Chilling in Banská Štiavnica
So my day off in Banská was lovely. I got up early, had a coffee on the main drag, went and did some hiking, and went for a little explore in the afternoon to see the rest of the town. I got talking to a waiter at a restaurant I ate at, and he said the place was dead boring and he wanted to get out. Which I agree with, once the novelty of this place wears off, there would literally be nothing for a young person to do. And it’s not near any major cities.
Banská Štiavnica to Kemence
Total distance: 75km. Total time: 8hrs.
I lost a lot of elevation this day, and as a result the temperature shot through the roof. If was above 35C for the entire day AND I had a really hard 2km climb out of town and I had never been wishing for wind more in my life. It was so god damned humid, I was sweating like a pig.
But the hillside started to flatten out a little, and I was cruising net downhill so it was a nice change from all the mountains.
The scenery wasn’t as beautiful as it had been so I didn’t take too many photos. I rolled into the campsite at about 5pm, only to discover it was a children’s camp! It was fully booked out by a school and even if I could have stayed there, there was to space. “crap, what am I going to do?!” is what I was thinking. But it was all fine, there was a “hotel” (and I use that term lightly) next door that cost me 10 Euro for the night and I got my own room. Very very basic, but I didn’t care. I was so tired I fell asleep at 7pm.
Kemence to Budapest
Total distance: 105km. Total time: 9hrs.
Oh. My. God. It was such a brutal ride into Budapest. About 35C, no clouds, humid, and no wind. I was actually better off riding the bike because I would generate my own wind, and if I stopped, I would immediately start baking under the sun. And silly me, I didn’t start my day until about 9am because I was lazy.
After about 20km of riding I hit the Danube river which had a dedicated bike path and was part of the Euro velo 6 route. Sure enough, as soon as I hit the bike path, I started seeing other bike tourers.
I didn’t actually know what temperature it was, but I kept thinking to myself it must be 30C… Nope, thanks to a sign I knew exactly what temperature it was.
37C?! No wonder I was drinking so much water. Anyway, as I rode into Budapest I was awestruck by how beautiful it was. The buildings here are just majestic and I almost hit a pedestrian because I wasn’t looking where I was going.
Partying in Budapest
… Well. So ah, I had originally planned to stay in Budapest two days. When I leave I will have been here 10 days. And I’ve been out every-single. God. Damned. Night.
I booked a party hostel for the first few nights and it was an awesome, if kinda run down, popping, hippy, alcohol abusive hostel with crazy staff, and the dorm beds were upstairs with a bar and courtyard downstairs. No air conditioning, plus having music played until 4am meant no sleep for anyone. But if you were getting home at 4am or later (which I was), it wasn’t a problem. Also I swear a pre-requirement for working there was to be loud and an alcoholic. The staff were nutters.
My favorite party was probably the boat party on the Danube River. I was hanging with great people (met a few Irish guys who were staying in my room and they were hilarious) and the boat itself had great music and was cruising along the Danube River, and all the buildings along the banks were lit up like Christmas.
Then the rest of my time out partying consisted of the following steps:
Step 1) Pick a club. Meet people, dance, drink, shenanigans etc etc.
Step 2) Get home at some ungodly hour of the morning. Usually as the sun was coming up.
Step 3) Wake up, make breakfast before the headache sets in, drink loads of water to try and fight it off, and go back to bed.
Step 4) Get up after midday and chill out for a while. Maybe go to a bath house or out for lunch.
Step 5) Tell yourself you’ll have a quiet one tonight, then go back to step 1.
But in all seriousness I’ve had an awesome time in Budapest. One morning at about 4am, me and an Irish bloke decided it would be a great idea to hike our drunken butts up the mountain to the citadel to watch the sun rise over Budapest. Totally worth it, and we weren’t the only semi drunk people to have the same idea.
I’ve also won free drinks for my dancing skills. I was at a club, met a Hungarian couple and was invited to the boyfriends birthday party (it was awesome fun too, and I was the only foreigner there). Went to a pizza bar where you can get a slice of pizza… And then walk ten metres and there’s a dance floor right next to the serving counter. Hung out with awesome Dutch and Irish people. Sung until I lost my voice. Punched a dude because he grabbed my ass, then his friend had to step in between us… Oops. Fell both up and down the stairs on the same night. Had interesting conversations with Hungarians about their future prospects. Amazed people with tales of my bike tour and danced until I was dripping wet with sweat. By far this has been a fast, fabulous, wild, 10 days. But now I must end my shenanigans in Budapest. 10 days is a bit long and I’m missing my bike. And believe it or not, partying gets boring after a while. Now I’m headed to Ireland where I will be riding the West coast from south to north as far as I can, until I have to catch a flight back to Munich to home. The weather is not going to be great but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Also Irish people are awesome.