Arnoldstein - Munich to Paris the Long Way Round - CycleBlaze

August 1, 2019

Arnoldstein

A wonderful day, we are near the tripoint of Austria, Italy and Slovenia

We woke to a golden day and our route ahead seemed to be straightforward following the Drau for the first section.

An excellent breakfast with a perfectly cooked boiled egg and we were off.  Leaving Spittal was easy we wriggled around under and beside the railway line and were soon beside the Drau.  The Drau  is the fifth largest tributy  of the Danube meeting it at Osijek.  At this point, in Villach, it flows across a wide plain and hydroelectric dams are along its length.  As I said yesterday this plain is  a particularly valuable agricultural area.  We were following river tracks for the whole 40km to Villach sometimes right beside it and sometimes a bit separated. All the little towns are up from the flat of the valley where it begins to rise into the mountains so we were not passing through small towns.  However much to our delight after 25km we came to  cafe which was just opening and stopped for a coffee.

Across the plain
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Little bridges across to the towns
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Coming into Villach
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As you ride through it beside the river Villach looks a lovely town.  There was a big fair on the other side of the river and we crossed it to get fixings for lunch.  Then after passing through the commercial area we were taken through a lovely park with all sorts of sports grounds, skate parks etc.  At the end of this we made a sharp turn.  Now we left the Drau and the Drau Radweg to follow its tributary  the Gail.

Fun across the river
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Very thoughtful
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Downtown Villach
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A happy man
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Things changed dramatically now we were going upstream, the agriculture had disappeared and we were in a wooded area.  The gradient wasn’t bad but things not quite as easy as earlier. This was a track being used by hundreds of cyclists most of them on day trips with just a sprinkling of cycle tourists.  Arnoldstein is a small Austrian village very near to the borders of both Italy and Slovenia.  Our hotel the Belle Italia is very comfortable, as we arrived we met a cyclist who had just come over a high pass from Slovenia and had had a particularly bad time on the downhill, tomorrow he continues the way we were going.

This amazing bridge took us across to the Gail. cars on top bikes below
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Approaching the forest
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Lunch
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Fine horns
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The mountains are steep and bare. There is skiing here but I dont know where
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The beer hit the spot and the smells coming from the kitchen make me look forward to dinner - Ken says he will have a Pizza.

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Today's ride: 63 km (39 miles)
Total: 409 km (254 miles)

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George HumphreysYou two are certainly making progress. Big funeral for Julie Sommerville yesterday with a good smattering of KHS old boys. John was very appreciative of your message Ken. Very cold here so you are not missing anything. Cheers, George & Junelle
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