 40 cents US. It was worth its weight in gold. We honor the bike shop with its picture (Paszto, Hungary).
Above Right: We have learned that peaches are in season. The peaches are ripe, juicy, and tasty. Terry is hamming it up, but only a little. We have a peach for lunch every day.
We know that we are heading for Erdotarcsa, but we don't know that we are about to stay in a French designed, classic Chateau.