Staying one day extra in Ljubljana (Slovenia) was welcoming because we want to enjoy the places we go to as much as possible. For Jaillen it was his second time there and he remembered why he liked this city so much. It’s very lively, clean and authentically modern. The castle up on the hill and metelkova were our highlights. We headed northeast the day after. It felt great to be on the road again. Our journey continued in the valley trough hilly landscapes with tiny villages. Each of them having their own small church. We apreciated that even slovenians far away from cities can speak good english. After arriving in Celje which is the third largest city of slovenia we set up camp.
Packing up a wet tent in the rain after a very rainy night was not our favorite thing to do. Soon we set off to what was supposed to be a little hilly. We ended up climbing more than 200 meters in altitude. Loose rocks and too steep too paddle further we step of our bikes and start pushing up. No house in sight but we see a “farmer” working on a piece of land. He curiously asked where we are from and where we are going. He never saw people pushing loaded bikes up this hill before. In fact, he doesn’t even see people walking up this hill. His name is Jure, he is slovenian and he is not a farmer. He just plant some crops for his family and work sometimes in the office too. Few minutes later we are having some beers with him. After getting useful info and exchanging contacts we continued to Ptuj. Ptuj is the oldest city in Slovenia. The hostel we went to was closed so we stayed at the camping just outside the city.
We had plans to meet our parents in a few days in Budapest before they fly back to Aruba. Knowing we are not gonna make it in time and it is neither in our way going southeast we decided to take a train to the balaton lake (Hungary). It is an area we want to explore. We had 2 overlays during our trip. Travelling with bikes and so many luggage is wishing you are an octopus. We hopped off the train, reassembled and cycled the rest to Balatongyorok. Camp was set just next to the lake. The balaton lake is a freshwater lake and stretches over 77 km long. It is the largest lake in Central Europe.
The next day we cycled along the coast of the lake, passing Szigliget (settlement from the bronze age) and tiny villages. Most of them looking very touristic. After reaching Tihany with the most amazing view over the balaton lake we decided to take a ferry and go to the other side of the lake and camp there for the night. We met two belgium guys there who are backpacking and hitchhiking. Next to a campfire we had talks and this night had a lot of very bright shining stars.
Next day we took the ferry back and cycled along the coast direction northeast till the end of the balaton lake. As this was the day our parents are arriving in budapest we took a train from Balatonalmadi to Budapest to meet them there. Our train stopped at the buda side where we cycled our way to the pest side of Budapest.
Budapest contains of two combined cities. Buda is on the west side of the river Danube (Donau) and Pest on the east side. While cycling on one of the many bridges of Budapest we suddenly encountered our brother (Alhric) who came to visit us. He took us to our parents for a surprise welcome. The following days will be filled with quality time before our parents leave us for a long time.
Hungary is treating us very well until now. Big hills, huge landscapes with big lakes are not views we are used to. These are what we enjoy the most.
There’s a slight language barrier outside the big cities. Me and my brother can speak 4 languages (english, dutch, spanish and papiamento) and we mainly try to communicate in english. Hungarian is one very difficult language to understand. Their alphabet is complicated and also very interesting.
Our days off with family we spent exploring this city of 1,8 million people and with history dating back to way before the middle ages. Off course we need to check out some coffee places too before we leave and Madal was our favorite…