Friday, July 06, 2007

rise and fall

We're alive. After a crazy first week of riding, Greg and I are safely in Vienna, Austria, and having a great time. We left Prague a bit later than expected last Saturday, the final day of June. After leaving town at about 3pm, we biked 60km and camped along the trail with few difficulties. The second night would prove to be a different story.

Outside of Greg's flat - 3pm, 30 June. High spirits.
Our first beer garden (certainly not our last) - day two at Franz Ferdinand's Palace.

After a long second day (nearly 85km), Greg and I picked a camping spot near the road and thought we were set. However, 20 minutes after setting up camp, I had a tick and the mosquitoes were horrible. We should have taken the hint and found a new spot, but we decided to stay and were awakened around 11pm by a herd of wild pigs running through our campsite. It was crazy, and I couldn't find my headlamp for a while, but we yelled a lot and they took off, only to show up at 2am again. We've also been itching bug bites since that day.

Austrian border

The next day and night weren't so bad. We stopped along the roads to eat ripe cherries and found a nice place to camp, setting up our tarp just before a storm blew through. The night passed without event, and we road again the entire next day, passing numerous WWII bunkers and stopping to take a few photos along the way. We took lunch along the border and passed into austria that afternoon.

One of the many sunflower fields we found in Austria
Sunset on night 5, sleeping below a power plant.

Battling the wind, we rode hard and found an area to camp between a corn field and road. Thinking ourselves set, we made our beds and started to eat dinner. It wasn't five minutes later when Heinreich the farmer's son showed up with a sickle to cut corn (by hand) right where we were camped. We spoke no common languages, but left with an understanding that we would leave the next morning. After a night of high wind and heavy rain, we set forth, one night between us and Vienna.


Our final full day of riding was mostly downhill, and as we decended into Austrain wine country, we decided it'd be silly to NOT stop and do some tasting. Well, we stopped into a family estate on the hillside and met an old man and woman who probably gave us too much wine, along with a tour of their 400+ year old cellar and small winemaking facility. It was wonderful, and just one of the many things we've seen so far. That night we slept well below a powerplant on the Danube, about 70 km from Vienna.

Dr Freund's actual apartment.

A strong morning ride on Thursday with a substantial tailwind found us in Vienna around 1pm. Since then we've been around town and off the bikes. It's been a great break from the road, and it's nice to sleep in a bed again. We're leaving tomorrow morning, heading toward Zagreb, Croatia. We hope you're all doing well.

Royal Hapsburg family's summer palace, Vienna

check a couple of videos here
here's our progress

No comments: