+200km: Budapest > Banska Bystrica


Budapest is honestly not my favourite city. I don’t know if it was because public life came to a standstill because of Corona, or why the Hungarian capital and I didn’t really become friends. In any case, I wasn’t sorry when I left the city – back towards Slovakia.

Actually I could have taken the Flixbus from Budapest to Krakow. But I wanted to get to know some more corners of Europe and rather spend time on the bike and in nature than sitting in the bus for a whole day. Right at the first evening I was rewarded for my decision. I found a camping site in a small village directly at the lake.

The next morning, I am the first to leave the campground. Finally, I have to manage some more kilometers and cross the Hungarian-Slovakian border. Because actually, I want to go to Poland and further north.

Unfortunately there are not too many pictures of the mountainous passages, because I had to concentrate on the road. Contrary to my hopes, there were not too many bike paths on the route. But all in all there were a lot of great views. But after 95 kilometers this day was over for me and I was happy that there is a camping site at in Zvolen.

After I had set up my tent, i was able to explore the city a little on the way to the next supermarket. The view of the camouflaged armored train in the city park was a little bit disturbing. A short Google search revealed, that this train was in use during the second world war during the Slovakian national uprising and should help to liberate central Slovakia from Hitler’s troops.

Since we had arranged a team call for the next morning, I was also able to get to know the nice city centre with its small cafes and numerous churches. If you can, start every Monday morning in a comfortable hanging chair and with coffee and cheesecake!

Besides, the weather was especially nice and I could cycle along a river – this time the Hron – to the next city. On the way i also discovered a church completely made of wood, which is protected as UNESCO world heritage.

To Banska Bystrica it is only a little more than 20km. As I had learned before in Hungary, “Banska” means mine. Accordingly were my expectations regarding the track profile. But thanks to the river I was able to cycle through the valley in a nice and comfortable way. Only the old town of Banska Bystrica is a bit higher.

But also especially beautiful. Small shops and cafés gather around a large square where there are water fountains and street musicians perform. At the upper end is the city castle. Right next to it was also my accommodation. The Gran Hostel is located in an old town house. The entrance is hidden in the back building. The courtyard also offers a safe parking place for bicycles. Very practical for me, because I did not have to unload the bike completely.

The next morning a rain front moved over the city. But for once this was not too bad as we had a bus ticket to Krakow for the afternoon anyway.

I think this almost four hour bus ride was the worst experience on this tour so far. Next time I will probably prefer to cycle through the Slovakian ski resorts myself.

The bus driver was really nice and the bike was even allowed to ride in the luggage compartment. But the Slovakian mountain roads are not to be underestimated. I was glad when I was back on solid ground and had fresh air to breathe at the Krakow bus station.