Trip Start Jul 04, 2013
Trip End Aug 29, 2013

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Flag of Hungary  , Budapest,
Friday, August 2, 2013

My favorite stop thus far. The ride in was a hilly one with one final long climb and the roads are a bit torn up but it was still a welcome change over the endless miles of flat trail along the Danube. I saw the largest sunflower field I have ever seen in my life - acre upon acre of yellow as far as the eye could see.
The ride across the Erzsebet bridge (the White bridge) into downtown Budapest (on the Buda side) was a bit hairy w/ traffic but Shanny did an excellent job of guiding us through the chaos. We checked into the Mercure, showered and relaxed, and then headed out for dinner and a river cruise. I indulged in some local comfort food - grilled Camembert w/ raspberry sauce, goose leg w/ crushed potatoes and red cabbage and for dessert, a special Hungarian sponge cake called Somloi galuska - something like Tiramisu. It was delicious!!
The river cruise at night was a real treat - all the beautiful buildings along the river were lit up and I was convinced that one day in Budapest was not going to be enough.
This morning, I arose too early and drank too much cappuccino - some things never change. We set off to drop off laundry w/ a very nice young man named Andrew. We then proceeded on foot to the Pest side of the bridge to climb the 1000 meters to the Gellert Hill Citadel where we were rewarded with an exquisite panoramic view of the city. I thought Vienna was beautiful but I find that Budapest's architecture is much more unique and the numerous bridges each have their own personality.
Afterward, we crossed the Szabadsag bridge (the Green bridge) back into Buda to the large, 2 story indoor market. We mostly browsed through the local wares before refueling on some more local cuisine - cabbage rolls and stuffed eggplant. Some more walking in the heat (86 degrees!) took us to the Jewish shoe memorial, another stark reminder of the Nazi atrocities of World War II.
Oh yeah - this is a REST day and we have 5 consecutive days of long rides ahead of us. So back to the hotel to once again scratch my head and try to figure out how to live out of a 90 litre duffel bag. 23 days to go. I'm not homesick yet but I do miss people and little things like ice, music, oatmeal cookies, saying something funny to a stranger and holding babies and dogs.
But I also know that when it's over, I'll say "What? Already?"
And so tomorrow we ride...
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Steve on

Very interesting! Thanks for taking the time to write your blog

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