Szentendre means St. Andrew and is a town about 20 KM north but outside of Budapest. So you can imagine that we just about fired up our steeds and arrived in Szentendre in no time. Well almost true but first we had to find our way out of Budapest. Since we bummed away Monday waiting for the heavy rain to stop, we were rested enough. The Tuesday morning rush hour and the only one sign policy made it a bit dicey but we did make Szentendre around 11 AM. The weather had improved to a clear sky with the sun shining on us. We arrived and Immediately, I saw a hotel/pension and yes, they had room for us. Parking was in a small lot one block away and A/C was included. Wi-Fi available if you sat in the hall and got the password from the store next door but all worked out well. No, no breakfast unless you like to eat breakfast at 10. No matter we are all set, let’s explore this town. All of our guide books explained that this town is a typical Hungarian town. The roads are cobblestone, the houses small and low. The streets and alley ways look ancient as if still used today by animals. Instead they are traipsed daily by tourists. The whole town is a tourist town. A former artist colony, Szentendre still features plenty of galleries and you can visit if they are open. Nothing is definitely defined here. Businesses open when they please, close when they feel like it. The pace of life is relaxed, easy going. Yes, money is important but so is the chat with the neighbor. We walked the town, covered all there is to see. From the Serbian Orthodox Church with the silvery or golden covered Icons to the open shops, art galleries and even the Marzipan Museum. Carol paid to get in and take some picture of Mickey Mouse in Marzipan but I passed. Sometimes, the ideas are too far out for me to get it and enjoy it.
I did enjoy the exhibition of Margit Kovaks and her ceramic displays. She had a way of showing feelings in working with simple clay and brought her emotions to the front in different ways. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margit_Kov%C3%A1cs)
Ambling through town, I came past a Jewish memorial site, giving the many names of people that were sent from here to the concentration camps. The only woman that survived settled again in Szentendre and made her front yard a memorial to her former neighbors.
Szentendre is a small town; many people stay here and then take day trips into Budapest since living here is easier and more relaxed. Ships on the Danube take passengers to Budapest but in addition, bring people from Budapest to just visit for the day. It is like an ebb tide; people come and go in swells, stay for a while then leave again. We were the odd ones, the ones that stayed all day. The afternoon started with a change in the weather. Clouds covered up the sky, darkness fell a bit earlier and the rain started to come down in sheets. Ok, we were well taken care of sitting in our hotel, even our bikes were covered. We sat in the hall outside our room working on the blog, writing emails, etc I did not mind the down time, I can always find things to do.
The next morning all of the weather had changed, we had the most glorious sunshine and we are off to Vienna a mere 175 Miles away.