Online Journal: Budapest Day 3 (05/08/2013)
I woke up and realized I hadn’t washed my shorts after the spill debacle of the previous night. So that’s how I began today. Eventually the rest of the group roused and we prepared for our 15 mile bike ride to the nearby village of Szentendre located further down the Danube. Wa managed to sneak in a quick breakfast before and then we were off! The bikeshop owner, Imre, was nervous because the path to Szentendre is often dirty following a rain–and it had steadily done so the night before. He warned us of a potential “cleaning charge” which would be the butt of many jokes along the way. My dad successfully garnered a honk from a car about thirty seconds after we rented the bikes. Weaving through the city was both exhilarating and obviously terrifying as the crazy Euros just strolled across streets seemingly without regard for themselves, their children, or us. We crossed the Margit Bridge and then the adventure really began. We peddled through city streets and back alleys, following signs sporadically placed in the most obscure places imaginable, further confirming the Hungarians’ cruel and sadistic humor. We accidentally found ourselves in the Microsoft business center at one point. We finally found the road we were meant to be on…until we took a wrong turn and ended up in the swamps of the Budapest backcountry. We biked through water reaching our pedals and the most mosquito infested area on the habitable globe. Mud sprawled across our clothes and our bikes (#CleningCharge) and it seemed an endless peril. Finally, we found ourselves on the old road which Imre had originally recommended using–the swamp was apparently the new road…crazy people. We arrives at a false destination and cursed the sign point toward Szentendre telling us we had another 4 km to ride. When we finally reached the little town, it was unimaginably disappointing, especially considering the 2 hours we had biked to reach the place. We ate and almost immediately had to leave because we needed to get to the Opera by 6 and it was nearly 3:30. Off we went. We managed to stay out of the return journey, but it was not without drama considering I almost died. We tried to bike around this very poorly placed lamp posts and I lost my balance and nosedived into the street…a street where the speed limit was 70 km/hr (roughly 45 mph). Luckily, the car had seen my wobble session and stopped without absolutely mashing me, breaking all my bones, and painting the street a new shade of red…ignoring how oddly detailed I’m beig about the scene, I’ll ease the tension and tell you, loyal readers, I escaped with only a cut on my leg and another joke for the gallery for the rest of the trip. Pride in tatters and nerves a little spiked, we went to the Opera. A warning, readers, going to an Opera where the players sing on German and it is subtitles above in Hungarian is about as stimulating as it sounds. I managed to only sleep through the first act of three!! After the Opera we went to a little cafe which was far too expensive for its own good. Then we called it an early evening.