Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Szentendre to Visegrad

Yesterday morning I started early (8.30am) Szentendre to Visegrad 23 km. up north. Mostly I have to share the road with on coming cars except for a 4-5 km stretch of bike-walk path. The road is flat and the walk is not too difficult, going through a number of small towns there is no shortage of food or drink or a place to rest, however the backpack is heavy on the shoulders.

I took an extended rest and a long-black at the last ferry terminal to the Szentendre Island just 4 km to Visegrad.

Ferry Terminal to Szentendre Island

I freshened up for the remainder of the walk but I was really happy to reach the hotel. Room with breakfast, swimming pool, spa and sauna, all for $50 Australian a day. The view from the terrace is spectacular, the green hills, the Citadel on top, built by Bela IV to protect the town against a recurrence of a Mongol invasion.
View of the citadel.
This is one of the grandest stretches of this great river, as it is finding its' way through the Borzsony and Pilis hills.

After a good breakfast I started out to visit the main historical sights of Visegrad. The "Royal Palace" was built enlarged and used from the 13th to the 16th century.

During the Turkish occupation (150) years, it was neglected and eventually mud washing down from the hill gradually buried the Palace completely, later generations doubted its very existence. During a New Year's Eve party in 1934 the archeologist Janos Schulek was asked to get some more wine from a neighbor, going down to the wine cellar he found clues that convinced him the Palace was there, later unearthing one of the Palace vaults. 
The Royal Palace of Visegrad
Now largely excavated it is being reconstructed. "Solomon's Tower" named after an 11th century Hungarian king, is on the low part of the fortification. Immediately behind the tower is a signposted walk path leading up to the Citadel. The view from the Citadel has to be experienced...
View from the Citadel
On the way down an alternative path leads right into town and a shade less difficult. An Ice-cream shop awaits the deserving at the bottom of the hill.

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