Touring Lake Balaton – Part Three
Day 6 Larisa and Robert
So it is our last day cycling, and I was both excited and sad at the same time. We had all become great friends during our tour, led by Tamas, with Peter and Laszlo keeping us supplied with water, coke and lots and lots of humour. Having a small group had met that we had all bonded and got to know each other, and everybody was slightly sad to be leaving.
The ride today was set to be about 80km, and included some hills for us to climb along the way. There were of course lots of descents too, which allowed us to have some fun, as we raced each other in windless sunshine, simply speeding down like real racers, on the smooth asphalt. Everywhere there were cycle paths too, with cyclists to be seen all day long, on these traffic free cycle highways.
After a short time cycling, Tamas stopped our peloton for lemonade by the roadside, with deck chairs for us to relax in the sun. Then we made several short interviews, with each of us interviewed by Laszlo, talking about how we had found the week and our cycling tour in Hungary. For me, and for Robert, it had been a very special experience that will live with both of us. Hungary now has a place in my heart, and my week had been wonderful.
After our refreshments break, we cycled on, to an old volcano and quarry, with superb views over the open landscape. However, in order to enjoy the view, we had to first climb up the steep slopes. Lunch was a treat of local fish from the Lake, with chips and beer, and everyone thought I needed more too eat … or just wanted to make a funny photograph of a hungry cyclist … in Hungary! Then it was time take to the roads again, finishing off our tan lines and taking the last few photographs of the tour.
The ride finished at the historic town of Veszprém, where after dinner we walked together and saw the medieval sights, including the fortified walls where I sat dangling my legs and took in the lights of the town below. While I was walking, I was thinking about the fun I’d had and wanting to visit again, being totally chilled and relaxed – not least from the great company. It also felt nice to all walk together and not to have to concentrate on cycling, instead just enjoying the historic Gothic architecture.
Flying out of Budapest the next day was sad, leaving behind happy memories and new friends. I’d had an amazing week, cycling around this beautiful country and meeting the people who live and work and cycle around Lake Balaton. Cristoff left first, having a flight to get to the Czech Republic, and the rest of us relaxed and chilled in Budapest in the sun. Despite being sad at leaving, I was however sure that we would all see each other again, in this amazing country where cycling is becoming a passion.
Before flying, Robert and I sat together in the garden at Tamas’s house, doing some necessary writing, as we remembered that this was working trip too! It was lovely just sitting and chatty and talking and sharing the adventures, and sharing our thoughts on Hungary too.
The cycling here is well developed, with lots of bike lanes used extensively by the locals as well as the tourists. It really is a pleasure to cycle in Hungary, with the high sun and the beautiful historic landscapes and the history … and of course the spas, which were very welcome after cycling each day 🙂