Kecskemet

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Wed 18 August It’s pronounced Keshkemet. Birth place of Zoltan Kodaly. There’s a lengthy Wikipedia entry that you are advised to read for further historical information. Today began with bad breakfast. First breakfast was at our regular cafe (ie the one we went to yesterday) opposite the synagogue, but jackhammering was occurring over the road, so we moved on to have second breakfast at another that served ok coffee and dry pastries. Ah well, New York Salon one day, bad croissants the next. We found a large indoor market selling fresh fruit and veg, meat and Hungarian sausage in large quantity.

We bade farewell to the Duna, until we cross it again later. Then on the road and out of town. This obliged us to use a busy road for awhile with trucks and fast traffic. On one section of this road, something we hadn’t anticipated was the sight of young women standing by the road, scantily dressed at 10 in the morning. We have not seen this elsewhere.

Our route took us through Ocsa, a small town with brand new supermarket and carpark, then Dabas, a larger place, both pleasant with gardens full of flowers, vegetable gardens and laden plum trees on the verges.

Load of chilcren and watermelons

We arrived in Kecskemet around 4pm and found it in full festival mode with food and drink stalls in the city centre. There is a mixture of new and old buildings here. We found Agnes, our host, who lives near the centre, and also met her daughter (just arrived home from Boston where she is studying) and her mother who lives over the road. We walked into town in the evening and had lepeny, kekfrancos (wine) and said egeszsegedre (cheers). There were hundreds of people there, eating and drinking, a big stage with rock band and it was a lovely mild night. A monument nearby to the Treaty of Trianon shows the extent of Hungary before and after, in concrete. The loss of territory is still keenly felt by Hungarians. We enjoyed staying with Agnes who was generous and hospitable and accepted us at short notice.

Cycle route:
Dabas – Kecskemet

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