Vienna to Budapest
South to the Adriatic Sea - 4 countries in 4 days

August 12-16, 2018

We spent some time sightseeing in Budapest and then cycled along Central Europe’s largest lake and spent a few days in Hungary. It appears that we only took out the big camera in Budapest so the pictures are scarce.

What happened…

Amanda writes: We arrived the night before in Budapest to a very interesting Warm Showers host. We didn’t realize we were visiting the city during one of the biggest music festivals in Europe. The city was jam packed with people and our gracious host didn’t have the heart to say no to any requests. And so in his small two bedroom apartment we crammed 8 people in! No lie. What an experience for Stephanie. We actually ended up leaving after only one night because we all agreed that while the price was right, it wasn’t super comfortable. On August 12 we did a city walking tour in Budapest for 3 hours and then took a train to Velence.

We arrived quite late in Velence and there were no people to check us in at the campground. Then we had torn down super early and I had a hard time finding someone to pay so I didn’t pay for camping. Maybe I didn’t try super hard, but they’ll be fine. On August 13 & 14 we cycled on the shores of Central Europe’s largest lake called Lake Balaton. We found a massive campground with a pool and tons of fun stuff. Then we had a huge rain and electrical storm. When the storm hit Stephanie and I played in the waves and the warm water and watched the show. Everyone else ran to shore and we had a blast. I really wish Andrew had of joined us. Andrew and Stephanie were hoping to take advantage of some of the other activities that they had but it didn’t work out.

On August 15 we finished the day with dingy dinner at a local cafe and camped in a farmers field. For me not awful but I don’t think Stephanie was too keen on it. For my birthday we stayed at an expensive hotel as a gift to me. We bought beer, chips and had a little party in the air conditioned room. It was the perfect gift because of all this heat!

During our travels we also hit up some huge grocery stores and found a big shopping mall that I saw a furniture and mattress store. I was able to get 3 super heavy duty mattress bags for our bikes on the plane. It was an unfortunate reminder that things were coming to a close in the next few weeks.

Stephanie writes:

Last night on the 11th we arrived at the warm shower host and had to carry everything upstairs. You had to shower with door open and there was no lock on the bathroom door. I didn’t like it and Amanda stood outside the bathroom door while I showered. The host is very particular about his things which was hard with so many people there! We met everyone. Lazlo is Hungarian and our warm shower host and he speaks Spanish, Ukrainian and Hungarian so he can talk with Amanda and Andrew, but not me. He walks around with no shirt and is balding and has a ponytail. The other guests were Oxanna who is Ukrainian and a couch surfer who speaks Ukrainian, Russian and a little English. Oleg is her Russian boyfriend who is also a couch surfer and speaks Russian, Ukrainian and a little English. They are traveling by hitchhiking and plan to travel and spend no money. They use an APP where than can post they want a ride and then wait on the side of a highway for a ride. They get food scraps from restaurants and dumpsters and hope to travel like this for years. They’ve already been at it for a year! Then there is Jennifer who is Brazilian and speaks Spanish, Portuguese and a little English. Her boyfriend is Nicholas who is Argentinian and speaks Spanish, Portuguese and English. Nicholas and Jennifer had a room and everyone else slept on the floor in the family room. The music festival in town was so loud while we were trying to go to sleep.

On the 12th we got up early for a walking tour. It was hard because all 8 of us shared the one bathroom. The toilet is interesting… We took the Metro m3 but downtown because the subway was out of service. So this was a replacement bus to the walking tour site. We walked past ritz Carlton. When you arrive you have register your name we accidentally signed up for 2 groups. One with ‘Suzanne’ who was a rude lady and then we also signed up for Zoltans as well which seemed like a cool guy tour guide. We went with Zoltan. The 3 hour tour started and we were with Zoltan who had an awesome mustache. We took some girls picture that was in the free walking tour as well and walked around pest; of Budapest. The city is split into two sides, divided by the river. One side is referred to as Buda and the other Pest. We crossed a river on the oldest chain bridge in Budapest and went into buda up the hill. It was super hot and steep. There were super pretty views the whole way and we learnt how to say bless you in Hungarian. We walked back to the Hard Rock Cafe Budapest and they have a pin collection! We got potato skins and a brownie to start. Then we had a club sandwich and a milkshake. I also got 3 hard rock pins and a Hungary pin. We went into H&M and I got a new dress. We bussed back on the m3 and decided nobody wanted to stay another night (Nicholas and Jennifer were the same). Lazlo the host wasn’t there but his friend was there but he wasn’t expecting us. We went right back and just packed and left and didn’t even organize. We rode through Budapest to the train station and Andrew didn’t even see if they were the right tickets. We got into the train and Amanda realized we had a transfer. We transferred smoothly without having to do bags which was great. I had to go in with the front tire up in an elevator. Amanda and Andrew took the stairs. There was a ramp back up and then we rode to three campsites and past them all. We stopped after the first one to watch a sunset para glide and hot air balloon (you could see the flame). We arrived at the campsite right on the water after they were closed. We set everything up just after the sun had set so we had some light. We went to the bathroom to get ready for bed and I saw the BIGGEST SPIDERS I’VE EVER SEEN. They get bigger every time I see a new one. I broke my dress freaking out about it. Even Amanda admitted the last one was really big. The really big one was moving and I ran back to the tent as fast as I could

On the 13th we rode 65km. Amanda didn’t end up paying for the campsite and we rode on the road for a bit and there was lots of honking. We literally got lunch at 7-11 (coop). People around the store had lots of eyebrow piercings. I accidentally crashed into Andrew….again. Amanda broke a clamp on her guitar rack. We stopped for Andrews class but had no connection so he had to cancel the class. We rode on a gravel path that was super rough with lots of bumps. Potholes everywhere filled with water and mud puddles. We almost went the wrong way and someone redirected us from train tracks. We rode next to the lake up high and there are literally apartments on the water we were above. Super cool. We almost went to a super sketchy campsite and then went to a literal tourist campsite that was super high end with water slides on Lake Balton. It had a pool, Zip surfing on the lake. It was a super shallow lake. There was a guy cleaning the women’s bathroom. We went in the lake for a swim to cool off and watched the sunset. I wore my new dress and there were tons of stars.

We stayed an extra day at the tourist campground. Andrew and I were going to go skydiving but it’s only on weekends and It’s only Tuesday. We slept in and took lots of time getting up and ready. We did some laundry in a laundry machine and went over to the lake and went swimming. We threw the ball around in the water and went to check out zip line water skiing. We watched all the people. One really good guy could do flips and everyone else kept falling. One young kid was pretty good and reminded me of Dennon my Cousin. Some lady did the jump. Andrew talked to some guys and the skies are easier than the one board. We came back for lunch and went to a little restaurant thing in between camping and beach. We got a Hungarian food called Làngos and I got Nutella. The guys made it extra crispy in the middle. We ate in the shade and hung out for a few hours while Amanda and Andrew did their classes. We went back to the lake to go zip line water skiing but couldn’t go because a storm was coming in. We watched until it closed and then started swimming back and decided to hang out in the water. We watched lighting and thunder and rain in the water. The waves built up and we stayed in the water for a couple hours playing in the wind, rain and waves. Stuff almost blew away it was so windy and we came back when it started dying down. We shhowered changed and came back to the tent. It started raining extremely hard again. We had a nap before dinner because there was nothing else to do. Andrew and Amanda went to the grocery store.

On the 15th we rode 89km. We slept in for water ski zip line but they didn’t open before we left:( Andrew helped some guy pump up his tire and we checked out. We rode to the Spar grocery store. There were tons of people and grandmas on their bikes and their bike rack filled up. Nobody did a really good job of locking their bikes (if they even locked them). Some cute old lady parked her bike right in front of ours and smiled at us the whole time she was locking it (on top of some other lady’s bike). People are not friendly or helpful to one another and won’t even pass on grocery carts to one another. Some other cute old lady came and started talking Hungarian and when I said English she just kept speaking Hungarian. I heard her say Deutschland in a way that sounded like a question realizing she wanted to know where we’re from. I told her Canada and she kept speaking Hungarian and then said Toronto. As she walked away smiling super big she grabbed my arm to say goodbye she was so cute. We rode to another store for alcohol for the stove. Amanda and I stayed on the one side of the tracks while Andrew crossed and left his bike with us. I was sitting on the railing surrounding the train tracks and Amanda tried to do the same and couldn’t get up to sit on the rail. It was hilarious and we both laughed so hard. The trains go by extremely fast and so many people don’t look both ways. We stopped for lunch at little place by the beach where we got drinks and crepes which cost 250 florents which is the local currently. We didn’t ride along the water at all:(((. We stopped at some weird campsite but didn’t stay there and just refilled our water. We got back on bike route and some family stopped and accidentally knocked the two kids bikes into a ditch. We went past some super creepy horror movie looking house and crossed the road and some semi honked at us from super super far away. We had to ride on the highway and there was more honking, potholes and no shoulder. We stopped at a gas station for drinks and asked the guys if there was camping. He said no with the translator. They were smoking in front of the no smoking sign. His shirt said “Friday is my second favorite f word”. We stopped at burger and beer place for dinner and it was super hard to order with only English, Spanish and French between the 3 of us. I got a burger patty that was smaller than McDonald’s. The bun was enormous and extremely stale. Andrew asked for fries and the lady said yes and then in one second literally hopped in her car and drove away. It was the weirdest thing. He got his fries but all super weird. We rode to a wild camp spot in a farmers field and saw another hot air balloon. We think they come out at sunset.

