From Bosnia to Hungary

Monday 27th May – Banja Luka (Bosnia)

With the huge storm the day before we did not wander much outside. Monday was finally clear so we visited the fortress ( only the walls left) , the modern cathedral and then had a long walk around the posh town centre with its up market bars, restaurants and shops. All very nice.

Eventually we crossed the river and had lunch at a restaurant recommended by our flat owner. It was local food, very big portions but very tasty stuff.

After that we went back to the flat for a snooze.

As we had Netflix we watched Season 2 of After Life. We saw season 1 the previous day. It was ok, I am not a fan of Ricky Gervais, too cringe kind of humour and it was a bit too much self pity and annoying for my taste.

Tuesday 28th May – Durdevac (Croatia) – 180 kms

It was time to start our slow ride north toward the Hook of Holland. We had to cross a bit more of Croatia before getting into Hungary. We selected a stop midway to our destination in Hungary.

So we rode out of Banja Luka (such a lovely city!) in heavy traffic. For a while, in the very slow of dense traffic, I was next to a police car. Remember, we still had no insurance for our bikes for Bosnia. I was rather nervous. Eventually we left the dense traffic behind, and riding through small country roads and villages we made progress, left Bosnia ( very fast border once again) and got into Croatia.

This part of Croatia, far away from the sea and sandwiched between Bosnia and Hungary looked poorer. Obviously less tourism. The roads were empty but beautiful.

We spent the night in another apartment just south of the border with Hungary.

Weds. 29th May – Keszthely (Hungary) – 180 kms

We had booked a flat in Keszthely for two days.

We left Croatia and crossed a very empty border post into Hungary. The country is fairly flat but with still occasional rolling hills or a rare rocky eagle nest.

Keszthely is on the edge of a big lake so we figured it would be nice.

After getting to our 1 bed flat, with the bikes nicely tucked in the inside courtyard, we went for a walk to the waterfront.

Not my photo but good view of the pier

The lake had been a very popular place to bath for at least 200 years. We walked into a long wooden pier called Island bath, with rows of changing rooms on each side, and a cafe at the end, along with many benches and places to take the sun and steps into the water. It was built back in 1864. But before that we saw a photo of the previous pier, lady side, with ladies in the water, in full dresses and hats!

The lake is rather shallow, about 1.2m for about 100m away from the shore, and then gets deeper but by few metres only. Along the rest of the shore were many beaches and places to soak the sun, swim or just enjoy the water. It was strange to see ducks and swans swimming around the people!

The rest of the town was also very pretty with beautiful buildings. It is obviously very popular with the Germans.

Thursday 30th May – Keszthely (Hungary)

We explored further the town, borrowing the bicycles left there for us. The town was fairly flat so it was a nice way to move around. We cycled at lunch time to a restaurant recommended by Dora, the flat owner. I wanted to try a real goulash!

By chance Dora was also having lunch there with friends, so we asked her if we could stay another day. The forecast for the next day was, once again, huge storms, so we were not keen to ride that day. Our flat was fully booked but she had another one, 600m away. So we took it.

Our meal was, once again, huge, but my goulash was very nice! Definitely I need to try to do it at home.

The evening was quite.

Friday 31st May – Keszthely (Hungary)

Around 10 am Dora came to pick us up. It was raining very heavily so she drove us to the new flat, leaving the bikes in the courtyard for later.

The new flat was great, beautifully decorated and with a nice terrace.

During a break in the heavy rain, Alistair went to pick up the bikes and park them near our flat.

In the evening, once the rain stopped, we went for a walk but all was very quiet.