What Vienna is all about

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 22 and 23, to Saturday July 17

I wake right at 6 out of habit from camping. There’s a couple hour wait until the grocery store opens to buy some breakfast but it’s impossible to sleep more when the weather is already as hot as an oven.

I head out before noon to see what there is to see in Vienna. So many places on this trip I do not know anything about before arriving, other than that they are famous cities and surely worth a visit. It turns out that Vienna is a city full of museums and art galleries. Which is nice and all, but the entrance prices are all set too high.

The part I enjoy most about Vienna is the attitude about bicycles. There are bicycle paths almost everywhere, and they even have their own traffic signals. Along my route places have been getting more and more bicycle friendly, from Czech’s country bicycle routes, the Danube bicycle path, and now Vienna. I hope that this isn’t the culmination point and everything will not just get worse from here.

The heat is so oppressive that I can hardly think and I have to go back to the hostel to have a siesta. It may be counterintuitive, but the heat is far more manageable bicycling all day than walking around the city. It may be harder work pedalling 100 km in a day, but that at least gives you a cooling breeze. You just need to constantly drink water to stay hydrated.

After some great pasta at a small local pizza joint I find a group of British back at the hostel. It’s a nice change to finally meet some genuinely great Brits, who aren’t there just to drink as much as they can as fast as they can.  Nik, one of the Brits, sings and plays amazingly on the ukulele before we head out for a couple of drinks.

The next day I wake extremely early again so this time I head to the farmers’ market and flea market to see if I can find anything worthwhile. I get some raspberries and blueberries to eat with my granola for breakfast. As I’m eating my breakfast back at the hostel everyone is very busy. Everyone is packing up to leave and new travellers are already arriving for the night. It seems that I’m the only one who is not moving on today. There are two Swiss girls who are also travelling by bike leaving today too. I’m surprised at their luck when they say they haven’t had any flats yet. I’ve had at least 5 already, and the tread on my new rear tire is almost already worn out, after only 3 days.

Today I plan on finding a park and just relaxing. The Brits are heading down to the Danube for a swim before their train to Brno and I plan on biking down to join them. That plan ends when it starts to rain while I’m on the town in search of somewhere to buy the guide book for the next section of the Danube to Budapest
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