The day dawned with fog, sun and crisp air. Again I started on Route 160 – this is beginning to read like a Route 66 story! Over the next 8 km I ascended at a manageable incline, given the extra weight of the panniers. Not the sort of effort where one has to keep one’s head down and pump iron and puff! Almost! The Austrian border was abandoned! No check point “graham”. Cycled gaily through disused and broken barriers. Within minutes, as if by magic, the scenery changed, I kid you not.
The first Austrian town was Bad Leonfelden. From here I at last turned off Route 160 onto a quiet country road and had the road to myself. I gently reached an altitude of about 900m and for the next several kilometres cycled through undulating green, sweet smelling grassy pastures, cows and carefully maintained homes. Actually the cows were also carefully maintained! To some extent it reminded me of the day we cycled up the mountains and onto the plateau above Meiringen in Switzerland, a few years back.
The trip today was about 40 km – a delightful 20 km ascent followed by an exhilarating descent. The only slightly apprehensive time was that for the last 8 km into Linz I had to return to Route 160. As I could get up reasonable speed, the polite Austrian drivers did not hassle me too much!
Tonight it has turned cold, wet and windy! The forecast is for it to clear tomorrow. I will now head toward the Salzkammergut region, staying overnight at Wels then heading to Gmunden. From there Plans open. There is a great map with more than 30 – yes that is thirty – cycle paths in upper Austria. My plan is to do as much as I can of cycle path R2
Have lost a little weight, so had this for breakfast without feeling guilty!
The Czech Austrian border mark
Three pictures showing the Austrian countryside at about 900m above sea level
The tomatoes are very red and tasty
Went into Linz this afternoon and this evening. Happy that I have a feel for the place and relaxed about not spending another day tomorrow.
There is no doubt that riding is so satisfying on a bright crisp sunny day and a quiet traffic free road!