Slovakia, Hungary and the last of Austria
Updated: Sep 21, 2018
Saturday, 9th June 2018 Bratislava, Slovakia to Hegykö, Hungary, 74 miles
Friday had been spent in a smokey internet cafe battling with a slow processor and weak internet connection. I had only managed to post Poland to the blog and was upset that I had missed out on exploring the city.
From what I saw as I left the hotel at 9 and crossed the Danube by the Lafrancini Bridge, it was fresh and clear after a heavy storm through the night. The bridge had an observation deck perched high up on the suspension frame and was known as the UFO by locals. The directions and going was easy and I followed the border with Slovakia and Austria until I stopped at Bunker BS-8. The post Munich agreement meant that BS-8 and the rest of the defence line was never used in war but later served as a border control post.
BS-8 was the king of bunkers and slept twelve men who operated machine guns and cannons. It was now a museum and at this early hour on a Saturday was closed, which I found surprising.
The morning turned to afternoon and I followed the border tracks with Austria and Hungary for many miles. There was a police and army presence. The night before Austria had announced the closure of seven mosques and the deportation of 60 families but this was regular activity, left over from the 2015 crisis.
Small canvas army tents stood at field corners and lone armed soldiers acted nonchalantly, playing with their phones.
Away from the border tracks I met two guys from Slovenia on their bikes travelling to Kaliningrad to watch the football next week. Yes there is a quick route to Kaliningrad and where I had spent the best part of a month following the trail they would cut across the Czech Republic and Poland in just a few days.
The trail took me over the Bridge of Arnau where in 1956 tens of thousands of Hungarian refugees fled the communist regime into Austria.
In the early evening I entered Hungary properly saying goodbye to Austria for good. It’s a shame that Austria didn’t have its own section within the blog but I’m sure she’ll get over it.
I travelled through villages similar to those in Slovakia. Families just doing family things.
The route took me through many towns linked together and I found myself, as the sun set, without a suitable spot to rest.
I didn’t find anywhere and resigned my-self to sharing a concrete slab behind some bushes at the side of a spur road with a toaster and a broken TV for that homely feel.