I started the day by having breakfast with five lovely Dutch people, I love being around Dutch people and always get a kick out of listening to them talk.
Today, I would be riding into Budapest, the last leg of Stage 3 of the Danube Cycle Way. Taking the main road it was only 40km away but of course I had to follow the Danube so it was another 85km or so to the outskirts of the city. As I loaded up my bike it started to rain but I set off nevertheless. It proceeded to rain a lot more and I had to stop to put my rainwear on not that it does that much to prevent me from getting wet.
After about 15km it was necessary to cross the Danube therefore I had to get a little ferry across, once across it was another 40km to a nice town called Vác where I would have to catch another ferry back to the other side again. As I rode into Vác the 12.00 ferry was leaving therefore I had an hour before the next one. I went and had a look around the town, found some savory pastry thingy and then headed back down to the river.
I was just about to sit down and have a coffee on my own when I heard some English. I turned round and said "Hello" and the lady said "Are you English, how lovely, would you like to join us?" and that's when I met Jane and John Butters from Edinburgh. They treated me to a coffee and a piece of strudel and we sat and talked until the next ferry was due. Jane, 66 and John 73, have been biking for the past 8 weeks. They started off in the Loire Valley and are now finishing in Budapest. They have such old bikes and so very little amount of baggage. They put me to shame. Every year they set off on a biking trip and have done many countries around the world. They had some great advice, well let's just say that Jane did most of the talking. They wanted to know everything about me and understood what it is to bike tour and John, having done some bike tours alone, also said that it can be quite lonely at times, which is very true.
Anyway, the ferry arrived, we said goodbye, I also said goodbye to the Dutch who were on the same ferry and I set off on the final stretch into Budapest. I had to pass through a lovely riverside town called Szentendre, looked gorgeous but I didn't stop as I wanted to get in to the city before the ominous looking clouds shed their load. As always, I managed to lose the designated bike route as I entered the city. You see a sign then they're gone, it's maddening at times.
As I got closer, I began to see the stunning city that was awaiting me. Buda on one side Pest on the other. I finally found my way again to the Erzebet Hid aka The Elizabeth Bridge and made my way over into Pest. My hostel was hidden away in zigzagging streets but I finally found it although I doubted that any hostel even existed as there was nothing to show that it was a hostel. Nevertheless I rang the doorbell and it was answered. Turns out I am staying in a Jesuit Boarding School which they are using as a hostel during the summer months. The rooms are nothing like what I had at boarding school but then I guess that Ikea wasn't around back then.
Quick shower and was out. Didn't know where there hell I was going so I wandered and thankfully fell upon some of the nicest areas straight away. I had my Goulash supper and my obligatory ice cream, still hungry I had some Transylvanian Chimney Cake too which was rather nice. I wandered until late along Vaci Ut., and around the river front. Have to say that I rather like Budapest and that I am going to stay an extra day as it warrants more of my time.