c
 
 
 
 
 

Kevin, Tom and Brent's
Cycling the Danube Bike Path
From Vienna to Budapest
Day 4: Komarom, Hungary to Esztergom, Hungary

 

 

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

Map shows our route

Day 4 - Friday, September 15, 2011 - Komárom, Hungary to Esztergom, Hungary
- Distance: 60.6 km, Cycle Time: 3:04, Average Speed: 19.7 kph -

Yet another breakfast of scrambled eggs (which looked exactly like an omellette), bread and jam, and coffee greeted us in the morning. We set out about 9:00 a.m. to cross the Danube from Komárom, Hungary to Komarno, Slovakia over the Friendship Bridge. Apparently, after World War I, with the drawing of a new international border between Hungary and Slovakia, this town was divided into two resulting in Komárom and Komarno. Once in Komarno, it was quite apparent that this city was the location of the original town centre. We toured the downtown looking for kitsch – fridge magnets and such, to bring home as treasures. But, alas, we were unsuccessful.

As we left the central district, we rode by a 16th century fortification that was built to protect the city against the Turks. We then went by many derelict looking Soviet era buildings before finally finding the bridge that lead us to the bike path. We rode about 8 km on a rough rail trail that was actually signed as our bike path before we realized we could have ridden a paved road that paralleled this path most of the way. At least we we were without any vehicular traffic, with the exception of two mountain bikes that passed us heading in the opposite direction. While we couldn’t see the Danube River because of the trees, we did hear the occasional barge or riverboat pass by. Our route even took us by the old Roman ruins of Pannonia, where and active excavation was under way. Eventually, we regained the paved road and continued through mostly plain scenery consisting of fields of dead sunflower plants, corn, and some small scale vineyards.

We did pass a few cyclists along the way. Most were also touring the Danube, including a couple from France who were on a six week tour. We arrived in Sturovo on the Slovakian side of the Danube around 1:00 p.m. and we enjoyed an inexpensive lunch of goulash and rice at a Turkish restaurant in the town square. Fortunately, our desire to locate some Slovakian kitsch was satisfied in this town, as we loaded our panniers with fridge magnets. Prior to crossing the Danube back into Hungary we viewed the town of Esztergom from the base of the Maria-Valeria Bridge. We enjoyed an excellent view of the Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St Adalbert. This edifice just happens to be the tallest structure in Hungary, and is the 18th biggest church in the world. The basilica overlooks Esztergom and the Danube from it's perch high up on Castle Hill.

We crossed back into Hungary and found excellent accommodation at the Alabárdos Panzio for about 75 Euros, including breakfast. From our Panzio we had a view of the basilica and much of the old town of Esztergom. Having settled into our Panzio, we then spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening touring the Basilica, Water City and the old centre of Esztergom. We were also fortunate to have other cyclists staying at our Panzio. When we mentioned that Kevin had lost the bolt for his bike rack, and that we would have to re-do our temporary repair, he opened his repair kit, and was able to supply us with the proper size bolt to do the job. The bolt remained firm for the rest of our journey.

Komarno, Slovakia town square in the morning

Tom sucking 'er down part way through ...

Old rail line converted to bike path

Map showing the layout of the Roman settlement of Pannonia

Pannonia Archeological site

French couple on a six week tour - note NO front panniers - "travelling light"

Slovakian "kitsch" - sexy underwear sold in a music store

The top part of Kevin's "lunch"

Slovakian fashion statement

Coffee as it should be everyday!

Esztergom Basilica as seen from the Slovakian side of the Danube in Sturovo

View of the Danube from the Basilica

Monument on top of Castle Hill

Tom giving a sense of scale to the Basilica

Interior view of the Basilica's dome

Front view of the Basilica

 

m