Today is Amanda’s birthday and we rode 74km. We had to wake up extra early to leave the farm before the people came. We rode to a bus stop for breakfast. There are lots of dead kittens and snakes on the road. Lots of barking dogs in front yards. We ran out of fuel at breakfast and rode into a little town for fuel. The store didn’t have any so they phoned another place to see if they had any, they did. Andrew got pastries because its Amanda’s bday. It was super hilly to the OBI store but we had to get the fuel from OBI. We got beer and chips for Amanda’s birthday at Tesco and found mattress bags at the mattress store for the bikes. There were creepy guys watching us eat lunch. We got new charging cords at eurotronics which is like a European Best Buy. More super hilly roads and we got to “non-stop camping” as marked on the maps. It was stopped; literally closed down. Fences all around it and completely run down. We asked some guys setting up picnic tables if there was camping and they said the only camping was the one that was shut down. Not a super big or nice town. We got ice cream (goth) and slushies and went to an air conditioned hotel room!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We dried out all of the stuff. Clothes and everything hanging from lights and everything you could possibly hang it from. Everyone was calling to sing happy birthday to Amanda. Nici and Philip who were askin about “hard fucking”, Andrew said just soft. Insert gross emoji here. Mom, dad, will, Jake, Nana and Knox called to say happy birthday. So did Sam and Tessa. Andrew figured out how to make sure he didn’t get to talk with whoever was on the phone, he doesn’t seem very happy. We had carrots, dishes and tents in the room. We went to sleep at like midnight

Today’s Flickr Photographs

[flickr_tags user_id=”17145280@N00″ tags=”081218,081318,081418,081518,081618″]

Aerial View of rides

Cycling Stats

August 12, 2018
Start Point: Budapest, Hungary
Destination: Agard, Hungary
14.13 km trip, 12.83 km/h average speed, 27.36 km/h maximum speed, 1:06 time on the bike

August 13, 2018
Start Point: Agard, Hungary
Destination: Siofok, Hungary
67.31 km trip, 14.75 km/h average speed, 33.88 km/h maximum speed, 4:34 time on the bike

August 15, 2018
Start Point: Siofok, Hungary
Destination: Farm field near Sarmellek, Hungary
88.8 km trip, 16.34 km/h average speed, 30.1 km/h maximum speed, 5:26 time on the bike

August 16, 2018
Start Point: Farm field near Sarmellek, Hungary
Destination: Letenye, Hungary
74.1 km trip, 16.26 km/h average speed, 46.52 km/h maximum speed, 4:33 time on the bike

Route Description:

August 12, 2018 We took a train to Velence due to our late start. Then we cycled to a campground on the lake.

August 13, 2018 We left the rivers edge and cycled on a combination of country roads and busy roads. It included some paved and dirt sections. We arrived at the next big lake which is Europes largest. It has lots of stores enroute. The lake has tons of hotels, apartments and we found 2 campgrounds.

August 15, 2018 This routes was along nice cycling paths and paved roads most of the way. Lots of beach traffic. Lots of places to stay and eat. At the end of the day we were on a busy highway.

August 16, 2018 We started very early. Roads were somewhat busy but traffic was okay. We arrived in the early afternoon and went to the campground we had mapped out but it was closed … forever.


August 12, 2018 We stayed at Park Strand camping right on the lake. It was 5300 florets.

August 13, 2018 Tons of campgrounds and hotels. We stayed at Arany camping for 6600 florents per night. Awesome place on the water with pool and all the facilities. Huge campground!

August 15, 2018 We trie to stop at a sketchy campground/rv park and decided to continue. We ended up near a town and then just camped in a farmers field.

August 16, 2018 The campground we had pegged was permanently closed. This was a sketchy border town with some questionable locals. We stayed at an expensive hotel.

Vienna to Budapest
South to the Adriatic Sea - 4 countries in 4 days