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Kevin, Tom and Brent's
Cycling the Danube Bike Path
From Vienna to Budapest
Day 3: Györ, Hungary to Komárom, Hungary

 

 

Photographs on this website were taken by Kevin Rodger, except where noted.

Map shows our route


Day 3 - Thursday, September 14, 2011 - Györ, Hungary to Komárom, Hungary
- Distance: 64.7 km, Cycle Time: 3:41, Average Speed: 17.5 kph -

We started the day making a temporary repair to the rear rack of Kevin's bike. A bolt, which attached the left base of his rear rack to his bike was missing - Kevin suspected that he has stripped this bolt when he reassembled the bike. Tom supplied a simple zip-tie for this temporary repair: a must remember spare part for the next cycling trip (of course, it might be just as easy to take some spare bolts).

We spent about an hour touring the town square in Györ, and were pleasantly surprised. We were expecting a neo-classical Soviet inspired cluster of box like buildings. Instead, we were treated to many beautiful buildings, and old churches, along with much construction and restoration work being carried out. It appears Hungary's move to join the European Union was benefiting Györ, as much investment was being directed into this town. We speculated that the lower cost of living in Hungary could be attracting investment from the nearby and more affluent Austria.

The road out of Györ was confusing at times, but we eventually made our way to an abandoned rail line that went on for almost 5 km. It was interesting to see a signpost with the international symbol for radiation emblazoned on it. One wonders what these tracks must have transported during the cold war era. Again, there were some additional roads in this area that could be best described as mine fields with lots of un repaired potholes. Just after the town of Bonyrétalap, we misread a sign for the bike path to Budapest and headed north, about six kilometers too soon! It was only after we had traveled several kilometers that we realized our mistake. Instead of backtracking, we devised our own plan of attack: just after crossing the M1 highway, we would take the first right turn to head east – provided that road was paved. If it was not paved, we would continue for another 2 kilometres to what the map indicated was a busy secondary road, and follow that east into the town of Ács.

The first road happened to be paved, so we happily took it. There was absolutely no traffic on the road other than one car, and a passing tractor. The road continued for a glorious 3 km. At that point, the road turned to gravel where the only farmhouse stood. Eventually, even this relatively smooth gravel road changed into a rutted laneway suitable only for farm tractors and mountain bikes. We continued on regardless. For about 5 km we bounced and churned our bikes at a remarkable speed of 13 kph. In some spots, the road almost entirely disappeared and we thought we might have to walk through the farmer’s field to reach the town, whose church steeple we could see in the distance. Eventually, we could see cars and a bus, and a paved road miraculously appeared. We were in Ács - covered in dust, but high in spirits. We stopped at a local grocery store and bought some ham, cheese, bread, fruit, and juice. While eating our lunch we saw a group of 10 cyclists go by on rented bicycles. About one third of this group were on electric assist bicycles. We would eventually catch up with this group of Canadians in our destination town of Komárom.

Tom on the "bike path" - it only got worse from here ... (photo copyright 2011 Brent Irvine)

Leaving Ács, we noticed a sign that had been modified by hand (that is to say, a piece of tape covered the straight arrow) that directed us to turn left instead of going straight. It seems the original route was deemed “too rough” by the European Union, so the mapping was changed until the path was brought up to appropriate standards. After turning left we cycled for a kilometer before consulting our maps. Seeing nothing familiar, and thinking we were once again "lost", we returned to the sign and asked a local for some assistance. He told us that we could continue straight ahead, but he also warned us of how rough it would be. We took the rough route through forested land that started out as a paved path, but ended up once again as a rutted maze of potholes. Somewhere along this route Tom received the first and only tire puncture of our trip. The tire leaked out air very slowly necessitating a couple of fill ups before reaching our destination of Kormárom. The last 5 km were along quiet country roads that lead us into the city, where we found accommodations at the Aqua Hotel.

The Hotel Aqua was adjacent to thermal spas and an Olympic sized swimming pool. The spas were moderately busy, with several over weight, Speedo clad patrons enjoying the warm waters. Regardless, the spas were a welcome treat after an enjoyable day of cycling in mostly sunny conditions, and temperatures in the mid-twenties. The wind was north west at about 10 kph, which gave us a slight tailwind on our ride.

Carmelite Church in Györ - built from 1721 to 1725

Interior of the Cathedral of our Lady in Györ

St. Ignatius, Györ, Hungary

The Town Hall in Györ, Hungary - A városháza Györben

On the outskirts of town - we finally "re-discovered" the bike path

The radiation symbol say it all ... This was an old train line out of town. Very straight means very boring ...

There were lots of these memorials on the country roads we traveled on. Very well kept, but we didn't have a clue what the writing said.

Just leaving the town of Szolohegy

And this is where the fun began - the road we were on came from the right of the photograph. We should have continued straight. Instead, we took a left turn and took the road at my back. While it did not add any extra mileage, it did add about 5 km of real rough "single-track" riding.

Town of Ács - where we picked up some food at the local grocery store and made our own lunch

Hotel Aqua - our headquarters in the town of Komárom

This is NOT Kevin! "Speedo" scene outside our hotel, which was connected to a series of thermal baths, or spas.

You are never far from home when you see one of these signs. In another 30 days of cycling, we could have reached Finland. If we wanted to!

A hard day for Tom, rewarded by a relaxing snooze

Europeans seem big on circuses. Komárom was no exception

Night scene taken from the bridge between Komárom, Hungary and Komárom, Slovakia

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