Saturday, June 21, 2008

August 23 Ljubljana SLOVENIA to Villach AUSTRIA by Train, Villach AUSTRIA to Spittal AUSTRIA by Bicycle 51K, Spittal to Innsbruck AUSTRIA by Train

I started the day at 6:45 after a lousy night of trying to sleep through all the riotous behavior of youth indulging in Slovenian brew and folks conversing in the hallway like it was 4:00 P.M. rather than 4:00 A.M. I hopped on the train heading for Villach Austria and plopped in a 6-seat booth with 3 college-aged Irishman and a 36 year old woman from Spain. Sara, the Spanish girl and one of the Irish youth and I had a terrific conversation all the way to Villach. Sara talked about her travels to Montenegro and Bosnia and The young Irishman spoke for himself and his sleeping friends about hopping from Prague to Bratislava to Budapest to the Croatian Coast. Now they were all heading for Vienna. Once in Villach I found my way to the Drau River Cycle Path which I would follow to Spittal where I would catch the train to Innsbruck. But before beginning the 50K ride upon the mostly gravel trail to Spittal I gave into the signs compelling me to eat at McDonald's. At home I never eat at McDonald's but since I was at a loss finding food I was familiar with I was willing to settle for chicken McNuggetts even though they are fried. The ride along the Drau Cycle Path was less than impressive. Of course maybe it was the overcast day that caused me to feel this way. This cycle path was mostly crushed gravel and I can only take so much off-road riding when fully-loaded touring. And I was expecting massive mountains and the ones nearby were nothing like I would see later in the day while on the train to Innsbruck.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

August 24 Round Trip Bicycle from Innsbruck to Hall Of Tirol 31 K, Train Innsbruck AUSTRIA to Lindau GERMANY via Munich GERMANY

This morning I pedaled the 10K to Hall in Tirol because I had heard it was a fabulous town. Turns out the town is okay, but in a spectacular setting surrounded by snow-capped Austrian Alps. I decided to return to Innsbruck on the cycle path that runs along the Inn River. (FYI The Inn Cycle Path runs from Passau Germany to just south of St Moritz Switzerland. It is more crushed gravel than asphalt for over 500K.) Once back in Innsbruck I boarded the train for Lindau Germany and would have to take the long route via Munich because the route I wanted to take directly into Switzerland was denying bicycles for a few days because of construction on a tunnel. The train ride through the Austrian Alps was incredible. I took a bunch of photos from the moving train. I hope these show some of the beauty.