Day 37: Durdevac, Croatia to Pecs, Hungary

The river Drava is the border between Hungary and Croatia

I did another, for me, short day - 75 miles - because I chose to stop at Pecs after finding good internet access. I don't know if I'll have this luxury again till Krakov, so I'm hoping to get my ride reports and web pages since Sofka Loka out tonight.

This morning's breakfast reminded my why I really didn't enjoy staying, as opposed to riding, in Croatia. The coffee was bad, the poached egg were cold, and the bread was barely edible. This is at a nice hotel! I slept pretty well till 5 am when the room got very light and got up at six AM when the sun was shining directly into my room. Tonight, in Pecs, I'm in a hot room on the west side of my hotel - three star but no air conditioning - instead of a cool room on the east side. Since these rooms have no room darkening mechanism, I'll put up with the heat this evening in order not to have the sun tomorrow morning. I love rooms with shutters so I can have both advantages, or at least room darkening curtains, but I can't find them here!

It was funny today to cross east into Hungary and feel like I was going back to western Europe. Croatia is Eastern Europe, Hungary and Slovenia are definitely Western Europe in feel, even if they have vestiges of eastern Europe, e.g. soviet style apartment buildings. Pecs, where I am staying tonight, looks like an Eastern European town, but the town's centrum, and even the feel of the town is definitely western. It is nice to be back in the west, even when language is totally incomprehensible. Spoken Croatian, and it is an indo-european language was the problem, not written Croatian, but both spoken and written Hungarian are incomphrehensible < grin > to me.

Hungarian sign near the border

Riding south east in Croatia, heading for Virovitica


I rode about 25 miles southeast from Durdevac to Virovitica this morning, and then, without stopping, rode another ten miles to Barcs, the border town in Hungary. I stopped at Barcs to get Hungarian currency and to get some bread, cheese and yogurt from a grocery store. The riding was pretty good, especially when I was riding east because there was a west wind. I averaged over 13 mph for that part of the ride. These parts of both Croatia and Hungary are part of the great Hungarian plain, so riding was fast and somewhat boring. It was actually more interesting in Croatia because there was more traffic and the road went through many different towns. In Hungary, the road was much smoother, the traffic levels were much lower, and there were few towns. Riding here was more boring, except for the fact that I was riding on a road where bikes were not allowed!

No bicycle sign on the start of 6 - there were lots of these along the way

Ignoring no bicycle sign, heading for Pecs

This is about as exciting as the scenery got on 6

Until near Pecs when you can see the big hill, in the middle of the plain
Pecs is at the bottom of that hill

Riding on 6, I stopped once at a service station where there was a police car - actually several passed me going the other way on the road - and a prominent no bikes sign nearby. I parked my bike at the side of the station < grin > but I don't think anybody pays any attention to those signs. If you do, you can't bicycle in Hungary!

When I got into Pecs, I stopped at a hotel - no tourist info place here - to ask about internet access. The fellow there was very helpful. I followed his instructions and rode into the Centrum - the center of the old town - and found what seems to be a very good place. I took a hotel room nearby and I'm rushing to finish this so I can take it, and three other reports, down there on floppies. Hopefully I'll be able to upload tonight. It is silly to waste so much time and energy on internet access, but if I don't do it tonight, it may be several weeks before I get another chance. I should be in Romania in two days, then I'll decided on my routing for the rest of the tour. It will include the High Tatra's, Krakow, Prauge, Dresden, and Hamburg, but beyond that I'm not sure. I have about four weeks left before I fly out of Frankfurt. I may spend up to two weeks of that in Romania, or I may head north much sooner.

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