Saras Bike

– Discovering the World

Austria

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22. september – 3. oktober 2015

In a small town before the border with Austria I spent my last Czech money on some food, juice and icecream. I found a border crossing between the Czech Republic and Austria, which had been established back in 2006. There was no border guards and one could freely cross over. But after crossing the border, I came in doubt whether it was alright to cross the border here or not. Especially due to the refugees situation and thereby further control at the borders. Should I had chosen an official border post? I convinced myself that it was alright due to the Schengen agreements, and drove off.

Like my t-shirt?  It is a gift from all my swimmers. I have had it with me from the beginning, and the plan is that it shall survive the entire journey.
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I en lille by inden grænsen til Østrig fik jeg brugt mine sidste mønter på lidt aftensmad, juice og is. Jeg fandt en grænseovergang mellem Tjekkiet og Østrig, som var blevet etableret tilbage i 2006. Her var der ingen grænsevagter og man kunne frit krydse over.  Vel over på den anden side, i Østrig, blev jeg i tvivl om hvorvidt jeg i disse tider med skærpede grænse overvågning skulle have valgt en mere officiel grænsepost. Men da den mulighed ville have kostet mig 15 km ekstra, blev jeg enig med mig selv om at det gik nok alt sammen pga. Schengen aftalen.

Tjek lige min fine t-shirt ud! Det er en gave fra alle mine svømmepiger. Den var fulgt mig lige fra starten, og planen er at den skal med hele vejen.

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This was the first city I encountered in Austria. It was very quiet, clean and almost no people in the streets. It made me feel like I was all alone in the world.
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Dette her var et af de første by billeder jeg stødte på i Østrig. Her var meget stille, rene linjer og nærmest ingen mennesker i gadebilledet. Det fik mig til at tænkte på “Palle alene i verden”.

Saras Bike Austria

In the small town Wildendurnbach, I had no more energy to cycle further. I began to look around for accommodation, and heard about the local bakery, that every now and then, rented out rooms. Fingers crossed, I opened the door to what I thought was a small bakery. The bakery was small, but further behind, there was a cafe/tavern full of guests. The baker was not totally convinced, but after I told her about my journey and that I had nowhere else to go, she luckily let me stay. And wow, what a room I got. Maybe I’d better call it a huge apartment. There were several rooms with capacity for 10 people or so, bathroom and a huge kitchen. After dinner I went to bed and slept until the next morning.
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I den lille by Wildendurnbach, måtte jeg konstatere at jeg ikke orkede at cykle længere på denne dag. Jeg begyndte at forhøre mig rundt om i byen om muligheder for overnatning, og fik nys om at den lokale bager lejede værelser ud engang imellem. Med krydsede fingre åbnede jeg døren ind til det, som jeg troede var en meget lille bager. Ganske rigtigt var selve bagerbutikken med brødudslaget lille, men længere inde bagved var der en cafe/værtshus fyldt med gæster. Efter jeg havde fremsagt min forespørgsel, var bagerjomfruen endnu ikke helt overbevist om hun ville leje værelset ud til mig. Men da jeg fik fortalt om min rejse og at jeg ikke havde andre steder at tage hen, fik jeg hende over på min side. Og hold nu op sikke et værelse jeg fik. Måske jeg hellere skulle kalde det en kæmpe lejlighed. Der var flere værelser med plads til 10 personer, badeværelse og et kæmpe køkken. Efter aftensmaden gik jeg omkuld og sov lige til den næste morgen.

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In the bakery I met the daughter of the house, she was so very kind to offer me a ride to Vienna the next day. Her mother was going to Vienna to do some shopping for the bakery. When I get offers like these, it always conflicts a little with my basic thoughts about my journey. Namely, that I want to cycle all the way to Istanbul without the use of vehicles. But on the other hand, it is also an opportunity to get to know the people I meet. While I have some idea of ​​how I imagine my travel must be, I try as far as possible to have an open mind to offers, like this. And thus ended my bike and the rest of my gear in the trunk.
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Imens jeg ventede på at værelset blev gjort klart til mig, faldt jeg i snak med datteren af butikken. Inden jeg fik set mig om, havde hun tilbudt mig at jeg kunne køre med hendes mor til Wien næste morgen. Hun skulle nemlig til Wien for at gøre det ugentlig indkøb til butikken. Når jeg får tilbud som disse, så konflikter de altid lidt med min grundtanke for min rejse. Nemlig at jeg vil cykle hele vejen til Istanbul uden brug af al mulig anden transport. Men på den anden side er det også en mulighed for at lære de folk jeg møder at kende på en anden måde. Samtidig med at jeg har en ide om, hvordan jeg forestiller mig min rejse skal være, så prøver jeg så vidt muligt at have et åbent sind til tilbud, som dette. Og derfor endte min cykel og resten af mit grej i bagagerummet.

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I was droped off in the outskirts of Vienna at a huge shopping mall. What I thought would be a demanding and long day on the bike was now significantly reduced. Since my appointment with a Warmshower host wasn´t until late in the afternoon, I spent some time strolling around the shopping mall. But best of all I bought a new mp3 player. A few weeks ago I was washing my jersey after a long and sweaty day on the bike. But I had forgotten all about my mp3 player was in my pocket, and that was the end of it. In the weeks that has passed without music, I have discovered how much it means to me to have music in my life. Some days I don´t listen to music, other days music is everything. It can lighten up my day, give me endurance on the bike, sometimes it is the soundtrack of my journey. Music is a great companion on the road.
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Jeg blev sat af i udkanten af Wien ved et kæmpe storcenter. Det som jeg troede ville blive en krævende og lang dag på mere end 75 km, var nu betydeligt blevet afkortet. Og eftersom jeg først havde en aftale sent om eftermiddagen hos en Warmshower host, brugte jeg lidt tid på at ose rundt i centret. Det bedste var at jeg fik skaffet mig en ny mp3 afspiller. For nogle uger siden, ville jeg vaske min cykeltrøje efter en lang og svedig dag på cyklen. Men jeg havde glemt alt om at min mp3 afspiller lå i lommen, og så var det slut med at høre musik. I ugerne, som er gået uden musik har jeg opdaget hvor meget det betyder for mig, at have musik i min hverdag. Nogle dage hører jeg slet ikke musik, andre dage fylder musikken næsten alt. Det kan få humøret helt i top, give længere udholdenhed på cyklen, ja, nogen gange er det bare med til at understøtte min tænksomme eller jublene glade sindsstemning. Alt i alt er musikken en rigtig god følgesvend på landevejen.

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When I biked towards the city center of Vienna, I saw the most amazing sky. Fortunately, it didn´t start raining, and I arrived almost rested at the home of my two Warm Shower hosts, Sarah and Marco. I had only asked to stay for two nights, but they were simply the most nice and openhearted people, I have met. So when they offered me to stay as long as I would, it was not hard to “thank you”. A few months ago they came home from a long bike trip to Canada and the US, and knew exactly what it feels like being on the road for a long time. And as they said, sometimes you just need to be somewhere a little longer than others. They really knew how to make me feel welcome in their home. I even got a key to their apartment, so I could come and go as I wanted, while they were at work! I am so thrilled to experience that kind of hospitality first-hand.
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Da jeg trillede ind mod centrum af Wien var der den mest fantastiske himmel. Heldigvis blev det ikke til regn og torden, og jeg ankom nærmest veludhvilet hos mine to Warmshower værter, Sarah og Marco. Oprindeligt skulle jeg kun have haft to overnatninger hos dem, men de var simpelthen sådan nogle søde og rare mennesker. Så da de tilbød at jeg kunne blive så længe jeg ville, ja, så var det ikke svært at sige ja tak til tilbudet. Sarah og Marco kom, for et par måneder siden, selv hjem fra en lang cykelrejse i Canada og USA, og vidste udemærket hvordan det er at være på landevejen i lang tid. Og som de sagde,  nogen gange har man bare brug for, at være et sted lidt længere end andre. De forstod virkelig at få mig til at føle mig velkommen. Jeg fik endda en nøgle til deres lejlighed, så jeg frit kunne komme og gå som jeg ville, imens de var på arbejde! Hvor der er tillid til hinanden skal verden nok bestå. Jeg er bare glad for at få lov til at opleve det på egen krop.

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One of the many deliciuos dinners we shared together.
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En af de utallige gode middage sammen med Sarah og Marco.

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Some pictures from around Vienna.

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“1-2-3 everbody take a picture!”image

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“Who you conna call?”

Saras Bike

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I haven´t yet found the trick to do the free camping. You know the kind of camping, where you just pitch your tent for the night, cook some food, jumps in your sleeping bag and wake up all rested the next morning, ready to ride my bike as a true adventurer. I guess we all have our own small or large obstacles in life that we haven´t figured out how to overcome. This is one of mine. The free camping. At it is one that for now, I want to overcome. This is what I dreamed of, every time I imagined how my journey should be. So why is it that these obstacles prevent me from doing what I want to do? Who is it that has sat up these barriers? Why is it so important for me to do the free camping? Does it matter where I camp as long as it is in a tent? Okay, I admit it, the idea to pitch my tent secretly and spend the night alone in the wild, is as huge deal for me. How do I find a good place? How do I stop my vivid imagination to go crazy? I clearly remember the little mouse that kept running around my tent, in the beginning of my trip. It was driving me crazy. Or the strange sounds I heard when I spent the night in Stepankas garden in the Czech Republic. The solution to the mouse was that I made a lot of noise in the tent for five minutes. The mouse ran away, but did not sleep quite well that night. The solution to the second problem was, just to fall asleep without figuring out what made noise. That night I didn´t sleept very well either. Found out the next morning that it was the apples falling down from the tree. Yes, sometimes I have a great imagination. I always knew that when I took on this trip was also to develop me as a person not just to see the world. It sounds so nice. “Look at me, I’m going to ride my bike and develop myself as a person while I experience the world.” But as incredible as it may sound, it is what I will try to do.

The abandoned camp. There were clear signs that there had previously been a campground, but that now it was long ago. Besides the old sign and the locked and dilapidated toilet building, so there were still signs of a little life. Therefore, I was hopeful when I unsuccessfully knocked on the door. Further down the road stood a few allotment houses-like buildings, which also kept a few cars. But even here there were people to find. Maybe I could just put up the tent and hope for the best? I cycled back to the main house and walked up the long staircase, which was installed using lift. It took a long time, but then the door opened. It was the kindly old man who had previously owned the campsite. It was obvious that the lift was for his use. He told me that it was a long time ago that there had been camping, and that the nearest convenient 25 km away. It was not good news. “What do you say I hit my tent for a single night?”. He could not give me water or the possibility of a bath, but I could then get the key to his house, so I could borrow the toilet. And so it was that I was given the key to a complete stranger’s house for a single night.
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Jeg har endnu ikke helt fundet fidusen til at overnatte i det fri. Altså der hvor man bare slår sit telt op for natten, laver noget mad, hopper i soveposen og vågner veludhvilet igen næste morgen, klar til at cykle ud i den store verden, som ægte eventyrer. Vi har vel alle hver vores små eller store forhindringer, som vi ikke lige har gennemskuet hvordan vi skal komme forbi. Det her er en af mine. Samtidig er den her forhindring også den jeg allerhelst vil overvinde. Det er det her jeg har drømt om, hver gang jeg har forestillet mig hvordan min rejse ud i den store verden skulle være. Så hvorfor er det, at de her forhindringer forhindrer mig i at gøre det jeg så gerne vil? Hvem er det lige der har sat de forhindringer op? Hvorfor er det så vigtigt for mig at overnatte ude i det fri? Kan det da ikke være lige meget, når bare det er i telt? Okay jeg indrømmer det, tanken om at slå mit telt op i det skjulte og overnatte alene i den fri natur, er da mega grænseoverskridende. Hvordan finder jeg et godt sted? Hvordan stopper jeg min livlige fantasi i at løbe løbsk? Jeg husker tydeligt, den lille mus som blev ved med at løbe rundt om mit telt i starten af min tur. Den var ved at drive mig til vanvid. Eller de mystikse lyde jeg hørte da jeg overnattede i Stepankas have i Tjekkiet. Løsningen på problemet med musen, blev at jeg lavede en masse støj inde i teltet i fem min. Jeg hørte ikke mere til den, men sov ikke helt godt den nat. Løsningen på det andet problem, var at falde i søvn uden at gennemskue hvad det var for nogle lyde. Sov heller ikke helt igennem denne nat. Fandt næste morgen ud af det var æbler, som faldt ned fra træet. Så meget for den livlige fantasi. Jeg har hele tiden vidst, at når jeg tog på denne tur var det også for at udvikle mig som menneske. Det lyder så flot. “Se mig jeg har tænkt mig at cykle på min cykel og udvikle mig selv som menneske imens jeg oplever verden”. Hvor utroligt den end lyder, så er det det jeg har tænkt mig at gøre.

Den nedlagte campingplads. Der var tydelige tegn på, at der tidligere havde været en campingplads, men at det nu var længe siden. Udover det gamle skilt og den aflåste og faldefærdige toiletbygning, så var der alligevel tegn på en smule liv. Jeg var derfor håbefuld, da jeg, uden held, bankede på døren. Længere nede af vejen lå et par kolonihavehuse-ligende bygninger, hvor der også holdt et par biler. Men heller ikke her var der mennesker at finde. Måske kunne jeg bare slå teltet op og håbe på det bedste? Jeg cyklede tilbage til hovedhuset og gik op af den lange trappe, hvor der var installeret en hjælpelift. Der gik lang tid, men så blev døren åbnet. Det var den rare gamle mand, som tidligere havde ejet campingpladsen. Det var tydeligt at liften var til hans brug. Han fortalte at det var længe siden, at der havde været campingplads, og at den nærmeste lå godt 25 km væk. Det var ikke gode nyheder. “Hvad siger du til at jeg slår mit telt op for en enkelt nat?”. Han kunne hverken give mig vand eller mulighed for et bad, men jeg kunne da få nøglen til hans hus, så jeg kunne låne toilettet. Og sådan gik det til, at jeg fik nøglen til en helt fremmed mands hus for en enkelt nat.

Saras Bike

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s just a horse up in the tree. I biked along a fairly busy road when I suddenly thought I saw a horse up in a tree. It turned out that it was not my imagination!
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Er det en virkelig stor fulg? Er det et fly? Nej, det er da bare en hest oppe i træet. Cyklede langs en forholdsvis befærdet vej, da jeg pludselig troede jeg så en hest oppe i et træ. Det viste sig, at jeg så slet ikke syner!

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Pictures from the roads in Austria.
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Stemningsbilleder fra de østrigske veje.

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Now that I was so close to the Alps, I could not resist the temptation to take the bike up the small and steep roads. The idea of ​​the extra fresh air and the stunning views, I hoped to see, was like fuel for my legs. Compared to the real Alpes, I guess my trip was probably just a small hill top, but I sure could feel it in my legs, that this was somethingelse compared to biking in Denmark. Several times I had to get off the bike to push it up the steep climbs. Other times just to enjoy the view. This picture is from the start of the day, so there is not yet so much sweat and spirits are high.
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Nu da jeg var så tæt på Alperne, kunne jeg ikke modstå fristelsen at tage cyklen op ad de snoede og stejle veje. Tanken om den ekstra friske luft og de fantastiske udsigter jeg måtte have i vente gav brandstof til benen. I forhold til de rigtige Alper, så var min tur formentlig bare en mindre bakke top, men etapen kunne nu godt mærkes i kroppen. Flere gange måtte jeg stå af cyklen for at skubbe den op af de stejle stigninger. Andre gange bare for at nyde udsigten. Billedet er fra dagens begyndelse, så der er endnu ikke så meget sved på panden og humøret er højt.

