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This post is about an 8km walk from Szamarhegy to Esztergom. We walk on a bike path next to the Danube, and it’s an easy day.

Our last town in Hungary lay ahead: Esztergom, which was apparently known to us Germans as… Gran. I had never heard of that name, nor had I known that Esztergom/Gran used to be the capital of Hungary until the 1300s.

a stroll

We walked on a bike path lined by trees. There were hardly any people around. The Danube was right next to us, the sun had come out, the air was neither warm nor cold, and the day felt easy. We found a nice pebble beach and rested there. I sat in my new camping chair. It was going to be a very short walking day, so we took our time and relaxed.

I tossed a few rocks into the Danube, wondering how strange it was to think that I had first seen this very same river almost a year earlier, in Serbia, and that for all this time, it had been emptying itself into the Black Sea, without ever stopping.


After a while, when we were on our way again, we noticed a dome in the distance. It belonged to the Esztergom Basilica, the largest church in Hungary, and seeing it reminded me of how travelers in the past used to experience the world.

Today, you would often see the suburbs first. Maybe some smokestacks. Or a bunch of skyscrapers towering in the distance. But two or three centuries ago it used to be different.

Since there wasn’t as much industrial and residential clutter around the town centers back then, the first thing that a traveler would see from afar were often landmark buildings like this church. Or like the mosque of Babaeski that I marveled at in the sunset more than a year earlier.


the walk from Szamarhegy to Esztergom:

  • Hermann Mensing

    Hallo Christoph,
    ich weiรŸ nicht, ob du dich an mich erinnerst, wir hatten Kontakt, als du in China unterwegs warst. Seitdem ist viel Zeit vergangen. Heute stieรŸ ich durch Zufall auf dich und staunte, Du bist immer noch unterwegs. Ich wรผnsche dir Glรผck.


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