Sunday, October 16, 2005

Day 156: Nearly Foiled in Frankfurt

Before we left Frankfurt in May the hotel we stayed with agreed to look after our empty bags for the 5 months while we cycled. So we packed our trailer bag and other luggage bags into the cycle bag for them to look after. The whole thing was 2.1m x 1.2m x 0.4m, in bright red vinyl. Well on our return they could not find it, after 24 hours of seaching the hotel our bags were declared missing! While the search was on we cleaned up the bike and trailer, see first picture.

We then set off in a small Volkswagen taxi to collect 3 bike boxes from a bike shop in a neighbouring village - picture two illustrates our Volkswagen stuffing technique. We also picked up some new bags at the local WalMart. Then we set about packing the tandem and trailer into two custom made boxes! See the remaining photos.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Days 153-155: Back to the source of the Donau

As you will see from the previous posting, we lost 150km due to our bike problem, so we rode 60km from Kelheim and caught a train from Ingolstadt to Ulm for the remaining 140km (only took 2 hours!!) to make up our lost time.

The weather has certainly changed in the last 3 weeks from the high temps we had been enjoying. We had a fantastic final week of weather - every day blue sky and cloudless. But we must also say that each day began with a VERY fresh fog, as you will see from the first photo.

The next photos are us getting excited (yet again) about the lovely autumn colours on the track - there´s one of Beuron in there for you Karl Bull.

Then you will see us back at the source of the Donau River in Donaueschingen, taken on Saturday 15th October. We´re full of smiles due to the FANTASTIC time we have had and all the blessings we´ve enjoyed.
Next day we caught a train to Frankfurt to begin preparing our rig for the return journey home. That is another story again - you´ll have to wait for the final posting to read about this wee technical glitch!!

We are leaving at midnight tonight Tues 18th October for Sydney and then straight up to Townsville on Thursday to see some kiwi friends for 5 days before heading back to Sydney for a couple of days to catch up with some local friends.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Day 152: Kaputt in Kelheim, Fixed by Florian

From Kelheim we had just 4 x 100km days to go to reach our target of 7500km for the trip. This was very achievable due to the flat gradient of the bike tracks. . . . .

Alas - we only travelled 4km the next morning - 2km until our hub "snapped" and 2km to push our bike back into town to find a bike shop. (Boy did Carl´s eyes light up when he saw all the goodies in Florian´s shop!!)

Florian is the owner of Bike Station Kelheim and he saved our bacon! The short story is that fixing the hub wasn´t our best option - we needed a new wheel and Florian had to order the right "bits" for us so he could build our wheel the next day. So we had to unpack again and spend another night in Kelheim. Florian did a great job of getting us underway at about midday next day - thanks Florian!!! You´re the man!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Day 151: Bogen to Kelheim

You may have noticed that we enjoy seeing the barges that cruise past us on our travels - this one was taken near Walhalla which is what you see in the next two photos. You might remember Walhalla from our posting in the week of 22 May. . . or not . . . it´s a greek style building that contains the busts of Europe´s famous sons and daughters.

Nestled by the Donau is the lovely town of Kelheim - next two photos. Last time we didn´t stop here but caught a boat up the river to Weltenburg and beyond. We decided that this would be a good place to stop this time, and we enjoyed looking inside Befreiungshalle. This monument commemorates the unification of Germany in 1815.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Days 149-150: Salzburg to Bogen

Our route from Salzburg to Passau follows the Salzach River to the Inn River which then joins the Donau/Danube River. It´s great to get back on cruisy cycle routes and not to worry about traffic. There are lots of cyclists around - not touring cyclists but plenty of day trippers.

The first photo is taken of Burghausen(Germany) from Ach(Austria) - for most of one day we were in Austria with Germany on the other side of the river!!

Next photo is taken at Braunau on the Inn river where we stayed for a night, and the one after this is a foggy fresh morning start. Then you will see a neat village called Obernberg followed by Schärding. Schärding is where we developed a serious issue with our back wheel in the hub. We had to stop at Passau (next photo with the bridge) for the night to take our bike into a shop the next morning - you´ll see the bike in the shop waiting for help. Unfortunately we were given the advice that what was wrong would be okay until we got home - more on that in the next blog.

From Passau some of the route was familiar but we tried to ride on the other side of the river to get a different perspective from our first journey - this ferry obliged by getting us across - Carl thought he could give Sandy the slip this way!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Day 146-147: Stunning Salzburg

We got into Salzburg on the late afternoon of Thursday 6th October, just to keep you up with how current we are right now with our postings!!! Salzburg is a lovely city - here is a picture of the city from the fortress.

We´ve found some cool fountains and statues - here is the Kapitel Horsepond and the Cathedral.
I know we are going on about it, but check out the autumn special looking at the summer house in Hellbrun Castle grounds. We don´t get to experience much in the way of autumn colours in our home town!!!

From Hellbrun we could look over at Hohensalzburg Castle (fortress - where the first photo was taken from) , and closer to that is the next photo of Hellbrun Castle and the lovely grounds.

Tomorrow we are finally back on the bike and will head to Passau and ultimately back to Frankfurt for our flight to Townsville. You´ll have to watch this space to see which route we take, becasue at this stage we haven´t decided!!!!!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Day 145: Got half a day in Graz

We went via Graz to get a better train connection to Salzburg, so we had just half a day here in this city, which we believe to be the 2nd largest in Austria.

Check out the Kunsthaus Graz - also called the Friendly Alien - gallery.

We enjoyed the old architecture of Graz around the town squares, and were impressed with the wonderful cycle lanes throughout the city, although we don´t have a photo for you.

Next photo is a funky foot bridge right in the middle of the high flowing river. It has a cafe and a small open theatre (where you can see the people standing) as part of the design.

This is another view of the river from one of the bridges. We´ve managed to stay dry by heading this way, so we are keen to get back on the bike - more on this later . . . . .

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Day 144: Maribor

Due to the "inclement" weather we left Ljubljana by train and headed to Maribor. We found a great restaurant complete with Hungarian dancing . . . .

We also found this cool 400 year old grape vine which is famous in Maribor.

Because of all the rain the rivers are running very high - this is the Drava river which we were originally planning to follow from Maribor. Next photo is what was a defence tower and a town market alongside the river.

Fortunately our tandem friends Veronika and Mitja whom we met on the ferry to Croatia (see previous photos in archives) made the trip up to Maribor to see us for a few hours in the afternoon. They live about an hour away and we had hoped to visit them in their home town, but we don´t have enough days left . . . . . It was great to see them again, and we are going to convince them somehow that they should come to NZ to cycle . . . .

The last photo is of our rig on the train in Maribor, Slovenia as we left that night to get to Graz, Austria.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Days 140-143: friends in Ljubljana

As we mentioned, we were fortunate that our kiwi friends Meg and Hunter (living in London) made the effort to come and see us in Ljubljana for a long weekend. It was lovely to see some friends from home (thanks for the treat M and H) , and we also enjoyed seeing L and surrounding countryside in the autumn glory.

The first photo is on our first night in town.

If you´ve seen our previous photos of Bled back in June (see the archives) you will be able to recognise most of the next lot of photos, although these ones are full of lovely autumn hues and we had to wear warmer clothes . .

No prizes for guessing who was at the last place!!! We had a couple of wet days so went out to a big shopping mall and had an hour or so where guys and gals split up for some window shopping. This is the window the guys found!!!!