Today we rode from Esztergom to Budapest along the banks of the Danube. During the morning we started off on a well-paved bike path beside the river, which has grown to majestic proportions and is surrounded by mountains sloping down to the banks.
We crossed the Danube by ferry to Szob and continued to meander along its banks until the small town of Vac, where we had an enchanting lunch in the beautiful main square of the city (which Vince followed up with some impromptu sunbathing, see below). We then took another ferry back across part of the Danube to Szentendreis Sziget Island where we continued along dedicated bike paths across the island, to a bridge across the remaining part of the Danube and then followed the cycle path to Budapest. Along the way, we were enchanted by rolling fields, mountains which castles perched on high, wild flowers and the majesty of the river. This part of the Dnaube is as lovely as anything on my trip.
We were less enchanted by two fairly crowded muddy stretches near Budapest during which Maryse landed in the mud not once, but twice, thanks to little kids blocking her way. She ended up covered in mud, but with spirit (and thankfully her bones) unbroken. When we arrived in Budapest, at the Budapest Hilton hotel in the old part of the City (right beside the wonderful castle!) Maryse was quite the sight, looking like something straight out of an American Express ad – an adventurer, coming in from a brutal journey, ready for a bit of luxury. The hotel staff, to their credit, took it all in stride. Maryse, to her credit, was as good as new after a long hot soapy shower.
Tomorrow I get to sleep in a bit, rest and sightsee in this magnificent city. We are all ready for a rest. It feels wonderful to have reached my goal of Budapest, more on that tomorrow.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I was 49 years old, with a wonderful wife and two adorable children, many fulfilling interests, and a great career, In short, a charmed life. From one day to the next, I was thrown into a battle of life and death.
Thanks to the wonders of science, the help of devoted, caring and skilled doctors and nurses, and a bone marrow transplant (from my brother) I survived. More importantly, through the experience of my illness and recovery, I have grown and flourished.
To celebrate my recovery, and all those without whom it would have been impossible, I cycled across Europe in April and May 2010, and the blog of my trip is at www.acelebrationoflife.blogspot.com.
In 2012 I published Portraits of Hope, see www.portraitsofhope.ca.
This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of my reciverywe established the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplantation.
Together we can beat leukemia.