It did not take a long time until I finished a tour from Vienna to Budapest. My kayak buddy Martin arranged a funny transport of our ships to Štúrovo. Roof kayak holders are for kids! We used a truck. :)
Two hours later we were on the spot. Here we realized our taxi was not so appropriate. The truck was too high and was not able to pass under the bridge, so it took us longer to get to the water. Just below us there was the customs boat, so we said to ourselves we would jump over another fence. There was a lady who was warning us we were crossing private property. Since the majority of our stuff was on the spot, we ignored her unpleasant voice.
The logistic problem
We started with boarding under the cathedral. We began with finding a campground place somewhere in front of Visegrád.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Adalbert
The confluence of two rivers. Hron and Danube
A flat country begins to change.
The Danube did not disappoint us, truly amazing scenery.
Never ending sand and gravel beaches.
Never ending beaches
We chose one of the islands for a stop over. It looked like a fantasy movie.
Never ending beaches
A manor house appeared in sight horizon.
A manor house
This was the next generation gypsy house. Directly on water. I really liked it.
The dark was close. We definitely had to find a place to sleep. We were very close to Visegrád, which we wanted to see during the day.
After a while, we found a place flat enough to build the tents. We built only one in the case of rain. We slept outside anyway.
Firstly, the moon shone so much. We were able to walk around as if it was a day. Later it hid away and we saw a beautiful night sky with a lot of stars. There was the Zebegény village on the opposite shore of the Danube. Still at night, suddenly, I woke up because of heavy rain. I jumped out of my sleeping bag and we started to pack our stuff into the tent and ships. We were fast but it was just a few minutes and our things were completely wet. We learned that even if the weather looks nice, we need to protect all our stuff from rain. SHMÚ (Slovak Hydro-Meteorological Institute) predicted rain in the morning. Thank you, guys! ? Meteorology is still something like fortune telling. The rain stopped on Saturday afternoon.
We woke into a rainy day and we waited in the tent until about 10. The rain then was not so heavy and we were able to pack up our stuff and set off.
The clouds were low. The scenery looked rather like in the mountains than on the river which flows trough the lowland. The scenery was compensation for ugly weather.
Visegrád. The rain was strong again. We could hear thunders. My favorite weather on the water. It always feels like in another world. My buddy was really scared. The idea to put on a water resistant jacket directly on the river did not help. A few minutes after he put on the jacket we lay at anchor in the port in Nagymaros. Right above a ferry station which connects Nagymaros and ancient Visegrád. We had a perfect view of the fortifications from the 4th century. We ate disgusting langoš (kind of salty cake). Instead of eating them, we fed hungry swans, which went out of the water to grab this junk.
For the rest of a rainy day we enjoyed Hungarian villages full of churches and manor houses.
The big tree
We wanted to have a short break but it was muddy everywhere. We decided to stop anyway. We saw a shop. We got there through stinky mud which we had all over. We cleaned our legs in a pool of water because we wanted to enter the shop. The people here were somehow mutated. Some people were messing around our ships so we went away.
The sun was very low so we started to look for a campsite. We opted for something without mud and so we had to traverse to the other shore od the Danube. It is pretty lively on the Danube in Hungary. There are not many empty places. We decided to lie at anchor in a place where there were a few fishermen and families with kids. We thought they would go home soon as it was getting dark. About 100 meters away from us there was a group of naughty people with dogs which were trying to attack us every time we turned the lights on. I did not want to hurt the dogs because it was not their fault. I asked them to have an eye on dogs several times. It was difficult to explain. Well, we might have dog goulash. Hopefully, they would give us a recipe. We did our tents, did the laundry and went swimming. Despite the shore being rocky, the water was muddy. Anyway it was much better than going to bed sweaty. It was drizzling. We did not go to bed until midnight, though.
We had a chilly yet clear morning. A good change. After breakfast, we packed up and left for Budapest.
The first exclusively Hungarian bridge on the Danube. Megyeri Híd.
We are reaching Budapest. Clouds again. These ones are like a masterpiece.
Did you know there was a fish in the Danube a couple of years ago which had a life expectancy higher than 120 years and weighed more than 1.5 ton? Its name was Great Sturgeon which was caught even in Malinovo in the Little Danube. The conctruction of dams in Romania destroyed her routes. Nevertheless, people in Hungary are missing her so they at least painted her.
We are reaching the Old Town. The clouds are creating the atmosphere. I am enjoying the city view.
Near old town
Margit-sziget is a danubian island in Budapest. It is a rest&recovery place for the city. It also hosts one of the biggest festivals in Europe with more than 360.000 visitors. There is a running track around the island.
The Margit bridge is the second northernmost bridge and the second oldest bridge in the city.
The Margit bridge
It connects Buda and Pest parts of the city and the island.
The Margit bridge
The Margit bridge
Országház is a Hungarian parliament building. It is one of their national symbols and one of the oldest governmental buildings in Europe. After 1989 it also represents Hungary and its comeback to freedom and democracy.
One more closer look. A truly monumental construction.
The Buda castle of the Old Hungarian kings.
The Buda castle
A steal wire Elisabeth bridge is one of the newest in the city.
The Memorial of the Liberation commemorates the win of the Soviet army over the German. Seen from everywhere. Citizens perceive it as a soviet symbol, though.
The Memorial of the Liberation
Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
The CET building is a new cultural, gastronomic and business centre of Budapest. Bálna or a whale (in Slovak) does not fit this place, in my opinion.
The end of a city tour and satisfied Martin.
The End (1642 km)
We lay at anchor on the 1642nd km in an empty port. We had lunch and our transfer was already waiting for us. A security man did not let us go to the opposite side. He could not sa why, though. It is very difficult to get by in this country. They do not use English, sometimes German. As he was not carrying a gun, we ignored him and go. He called somewhere but we were faster. Once we were away, he was hopless.
Pity it went so fast. I would really love to repeat Vienna-Budapest one day. Next year maybe.