3rd April- Gyor (Hungary)- Bratislava (Slovakia)- 85km
Today I hit my 1000km mark!
For the first 50km or so I cycled along the Danube towards Slovakia. On one side of the river it’s only a cycle path, so blissfully no cars to contend with, not even people or other cyclists it seemed. Without exaggeration I didn’t see a living sole for a good two hours, then when I did it was because I was overtaking a boat. Yes, that’s how speedy I was today. The tail wind (basically a cyclist’s energise star on Mario) and complete flat terrain helped, but I tried convincing myself it’s because I’m getting faster!
Just me and the Danube
I crossed the border into Slovakia pretty early on with the eerie border unmanned. Totally forgot to change my currency, so I had to scrape together cents for a coffee.
My first impressions of Slovakia were really positive. Everything seems so pristine in comparison to other parts of Europe I’ve come from. The cars are shiny new ones, the streets are clean, the houses and even the churches look immaculate and brand new. Maybe it was just the few areas I passed, but I’m impressed so far.
Fun fact about Bratislava: it’s the only capital city in the world that borders two Independent countries.
For lunch I stopped at what seemed like a workman’s canteen from the 80s- everything that mustard yellow colour, but the portion sizes were spot on. I had a soup, bread, schnitzel, potatoes and a drink for €4.50!
I was around 5km from the city and waiting to see some sign of actually being in a capital city which I didn’t really get, it’s really small in Bratislava. There was a marathon going on which I stopped to watch for a bit, however my cheers in English didn’t do much good I don’t think.
Once I’d dropped my bags at the hostel I went to explore. I was going to catch the walking tour for 3pm, but I didn’t have enough energy for that so I walked for a bit then sat outside of a cafe (the weather has been beautiful) to people watch and drink €1 beer. It seems I wasn’t the only one making the most of the cheap beer: ten drunken English guys on a stag do were sat near me- talk about Brits abroad giving us a bad name, these guys were vile. Listening in to their conversation was cringe worthy, the meaning of life (it’s to have fun if you were wondering), women’s arses, football. Yikes. I got out of there and sampled some local cuisine at a place recommended to me. Sheep’s cheese is big here, so I had these breadcrumb type dumplings with cheese and bacon in them, then strudel for dessert. Yummy!
When I got back to the hostel three other guys had checked into my room. One was a French guy called Charlie who was also cycling the Eurovelo 6 route but in the opposite direction. We got on really well and sat chatting for a while about the ups and downs of cycle touring; being unprepared, bad weather in his case (luckily not mine), hills, punctures. It was great to hear from someone else doing it solo and finding parts of it tough and not always fun, such a shame we’re not going in the same direction.
The other two guys that checked in were Russians who had come over for a gaming competition- wow did these two fit the stereotype for ‘gamers’. I had to take a photo of the amount of stuff they had charging, as I couldn’t have put it into words!
They kept me awake until late tapping away at their games on their laptops in the dark….not a happy bunny!