Sunday, May 31, 2009

Melk na Krem

We felt that we needed to get out of Wien and into the countryside so we decided that I would ride the stretch of the Danube from Melk down to Krems and Caron would take a leisurely drive over the same route and hopefully meet me in Krems.

The rain has decided to stop for a while although the clouds still look quite heavy and threatening. Driving towards Melk the first sign that one sees is that of the Benedictine monastery which is just absolutely huge (the one featured in Umberto Eco's "Name of the Rose").

After getting to Melk the first thing was, as it always is, to get a cup of coffee and I have to say that the general standard of coffee in Austria is far above anywhere else we have been. Once I was on my bike the first thing that caught my attention was this:

That's right "No more milk"! Definitely one of those jokes that gets lost in translation.

Jason would not have enjoyed this ride because it was pretty much downhill for 40km; it's not steep and if one stops pedalling one coasts to a halt but is definitely downhill and downhill riding doesn't generate enough of the pain so Jason definitely wouldn't have enjoyed it. Fortunately, I'm not Jason so I did enjoy riding because the path looks like this the whole way.

On top of this one gets to see sights like this around most bends in the river not to mention the barges that ply up and down the river.

Coming around a bend there was a gutted fish being smoked, I presume for lunch, by the locals. I know it was the locals because they looked at me suspiciously when I stopped to take a photograph. In africa, people would think "how primitive" but the same thing here is considered to be "quaintly rural" rather than primitive.

I finished the ride and then we went and had lunch next to the Danube at one of the river ferry stops. I thought I was ordering "fish and chips" but what arrived was "fish fingers and chips" but that is just one of those things that happens to one when travelling. After lunch it was "magies vol, ogies toe" and Caron had to drive back to Klosterneuberg while I passed out in the passengers seat.

This is the view from the bell of our tent; note the new species of bicycle that comes with free socks!

Caron decided it was nap time so I walked into the centre of Klosterneuberg in search of the internet cafe which I managed to find this time and I spent and hour and a half catching up on post, reading email and doing electronic banking while consuming pilsener beers. I arrived home feeling decidedly unsteady on my feet. Neither of us were feeling really hungry so we had some soup and bread before calling it a day; a good day that is.

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