Friday, August 22, 2014: 22 km in town
Having camped only 13 km north of Budapest in a “mini camp” we were able to relax and have a leisurely morning sipping tea and reading our books. We chatted with our Dutch/Colombian camping neighbors about camping in Hungary – I am especially excited about the prospect of all the thermal baths found in this part of the world.
We set off along the EV 6 bike trail, continuing to follow the Donau and this happened:
We came upon the best spinning class I have ever seen. Right on the river edge, with both leg and arm ergometers (cycles) and complete with a live conga drummer. We stopped to egg them on and I was coaxed into having a go with the arm ergometer. A little uncoordinated but I got the hang of it!
Next we came across a sort of paddle volleyball competition. The players used what looked to be a tambourine or drum head to hit a tennis ball across a volleyball net. We watched for a while – long enough to witness money exchanging hands with each play.
Then we stumbled into the International Ironman 70.3-Budapest. We watched the bike portion for a short while then decided to move on- but, alas, it was not that easy. The bike race followed the path we wished to take. So we navigated along the course, often riding on the sidewalk right next to the competitors!
Our Budapest lodging is on the west side, in the Buda part of the city, behind the Buda Castle. The bike portion of the triathlon coursed through the Buda Castle. If you get off the main road you end up in the middle of the castle grounds with all the tourists and only stairs to get out. So, we did some off road riding around staircases and through the grassy hills until we were able to find our way over to the other side – all the while, the triathletes hogged the road – always right next to us.
At one point we came across one of the emergency vehicles – EMTs and all – let’s hope nobody needed to be transported.
It was a fun ride into Budapest. We so far are impressed with the Hungarian hospitality. Much friendlier than the neighboring Slovakians.