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My expectations for cycling, okay push the bike up all the steep climbs were completed, when I saw this herd of cows. One of them was wearing a cow bell. It couldn´t be more idyllic. Only thing missing was a little bit of music from the Sound of Music to complete the scenery.
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Mine forventninger til at cykle, okay skubbe cyklen, op af alle de stejle stigninger blev fuldendt, da jeg så denne flok køer, hvor af en af dem bar en ko-klokke. Så kan det da ikke blive mere idyllisk. Manglede bare lidt musik fra Sound of Music til at fuldende stemningen.

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The roads in Austria can be very versatile, and often there are plenty of beautiful small towns to cycle through. This town that was located on the top of a hill even had a small castle.
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Et par stemningsbilleder. Vejene i Østrig kan være meget alsidige, og ofte er der massere af hyggelige små byer at cykle igennem. Eller som her med en lille borg på toppen.

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A tiny building that reminded me of a small church, but I’m not quite sure if it’s true or not. However, I have been told that there are a lot of small churches in all villages. I have seen a lot of those, but they often look like a traditional church. Some of them are so small that there are only room for the priest. So when there are ceremonies the priest is in front of the church and the people standing around. As far as I know it is mostly for funerals of the village’s residents.
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En lille bitte bygning, som jeg cyklede forbi. Den mindede mig og en lille kirke, men jeg er ikke helt sikker på om det er rigtigt eller ej. Jeg har dog fået fortalt, at der er en masse små kirker i alle landsbyer. Jeg har set en del, men de ligner ofte de traditionelle kirker. Nogle af dem er så små, at der nærmest kun er plads til præsten. Så når der er ceremonier står præsten foran kirken og folk rundtom. Det vil ofte være til begravelser af landsbyens beboer.

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This is however not a church, but a very strange place I visited. It was a free museum with many old things. Tractors, fire engines, bicycles and other strange stuff. There was plenty to look at, and a nice place to take a ice cream brake.
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Det her er tilgengæld ikke en kirke, men et meget forunderligt sted jeg kom forbi. Den var en gratis museum med mange gamle ting. Traktorer, brandbiler, cykler og andre mærkelige ting og sager. Der var nok at se på, og er underholdende sted at tage en pause og nyde en is.

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They also had som small animals walking around. Like this little cat, that kept jumping in front of my camera all the time. That is also the reason why the picture is not that clearly.
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De havde også fritgående dyr, som denne lille kat der blev ved med at hoppe ind foran mit kamera i tide og utide. Hvilket også er årsagen til at billedet ikke er skrapt.
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In southern Austria, I found this little place. It was absolutely brilliant for a long-distance cyclist. There was a bench, shade and free grapes to sweeten a little well-earned rest.
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I det sydlige Østrig fandt jeg dette lille sted. Det var helt genialt for en langturs cyklist. Der var en bænk, skygge og gratis vindruer til at forsøde et lille velfortjent hvil.

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My last camping spot in Austria was in the city called Bad Radkersburg.
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Sidste overnatningssted i den østrigske by Bad Radkersburg.

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Bad Radkersburg’s border with Slovenia. The city had clear signs of the huge refugee crisis. There were military police in several places in town, and at the border crossing there was a lot of temporary white tents. But I am almost certain that I did not see a single refugee while I was in town. But they have most likely been there or where on their way. When I crossed the border to Slovenia, I was the only one besides the border police.
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Bad Radkersburg er grænseby til Slovenien. Byen bar tydelige præg af den store flygtningekrise. Der var militærpoliti flere steder i byen, og ved grænse overgangen var der opsat en masse midlertidige hvide telte. Dog er jeg næsten sikker på at jeg ikke så en eneste flygtning imens jeg var i byen. Men de har højest sandsynligt været der eller på vej dertil. Da jeg krydsede grænsen til Slovenien var jeg den eneste der udover grænsepolitiet.

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