Archive for August, 2008

Statistics and Superlatives

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Posted by Krista
Budapest, Hungary

We’ve met a few cyclists who are crunching figures, so now we’re halfway to Turkey, we thought we’d do the same.

Distance cycled: 2559 kilometres
Biggest day: 93 kilometres
Top speed: 73.2 km/h
Average distance cycled per day: 55 kilometres
16%: steepest hill up
14%: steepest hill down

Punctures: 4 (all on Dan’s back wheel)

Major cities: The Hague (Holland), Antwerp (Belgium), Cologne (Germany), Salzburg and Vienna (Austria), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary)

Most surprising camping place: Lake Tinninger, Bavaria, Germany (we were heartened by a kind local man named Walter, who quite unexpectedly brought us a bottle of wine in the evening as we huddled in our tent in the rain, then he revisited us in the morning bringing fresh pretzels and croissants! He told us that “in former times” he camped a lot)

Most difficult language: Hungarian

Riding East

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Posted by Dan
On the river Traun, heading for the Danube, Austria

Photo: Our last night in Germany

Last night we slept in the long grass again. Nature’s music was the ratcheting sound of crickets clicking their legs as they jumped around outside the tent. Gone is the gamelan music of the clanging alpine cowbells, now we enjoy the rapid buzz of dragonflies’ wings and the widening rivers as we descend from the mountains and ride towards Vienna.

The Alps have been an inspiring presence – majestic yet friendly – and a vision of the sights we may encounter in our future landscapes. We’ve enjoyed many detours to its lakes and peaks, however, in Salzburg we made a reluctant decision to leave the Alps behind and rejoin our original route through Eastern Europe.

Here on the river the early signs of Autumn have arrived and the first leaves are beginning to fall. Although we’ve already clocked 2000 kilometres, it’s time to cover more distance and reach Turkey before winter descends.

The road goes ever on and on

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Posted by Krista
Munich, Germany

The road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began –
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Whose many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.

Photo: A fine reunion of friends and family in Munich, Germany

Tolkien’s words, written in our new travel journal by Uli Grosskurth, are the perfect words to send us onwards. Our friends Jasper and Birthe departed last night for their bicycle ride through Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland, we now are leaving the warmth and hospitality of the Grosskurth family, and riding towards Austria, still following the Alps.

Surf in the City

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

Posted by Krista
Munich, Germany

Photo: Surfing a wave on a river in the city of Munich, Germany

Surfing on the ornamental river that runs through the Englischer Garden in Munich is a famous pursuit in the surfing world…