There”s nothing like the sea air to blow away the cobwebs, not that we had any cobwebs with us, but if we had, we could have been sure they’d be blown away. So, with this thought very much at the forefront of our minds we headed out from Postojna in Slovenia down towards Opatija on the Croatian coast. The Dutch, Germans, Italians, French and Slovenians thought they’d come along too. So, off we all went in convoy to the seaside. More>>
The T-shirts say sLOVEnia and it would be hard not to feel some strong emotion in such a beautiful, magical landscape. From wide flat valleys you are surrounded by layers of Tolkeinesque, tree covered peaks, with snow capped Alps towering in the background. more>>
So, we rolled down into Slovenia on a sunny Sunday heading towards Landava on a flat and easy route. Our aim was to reach Ptui by the evening and a campsite. Slovenia is very clean and ordered and could be the little brother of Austria which sits directly to the north. They both share good tarmac, mountains, fast cars and, as we discovered when we got to the campsite, high prices. More>>
We rolled into Hungary on a cloudy morning, picked up a free map of the whole country ;from Tourist Information and set off down Eurovelo route 6 towards Budapest. It all started off in textbook fashion – safe route away from traffic, smooth and pleasant. Bit by bit, however, it descended into the gutter on busy roads shared with trucks, cars and buses. More>>
Well, we’ve been inundated with entries for the coveted Bus Stop of the Month award, but after much deliberation, we’ve managed to whittle the four entries down to just three. Because of the unprecedented interest in this accolade, we’ve decided to open up the competition to the public vote and where better to do this than on the worldwide web. Enter your vote for the Bus Stop of the Month at the bottom of this post and results will be announced at the beginning of July.
Anyway, on with the Bus Stops…
1. Bus Stop number one was spotted in Hungary on Lake Balaton and is, I’m sure you’ll agree a sturdy example of modern engineering. The building is large enough to accomodate two cyclists plus bicycles with ease and you could rest there safe in the knowledge that it would never blow down. The airy interior was spotless – no empty fag packets, used condoms or syringes. A very middle class bus stop, in our opinion.
2. Bus Stop number two comes from Martin and Monika, currently also cycle touring on a tandem. We met this couple in Maastricht and they impressed us with their titanium front rack and super clean MSR cooker. Here you can see them using a bus stop in England just as the architect intended it – as a shelter from the storm for cycle tourists. Though the bus stop isn’t particularly beautiful, it shines in the practicality department. See how well it fits two people, plus picnic and large bicycle with no disassembly required – a credit to its designer.
3. Last one up this month was also spotted in Hungary on the Balaton. We gasped in admiration at this minor miracle of modern design. With its classic chalet design, superb guttering and leaded windows, plus windowboxes, it would be an honour for any cycle tourist to seek refuge within its walls and wait for the rain to pass, or to simply sit back in its splendour with an Erdnuss Flip sandwich and admire the craftsmanship.
A a new day, a new country; it starts to feel a bit like that. Our last night in Austria on what can only be described as a joke campsite in Petronel left me feeling happy to heading east. I’m not a snob and I’m happy to get what I pay for, but 15 euros for filthy sinks, toilet basin that’s bust and no security to speak of is taking the piss. Problem is, this is the only campsite between Vienna and Bratislava on the Danube, so you’re a bit of a captive audience. More>>
This is a very special award that we’ve dreamed up during our long hours in the saddle thinking of nothing inparticular. It’s an award that was inspired by an act of generosity this morning at the campsite in Budapest. Norma, our neighbour from Cheshire, who’s touring Europe with her hubby Tony, brought us a pot of Yorkshire Tea directly to the door of the tent. We were impressed and moved enough to photograph it just before we drank it. It also undoubtedly wins the ‘Cup Of Tea Of The Month’ Award’. Thanks a lot Norma and it was a pleasure to meet you both and all the best for the rest of your tour. Chris and Janyis