EU Day 16: Riding Vienna (AUT) to Bratislava (SVK)

Today’s ride was very straightforward, it was probably the straightest and flattest route I’ve ever taken. After cycling through the nudist section along the Danube River, nothing else really happened. It was mostly inland and away from the river, so I cheated and played some music to keep myself entertained.

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The road looked endless and I spent a lot of time and energy racing other cyclists in the horizon. They were cruising so they barely put up a fight.

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It was okay though, I had plenty of snacks along the way, including these flat peaches. I absolutely love them, even when they get squished in my basket. I hope to eat as many as I can before I leave Europe, or find a way to get them in Australia.

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Hainburg was the only stop, after 50km of riding and it was lunch time, I had another schnitzel and continued on.

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An epic gate in Hainburg

The last 20km was my first introduction to Slovakia, it was pretty but I had to keep my eyes on the path because I nearly got wiped out by some potholes and big bumps.

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UFO Bridge: there's a bar and restaurant at the top, but too pricey for me

The route to my hostel was blocked off by roadworks so I took a detour and found the Blue Church for St Elizabeth.

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Upon settling into my room, Sebastien, a French cyclist came in and I was pleased to make friends with another tourer. He was going towards Vienna, his last stop before going back to work in Brussels. It was cool to learn about his background and all the different things he’s done and seen. We ended up going on the walking tour and exploring the city too.

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The Concert Hall

This statue was put in to cheer up people in town, there’s a whole lot of history behind it, but Bratislava is only 22 years old. Before then it was part of Czech Republic and unfortunately Prague was chosen to be the pretty city and Bratislava was used for factories and industrial purposes. So when we walked around we would see beautiful structures right next to grey communist buildings.

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The sign was installed so people could see the statue, cars kept hitting it and he lost his head a few times.

Our tour guide, Martina, gave us some tips for local food and we decided to give it a go. First up was garlic soup with their national cheese, served in a bowl made of bread. The platter had an assortment of dumplings (apparently they take hours to make) with more cheese and bacon. It didn’t look like much but it was so filling and heavy, definitely a cheese overload.

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We walked up to see the castle, built in the 10th Century and it was great that the grounds are open until midnight. The views were amazing and I’m glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to enjoy it.

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After heading back to the hostel we looked at our respective routes for tomorrow and checked the weather forecast. It was going to be a tailwind for me, so I was happy, but it was still going to be a long ride. The hostel was quiet and I managed to get more than enough sleep.

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