Ottoman 3: Budapest to Mohacs
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This was supposed to be the longest day of the Ottoman Empire ride, but given some windy thunderstorms, we lost much of the day and only rode about 60 miles. We were all colorful and happy as the day started out.
(Jurgen, Nels, Bob, Lisa, Tom)
We got up extra early for a 6:30a departure from Budapest and had a little trouble navigating out of town.
Jürgen was somewhat confused, but we all worked together variously on side-streets, heavily trafficked two lane roads, and through construction to get to the first break stop. Tom sat this first 16 miles out.
Annie and Tom had stopped in a parking lot of a small but very nice grocery store just before yet another Danube crossing. We all snacked out, hiding from the rain.
Given the rain, wind and traffic, we decided to drive a ways until things cleared up. It wasn’t safe even for trucks, and we drive by this one which had slid off the road into the mud.
When the rain stopped, we found a little rest area, reassembled the bikes, and rode on through farm fields and a few small villages, on well paved roads, to Mohacs.
The road we were on for the last 50km or so was next to a new, modern highway, the M6. Coincidentally, Jürgen’s company was the key contractor for the project, and Jürgen arranged a rather complicated PPP (public private partnership) financing. Here he is by his road!
As these last 45 miles or so progressed, Jürgen and Tom rode much of the way in the lead, with Tom Cox going his own pace in the middle, and Lisa and I riding sweep. When Lisa and I arrived in Mohacs, we stopped to take a picture of the second mondo-jumbo birds nests we’ve seen – the ‘babies’ in this one seem to be kinda crowded up there, but afraid to take that leap out of the nest.
Lisa took the opportunity to ask for directions. We also hit an apple tree with the best apples ever, ate a couple each and brought a bunch into town for the team.
For dinner we decided to drive 40km or so to the university town of Pecs. Jürgen’s son plans to go to medical school there (learn in Hungarian, English or German) and he wanted to check it out. And whereas Mohacs is a village, this was a city with a magnificent square.
We enjoyed beers in the square (Tom & Lisa below) and then a great dinner in an old cellar a block off the NW corner of the square. We are all riding well, eating well, sleeping well, and getting along well!
On the way back, two things… first was the street party. Everyone out dancing on the square. People giving other people lessons.
And then the metal railings of locks. Two of them. People just come and lock locks to locks and build the thing up. I’m sure it has some significance….
Bob 7/27/11 7:01 Sofia