Friday, 22 May 2015

9 days and 150,000 steps in!

Nine days on the road, four different hotels 150 000 steps from 8000 to 28000 a day.  During my travels to Europe to the U.S. and elsewhere I always enjoyed visiting the towns and cities but just passed through the countryside at a 100km an hour even if I saw something of interest, by the time i could safely stop the car we were well past the spot so just kept going. The joy in walking is being able to admire what is around us, flowering bushes and trees, wild piglets playing in the grass, baby ducklings following their mother through land and water or see the river reclaiming the flood plains I could walk over the day before.

On the debit side my sore and swollen ankle is the easy winner, at first the spas reduced the problem but my 28,000 steps did not help.

Fortunately my G.P. had the foresight to prescribe an anti-inflammatory pill. I am taking tonight for the first time.  The next two days will be easy, the one after will be hard. After just three hours walking on the bike-path alongside the Danube I arrived to Esztergom. It was here Prince Geza brought Hungary into the Roman Catholic Christendom.

Prince Geza's son Stephen was crowned as the first Christian King of Hungary on Christmas Day 1000 A.D. by a papal envoy. With the help of Bishop Gellert, King Stephen began converting his pagan subjects. Various tribal rebellions were crashed and Stephen was canonized in 1038, after his death. Bishop Gellert had a somewhat less successful end, locked in a barrel he was rolled down a Buda hill now bearing his name (Gellert Hill) into the Danube,a statue on the side of the hill commemorates the event. 

But back to Esztergom, the currant Basilica the largest in Hungary standing a hundred meters tall was built from 1822 to 1869 on the sight of the First Cathedral where King Stephen was crowned.

The remains of the Castle are also on the same hill.
There are numerous museums to visit or just have a nice walk on the tree lined promenade alongside Kis-Duna  with Primas Island just over the bridge. Just outside of town i attended an outdoor Church Service with more faithful in attendance than in any of the churches in town.
I also met an old friend the Maria-ut (Pilgrim's Road) sign I first noticed in Godollo just outside of Budapest.

Tomorrow is another day and another experience.

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