Picture The Scene: From A Wooded Hill Into Pecs. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

November 14, 2013

Picture The Scene: From A Wooded Hill Into Pecs.

I still had some icelandic oatmeal left and wanted to make porridge this morning too. But I wasn't thinking when I set-up the stove, setting it on leaf-mulch, so that when I set the pan of water on top and took the pot-grip away, the weight of the pan caused the whole thing to tilt sideways, then tip-over and spill before I grab and right it.

There follows a short burst of swear words and then, I calm and set the stove and pan upright again with what water is left, which is the only water I have and just enough to make tea, making sure it's on firm ground this time. At least it isn't raining and although it's overcast, it's much brighter than yesterday.

I meet two men, one with a hand-saw and the other with an axe gathering firewood while wheeling the bike down through the trees to the road. The older of the two says something in an angry tone. The only word I make out sounds something like bicycle. I remain cool even though I'm scared. He repeats what he said. But the younger man, I see through the corner of my eye, with a concerned expression buts in and so he doesn't pursue the matter longer as I keep cool and pass. It's only a short distance more until I'm down on the track where I get on and ride the rest of the way out to the road.

There is a barrage of wooded hills ahead of me from the start and I wonder where the road will pass through. I pass a junction with a road running off on the left, after which, the road swings sharp to the right and uphill. My right knee is still painful today. The road then curves round left and continues more gradually uphill to another bend. It's wide because there's a climbing-lane for trucks and the traffic has slowed and backed up to a standstill. There's are road-works round the bend, reducing the road to a single lane and the traffic is waiting for temporary traffic-lights to change, while traffic in the other direction comes through.

It's a relief to pass a sign: Pecs 7 km just as I reach the summit. Then it's a straight wide road descend into sprawling suburbs designed by 1950s blockheads. Nobody could make a townscape look more ugly even if they tried.

In the valley the road meets highway 6 where, I follow the sign for "Centrum" turning right; then, it's guesting how far or where the centre of the city is......It's rough street where I've to swing out at regular intervals to avoid deep recessed storm drains, which goes on for four or five kilometres pass warehouses and tower blocks until I'm certain that the city-centre must be somewhere up the hill on the right. There are no signs.

I arrive in a bit of a square by a junction where there's a board with a city-plan, but cannot see any mark to say where on the plan I am. People rush by; women's heals clatter on the pavement. I feel like an alien with this un-comprehensible language Hungarian. I follow a long street closed to traffic looking every bit leading to an old-town, eventually into a grand square with elegant nineteenth century buildings all around.

I could see no tourist office, so locked my bike outside what looks like the townhall with the green, white and red Hungarian flag and European Union ring of yellow stars on a blue background flag over the entrance. The grey middle-aged guard that meets me on emerging from the revolving door doesn't speak any English, then a young be-suited man comes from behind the reception desk who I ask. He says "Office tourist there", pointing through the glass door at an archway in the building opposite.

I get directions for a hostel on a long pedestrianized street running off the square. In a yellow house over a café with scarlet interior and walls covered with black and white framed photos. The young woman behind the bar says I cannot check in until eleven when the owner will turn up; it's now ten past ten, so I order a coffee and go out to the bike, returning with the Netbook. I take a seat to wait with the coffee and begin to scroll down the home page of CGOAB.

Highway 6 into town.
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The huge hunk of the power station dwarfs the eastern suburbs.
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Brightly painted soviet era block.
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Dilapidated.
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Old Town.
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The hostel is over a café in the yellow house.
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The cathedral.
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The way into a cultural park on the left.
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They've made an effort in decorating.
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Stickers and posters.
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Good! A readable language: Ya eres....... por esso viaje en el país con el idioma mas dificil del Mundo.
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Can't think of a caption that wouldn't, well, you know..... Oh, the one on the right is a TV personality.
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Colour in the stairs.
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Three Don'ts.
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The footbridge over highway 6.
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I was pleased with this shot in the stairs up to the footbridge.
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Colour contrast.
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Working in the winery: these two men had perfect photogenic smiles and stood perfectly still for a long time.
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Although the barrel was heavy, this worker didn't flinch a mussel while I took some time getting the right shot.
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Window detail in the cultural park.
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A professor.
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Peasant woman.
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Above the rooftop, there isn't a cloud in the sky.
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A wine press.
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A black trabant with bright sheen reflecting a modern car.
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Oil shop.
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Screaming door detail.
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White chocolate.
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Looks like an English Language school.
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The modern shopping centre.
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The mirror image of the shopping centre and street in a shop-window.
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Display in Turkish food shop-window.
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Sign outside.
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The afternoon shadow rises a third of the way up. I think I framed this just right with the concrete bollards peeking up in the foreground.
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I'm loving it.
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I'm not loving it. An Irish/English whatever bar. Why would one travel and want not to taste what's on offer locally, instead of these expensive theme places that crop up in every city in the world.
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Restaurant fare.
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Expensive.
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I placed a lock for Pecs and me.
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THE DOOR.
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Cats are going missing every day in Hungary. This pus was last seen on Monday the 18th riding a bike by the border with Serbia. Any information..... No: the missing poster isn't necessary. Just Google this journal's title, to find where he's at and.....
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Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 7,771 km (4,826 miles)

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