Blogs from Austria, Europe


Europe » Austria » Vienna September 13th 2023

My train from Bratislava returned to Vienna around 3:15. I met up with Gaby, got my bag, and we said our goodbyes. Then back on the train to visit Marion. Marion had been a friend of Gaby's, I met her when she came with Gaby to Canada to visit me 25 years ago. Then she came with her friend Udo to see me in Roatan 14 years ago, and that was our last visit. She lives about 1/2 hour outside the city. She picked me up from the train station and took me back to her place. An hour or so later, Udo came to visit as well, and we had fun looking through photos and recreating some of the pics, to have a current day version. We had some munchies and a few drinks, and ... read more

Europe » Austria September 11th 2023

Yesterday, Zori came to pick us up from our Prague apartment and drop us at the train station. Then we were off to Austria! The train ride was around 4 hours, and uneventful. I read for most of it. Once we arrived in Vienna, we found where Gaby was waiting for us. It was so great to see her again. We had spent months working together on a dive boat in Australia when I was 20, then a few weeks traveling together a couple years later in Spain, and I'd gone to visit her in Austria after that, and then she had come to Canada for a visit the following year. Since then, I hadn't seen her- 25 years! She took us to her apartment, we dropped our bags, and then we headed out to go ... read more

Europe » Austria » Styria September 9th 2023

We just finished a 3-day hike in the mountains east of Sazlburg - an area called the Salzkammergut. The first day we started out at a pretty lake called Offensee, and climbed a rather steep path to gain about 800 metres. When the trail levelled out, we reached Rinnerhütte, a small hut where we had bought coffee and cake to go with our packed lunch. A gentle climb of a km or so brought us to Wildensee, a small but deep lake with cows grazing on the far side. Lynn, who had cleverly brought her bathing suit, had a brief dip in the very cold water. Another few km of up and down and we reached another hut, Albert-Appelhaus, where we stayed the night. We were greeted with cold beer, and later had a massive bowl ... read more
Crazy limestone
Lunch at a high pass

Europe » Austria » Salzburg » Salzburg September 5th 2023

Yesterday we spent most of the day at the Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna's answer to Versailles. Originally the emperor used it as a summer palace, but the last few lived there full time, right up to the abdication of the last emperor in 1918. We toured the state rooms, which are highly decorative in an 18th/19th century way. Unfortunately, no photos allowed inside. Like Versailles, the palace is surrounded by huge, beautifully designed grounds. We spent a couple of hours exploring the paths and looking in bemusement at the faux Roman ruins and strange fountains. Back in central Vienna we had our best dinner yet at a (mainly) vegetarian restaurant. They did veg variations on some standard Austrian dishes, such as the mushroom schnitzel I had. Very delicious! Today we took the train to Salzburg and spent ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna September 3rd 2023

This is our third day in Vienna. The first we passed in a somewhat zombie-like state. We managed to visit St Stephan's, the cathedral, and ate at a Vietnamese restaurant in a quiet courtyard. Yesterday we were more adjusted to European time, and we went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum - the main art museum. They have an impressive Greek and Roman section, which I explored in great detail, as well as a large collection of paintings from the Renaissance onwards. After a picnic lunch we visited the Albertina, a small art museum in an old palace. It concentrates on 20th-Century art, with paintings by Monet and Picasso as well as Austrian artists like Egon Schiele. We had dinner at a very traditional Austrian restaurant. We chose not to have the enormous Wienerschnitzel, but did have a ... read more
Kunsthistoriches Museum
The Jesuit Church

Europe » Austria » Vienna August 18th 2023

Our last full day in Vienna. We have plans to do lots of things both ride related and leisure related. I doubt we'll get them all done. I'm fast out of the blocks, up early to have breakfast and work on the bike. It needed a good clean but I also needed to swap my front and back tyres around as the front tyre has a wider profile. I was done and dusted by 9:00am, a good start. Jeff had on his list to get some rim tape at a bike shop, patch a couple of tubes and rotate his front and rear tyres to even out the wear - none of which was done before we all left for the city about 10:30am. Tom, having just arrived had nothing to do on his bike. What ... read more
Art Deco to Art Nouveau cross over
Mechanicl clock dating from 1902
A 1200 year old Romanesque church

Europe » Austria » Vienna August 17th 2023

Our first full day of sight seeing in Vienna. We had decided to ride our bikes into the city (14kms) and do a self guided walking tour. Then come home before returning to the city for dinner and a Mozart concert at the Vienna State Opera House. A big day. At breakfast, we found tickets online for the concert and purchased them. We set off on our bikes for the city just before 10am. It took the best part of an hour to get into town. We locked the bikes up at the start of our walking tour which was out front of the Vienna town hall. It makes the Melbourne Town Hall look like the local Scout Hall. The idea was we would finish the tour and come back to the bikes by 3pm to ... read more

Europe » Austria » Tyrol » Matrei in Osttirol August 17th 2023

A couple of hours to the southeast of Innsbruck lies Hohe Tauern NP - the largest protected area in the Eastern Alps. Many of Austria's highest peaks rise amongst this mountainous wonderland, including the country's highest, the Grossglockner (3798m), and its fourth-highest, the Grossvenediger (3660m). Though I harbour no interest whatsoever in scaling any such ice-clad peaks, my passion for wandering amongst lofty mountains combined with my newfound love for staying in alpine huts had found a perfect outlet in the form of the Venediger Höhenweg: a 5-6 day hut-to-hut walk curving around the southeastern slopes of the mighty mountain. Unfortunately, though the weather forecast was predicting mostly sunny weather for the Saturday, Monday and Wednesday (my first, third and fifth days on the trail), the same could not be said for the Sunday and Tuesday ... read more
Falling in Steps
River Rapids
High Mountain Scenery

Europe » Austria » Vienna August 16th 2023

No alarm set for this morning as we'll be in Vienna well before our check-in time. We have a very leisurely breakfast and have a chat to two Americans who are riding the length of the Danube. They're thinking about coming to do some riding in Australia and asked if Darwin was a good place to start. Hopefully we've set them straight. We ride out of Tulln just after 9am and make our way to the river which will take us all the way to Vienna. Just after we leave Tulln behind we see a girl riding in front of us with a jersey that says Australia on her back. We both look t each other and think, great an other Aussie to talk to. Leena was actually German and her friend had given her the ... read more
4 cruise boats parked right?
Make that 12 Cruise oats parked
The bike path on this bridge is under the roadway. Very safe.

Europe » Austria » Lower Austria » Tulln an der Donau August 15th 2023

We strolled into the modern part of town for dinner last night. We found an outdoor restaurant that was packed. There was an Austrian band playing, with lots of brass instruments included, they really had the place engaged with everyone clapping along. As it was so busy we were seated at a bench table with 3 others who also happened to be cyclists. The pertinent information we found out from them was that August 15th is a public holiday and everything will be closed. This was significant because we planned on going past the supermarket on our way out of town in the the morning to pick up our days supplies. We scoffed down dinner and made it to the supermarket before it closed - disaster averted. Another short days ride so there's no rush in ... read more
Outside the Caricature Museum
Dinner Spot. It was packed.
And the band came out to play

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