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Published: August 12th 2015
A rather luscious sandwich
Not quite what we expected with a sandwich
And so the hot weather with 35+ degrees continues. Since the only time of day that is relatively cool is in the morning we were up early and ready to leave at 8am. The temperature at this time is warm, but coolish. It’s lovely speeding along the cycle way at a time of day that is calm and clear. It appears that we’re never going to escape the heat over these days so it is best to manage it by leaving early and arriving early as the heat really builds up after midday.
Leaving Linz turned out to be easy so we could not figure out why the instructions were so difficult to get to the hotel. After crossing over to the north side we cycled through a vegetated and wet area by the river before turning inland for a while passing through small towns. After we rejoined the river we had a long stretch where we were right by the river on a stop bank which was completely open with little to see except water one side and forest the other. There were no towns and all we saw were cyclists and fishermen.
At Mittelkirchen we turned inland
A weaving loom at the Celtic village
The weaving room showed spun wool fibre with natural dyes and upright looms with weights to keep the warp tight.
again biking through cropping country until we reached Lehen where we visited the site of a 2700 year old archaeological Celtic village. The site was found in 1980 and it took 10 years to excavate. This was well worth the token we paid to visit as it showed Celtic life with a reconstructed village. Everything was made of wood or locally sourced vegetation. It is quite amazing how primitive but also ingenious it was to make so much in wood with metal and stonework being used where required. What was interesting is how long humans lived like this before discovering easier ways to live. We still see the same lifestyles in some countries.
At Dornach we stopped for lunch at a Restaurant where we had an amazing sandwich of brown bread with a variety of meats and pickles. It was quite a picture to look at.
Finally after 60kms we reached Grein where we had to fill in time until 5pm when we’d be picked up and transported to our accommodation. In the meantime we had a beer and visited the Old Town. Karilyn and I visited a theatre dating back to 1761. It was fascinating. It is
The palace grotto showing designs made only of pebbles
Every design shown here is made by placing small rounded river pebbles in lines and colour to define the design. It's amazing since at a distance it doesn't look like stones
a small version of what our current Opera Houses look like – or at least until the latest modern versions arrived. It is the oldest continuously operating theatre in Austria and the building also contains the local museum filled with artifacts and photos of Grein.
We then went and visited the palace on the hill. This was also well worth the visit as it has features I haven’t seen before. It is three stories high and based around an inner courtyard with fountains and lovely hanging plants. On each level the access over the courtyard is lined with dozens of deer heads with large horns. By the number there, there was a powerful amount of hunting done by royalty. It is the oldest residential palace in Austria and was built around 1500. The Prince who owns it still lives there. The most fascinating part of the palace is down below ground where there is a grotto and the entire area (walls, ceiling and floor) is decorated with river pebbles in distinctive designs.
Finally at 5pm we were picked up by our guesthouse van to take us up the hill to the spa town of Bad Kreuzen. It is
The palace verandah with dozens of antlers
The palace courtyard is surrounded by passage ways lined with animal heads
6km from Grein and we were very pleased not to be biking up to it with the temp at 35 degrees. It is a lovely spot and our accommodation was very good despite the infernal wasps and rooms that are too warm and impossible to cool. Our meal and service was also excellent.
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