We crossed Hungary in 4.5 days… far too fast! We learnt not to travel on major roads as the traffic is too fast, and on many major roads bikes are simply not allowed. Because of this, we decided to by-pass major cities. In smaller centres, roads are very bike friendly. Instead of cities, we did thermal baths ( Héviz & Harkany ) that Hungary has in abundance. We also purchased the book on cycling in Hungary that has maps at 1:325,000. We should have bought it sooner. Using this, we left Hungary by a very minor tracks. Part of this track was an unpaved road route where we met only two horse/pony drawn carts in as many kilometres.
I ( Margo) was just getting a few niceties such as hello, goodbye, please, and thank you down, when it was all over. But some of the best interactions are language-free. We enjoyed getting a loud cheer as we pedalled in a downpour (thank heavens for deflectors) from some ladies who were taking cover from the rain as they worked in a field. One time, as Chris leaned over to tighten rack bolts on my bike, I patted his behind approvingly which caused two old ladies in black shawls to have a good giggle. We also met Istvan, whose English was quite good, in the café he ran. He bemoaned the 1920 treaty that made Hungary much smaller, and then offered to sell us an icon that he claimed the Nazis had brought back from Russia. Travelling by bike gives us a good excuse to decline offers of knick-knacks.