Előző hétvégén folytattuk a Kéktúra 18. szakaszát Szendehely és Felsőpetény között. Jó régen hagytuk abba túrázást: a szakasz előző Nógrád—Szendehely útvonalát Valentin-nap alkalmából jártuk végig hóban-fagyban.
Ehhez képest most harminc fok feletti hőmérsékletben és tűző napsütésben caplattunk. Alsópetényben azért is hagytuk végül abba, mert nem tudtuk újratölteni a kulacsokat: minden zárva volt, a közkút pedig nem működött.
Ha valaki errefelé jár, a kék jelzésről 100 métert letérve mindenképpen érdemes lemászni a Násznép-barlanghoz: még a nyári melegben is csodálatosan hűvös van bent.
The fifteenth leg of the National Blue Trail crosses the Pilis Mountains, from the borders of Budapest (Üröm) up to Dobogókő.
It’s advised to be cautious right at the start because the promised track along the stream is in reality walled off by a corn field and overgrown with stinging nettles.
The rest of the route goes through various nature reserves which is why different animals can be spotted along the way like this stag beetle.
Or this grass snake which we’ve only noticed because it started slithering away.
We’ve also seen a couple of rabbits hopping away but they proved to be impossible to photograph.
The Dera-creek near Pilisszentkereszt is one of the more spectacular parts of the trail. The route criss-crosses the stream below through several wooden bridges.
It was under construction during our trip as demonstrated by these half-finished signs.
Finally the route culminates at the highest point of the Visegrád Hills, Dobogókő, from where a stunning view of the Danube opens up.
Completing this brought us to 77.5 kilometres (6.7%).
This is one of the shorter and more accessible sections of the trail. Both the starting and the end points are train stations on the same line with regular service to Budapest.
Much of the track goes through grassy or bushy areas without much shade so do pack sunscreen. It is not, however, plain. There is a fair amount of climbing involved to the hills around the villages.
Between Kesztölc and Klastrompuszta the route goes through a meadow with millions of butterflies.
Next the trail passes the ruins of the Monastery of the Holy Cross where Blessed Eusebius1 of Esztergom founded the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit.
Unfortunately there was not much to see apart from the church during this section. We had some trouble with the mud where the trail follows a road shared with vehicles and at one point a fallen tree blocked the path a bit.
Anyway, here are some cats we passed on the way.
Since I last wrote about the section we have completed previously the official National Blue Trail website was renewed. The errors related to the locations of the stamps were corrected and the distances recalculated. Henceforth I will continue to use the website’s data since it’s the most up-to-date.
As of writing this our status is 54.6 kilometres completed out of 1160. (4.7%)
1, Eusebius is ‘Özséb’ in Hungarian, which I was convinced to be a girl’s name…
The 14th section of the National Blue Trail takes you through the hills of Buda. Starting from the Children’s Railway it goes around a former airfield and over Hármashatár-hill ending at a brick factory operated by Wienerberger.
The airfield closed down in 2014 and is now pretty much just a grassy plain. When we were there some people flew model airplanes which sounded like mosquitoes. Since it used to be an official airfield, it even has an IATA/ICAO code: LHHH.
A gentle climb follows up to the Árpád-kilátó offering a scenic view of the city below.
The next stamping place is up on Hármashatár-hill. The stamp used to be at the old lookout tower, but since its reconstruction the box was moved to a utility pole along the route. I assume now that the new tower’s been finished, the stamp will be moved back to its old place again.
By the time we were descending the hill the sun was close to setting.
A short walk later comes another stamping place where the weekend cottages start appearing. Here, again, the official site proved to be outdated: the stamp is on a pole instead of being affixed to the first hut’s fence. First time I saw a sign like this, though.
From there the path mostly goes down in a serpentine track. Until the very end it stays in the woods. As the route curves around the steep hillside sometimes trees can be seen that could no longer hang on and fell. Even important ones, like this.
Current status: 35.6km of 1118km.