Days: 582Km, Total: 3165Km
Sitting in a cosy little window alcove in Vienna, propped up by a couple of scatter cushions with a steaming coffee in hand whilst watching the snow flakes in their delicate dance ever downwards I’m realising how incredibly lucky we were with the endless blue skies we had through the Austrian Alps.
We awoke, after a great nights sleep in the countryside, near the Idyllic town of Fussen on the german boarder 4 days ago to a clear sky so vast it is hard to truly describe. It was actually hot for the first time on the trip. Who would have thought it would be in the foothills of the alps that we’d be shedding thermals for lighter gear and strolling around in t-shirts.
It was an amazing day of riding up the switch back mountain passes and then back down again. Unbelievable views awaited around every corner each one seemingly trying to out do the last, of ancient mountain peaks sheathed in snow, verdant valleys alive with greenery and fresh water streams of snow melt locked in a timeless battle to carve their way through the unyielding rocky landscape. It was somewhat of a sensory overload in many respects, not knowing where to point the camera and struggling to decide what was truly worthy of a photo when on any other day it all would have been. The only real solution was to pack all the cameras away and just enjoy the ride in that crisply clean air and ancient stillness only found the mountains.
Even the traffic congestion due to a overturned truck when coming down a pass couldn’t put a damper on the majesty of the day, and in fact it turned into a great excuse to catch a little nap in the delightfully warm morning sun whilst waiting for it all to start moving again.
It was with great sadness that we descended from the mountain wonderland and headed back up towards Vienna and a couple of days of visas and rest to give our bodies time to recover a bit from the rigours of the road whilst we’re still in Europe and before the real challenge of the east begins.
Vienna itself was days spent strolling the streets, taking in the grandiose architecture of the old Austrian empire and nights, that sometimes turned into mornings, exploring Vienna’s diverse nightlife.
“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and with people I’ve never met.”
Is a quote plastered haphazardly on the hostel wall opposite to where I find myself perched right now. At first glance it made little to no sense, but the longer I sit here staring into the distance wondering what to say about Vienna the more and more I’m starting to see the truth in it. There’s an excitement to the unknown, to the faint unsure smile of a stranger trying to place you in their world, to the late night conversations with people so different, some bizarre, some brazen and some timid but all tied together in a curiosity of the world and all its magical places. There’s an excitement to stepping outside the door and not knowing wether to turn right or left but turning all the same, to opening the tent in the morning and having to stop and think where exactly the landscape rolling out before you lies in the greater world. I’m in love with the open road and the constant change it brings, the excitement of having no idea whatsoever of what tomorrow truly holds.
Tomorrow its back on the bikes and off to Slovakia, snow or no snow.