Tuesday 10th September A Sunny Ride South from Vienna on Eurovelo 9. 52kms - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

September 10, 2019

Tuesday 10th September A Sunny Ride South from Vienna on Eurovelo 9. 52kms

After retrieving our bikes from their spot in the courtyard, we load up and farewell Stefan who is about to leave for work. We have had an enlightening discussion with him about Austrian politics and their predilection for coalition bargaining. Outside the security of the beautiful hallway and marble staircase, we embrace our plan, which is to find the start to Eurovelo 9. The word ‘Laxenburg’ appears on a sign, but because it’s not highlighted on our Bikeline map, we don’t immediately twig that this is our direction. 

Leaving Wien in early morning sunshine.
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Moving swiftly along Josefstadt we reach the Museum Quarter and Karlsplatz. Here Ann finds the route south with the help of Mapsme. I have to confess my initial preference for the Google Maps Route along the Gurtal may have been too complicated. Once we find the Eurovelo 9 Route beyond the Bahnhof to Favoriten, the way is easy and the signage unbelievably good. 

One of the estates referred to in ‘Das Rote Wien ‘
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Better than the autobahn!
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After stopping for a Billa coffee and pastry mid morning, we continue on through semi rural landscapes and quite long unbroken stretches of paved and unpaved path until we reach the Wien-Neustadt kanal. This Kanal was originally planned to reach Trieste, which must have seemed pretty ambitious. It was used for shipping from 1803 till just before WW1. Now it seems to carry ‘industrial’ water - whatever the source is, the water level is high and it looks and smells a little soapy in places. We follow it for the remaining kilometres or so to Baden. 

The morning has progressed to become a sunny afternoon with a little wind and we lunch in the first park we come to in Baden- on bananas and fresh bread rolls. An old gent semi collapses onto our park bench and we have a brief, good natured, basic German/English, sign language conversation.

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Baden
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Further on in Baden central we walk up the main street and try the Sturm which is on sale for a couple of euros a glass. This is the new year’s wine and, being young, has more than a hint of fizz. So that our cycling won’t be impaired, we try the non alcoholic version but I ask to try the alcoholic version and have to admit it might have been the better option. Fizz with a slight kick. As we wander further up the main Straße two women stop us for a chat about where we’ve been and where we’re headed. They’ve done some cycling themselves and are interested in the detail of our trip. It’s so pleasant to have a friendly chat in a town full of strangers.

Baden, being a spa town, has a large and beautiful park, with gushing fountains, a Schloss and a museum related to its history. After enjoying a walk in the park we head back to the kanal and our destination for the day, Sollenau.

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After a brief stop for supplies and a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for our hosts, we do the remaining 7 kilometres along the kanal and reach Sollenau about 5:00pm. Sarah and Marco and little Jacob are very welcoming. We also meet Henry, from Norfolk, who is staying on “woofer” terms and helping on the ‘mini farm’. This semi rural acre block has fruit trees, hens, a comprehensive vegetable garden as well as a system for gathering water. 

Both Sarah and Marco work at other jobs, even though the property seems full time enough, involving as it does the gathering and processing of fruit, eggs vegetables. They also help with the neighbours' wine harvesting which, from the description, sounds like pretty back breaking work.

Marco’s BBQ dinner is a mix of grilled vegetables, meat and BBQ cooked bread. Holding back is not a consideration- it’s delicious! Conversation about family, work, travel and everything else continues while we eat. Sarah and Marco have hitch-hiked their way around NZ , as well as cycled across Canada  and parts of the USA,   on an eighteen month adventure

We decide that we can afford an extra day to clean bikes and wash clothes, and if the weather forecast is to be believed, we should have suitable weather if we head south on Thursday.

Today's ride: 52 km (32 miles)
Total: 1,979 km (1,229 miles)

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