Austria – Days 16 and 17

So where was I..?

Been in the middle of a move to Nimes the last little while, so blogging (and the rest of life for that matter) has taken a back seat. Well, back at it and I’m determined to finish blogging our summer vacation before we go on our next one!

Early on Day 16 we crossed yet another border, this time into bicycle-friendly Austria.

Our route took us up and along giant Neuseidler See, a big lake near the borders of Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Here are some pictures from the bike path, although noticeably lacking the lake, which was almost always out of our range for some reason.

Next, an immense wind farm between the lake and the Danube.

This sign, which I’m sure you can’t read, says that the Danube Cycling Path (Donau Radweg) was not far. This is one of the most famous paths in Europe, and runs more or less from the border of Germany/France, through a whole host of countries before dumping you into the Black Sea.

And it didn’t lie. The following morning we were following the Danube towards Vienna…

…and the shock of our trip. You might not know this, but if you ever decide to enter Vienna from either the east or west and along the Danube, you will (if the weather is warm enough) be treated to a sight you might not have expected. Reading this blog will most definitely reduce the chances of any cardiac events, since you’ll know what you are getting into at least. Still, it’s something to behold for sure, and no amount of warning can take away the weirdness.

What the hell am I talking about? You might be sorry you asked. It’s like this. For miles and miles on either side of the city, stretches an endless vista of…shaved naked old people. They are everywhere. Sitting with legs wide open along the grassy border of the bike path; strolling along the path itself; and of course the conventional lying down and sunbathing posture. Now I’m no prude, and don’t mind nakedness on the right people, but jeez, cycling is dangerous enough as it is without distractions like this! And what’s with the shaving? Some sort of fashion I suppose, but what’s the deal, really? If anyone can shed some light on this I’d very much be interested. I just don’t have the stomach to do a Google search myself.

Anyhow, as you can guess, I’ve got NO pictures of this little adventure

So we got through Vienna and turned north, leaving the Danube behind. Here’s a parting shot.

The rest of the afternoon (and evening!) was spent trying to find a place to stay. But I did manage one picture along the way, somehow

I think we got into Hollabrunt (the 3rd town we tried for accommodation) around 7pm or so and had a hell of a time finding a place to sleep, ending up at a sort of youth sports facility that doubles as a hotel. We didn’t have energy to try and figure it out. After the trauma along the Danube it was comforting to know that, in Austria, you can find something to make the bad things go away!

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