The Austrian Connection

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Friday, July 8, 2011

It was an easy ride south from Plzen into Austria.  We had changed only 100 pounds Sterling into Czech crowns when we crossed into the country thinking that we would get more later in Plzen.  As it turned out, 100 quid was enough to get us a good hotel, dinner, the brewery tour and a tank of fuel. We spent the last of our Czech money on coffee and cake just north of the Austrian frontier.  We stopped at the border and purchased a tax sticker for our bike having been forewarned by friends who failed to do so and ended paying a large on the spot fine.  As soon as we had our tax sticker (vignette) we turned off the autobahn and onto the back roads where we wouldn't need it.
We had come to Austria to meet Jo's sister Pauline and her husband Dieter.  Dieter is Austrian and  has family and many friends across this small country.  For us, it was a chance to catch up with the Austrian branch of our diverse family and to meet some of the next generation.  Our billet was with Dieter's niece Andrea and her husband Alois.  Along with their three children Michael, Eva and David, they live in the village of Wolfsegg (pop 2000) which was only ten minutes from Alois' business, 20 minutes from Andrea's parents, Renate and Fredi, and within easy distance to several large towns with all of the usual retail, commerce and education facilities.

Our few days with the extended family were a delight.  The fun bits of travel are almost never the big sights and almost always the small things of local life that highlight both our common humanity and our amazing diversity.  As always in this country, the hospitality was natural and generous and there was enough food laid on for a battalion of bikers, but we were ready for this and paced ourselves.

By the time we loaded Just Sue and pointed her towards the German border, we thought we would see a new generation of Austrians finding their way to the antipodes to meet their cousins.  We certainly hope they do.  The mountains rose in front of us, intimidating 20 kilometres away, and Just Sue romped up through the low valleys heading for the high country.  I think she could smell the Alps up ahead.
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Steve Dreezer on

Hi Mike & Jo
Have not seen you awhile since with came to the Gold Coast. We follow your adventures and when we catch up next will share ours.
Best wishes
Steve, Jenny & Joel Dreezer
PS - diving at Ulladulla has been great lately - I have lost your email but will send a photo link.

Brian Allen on

Hi Mike,
Enjoy reading your travels, still biking, freezing cold here, it was 1 degree this morning at Coolangatta, just been speaking to Trevor, we are off to Coolangatta tomorrow morning, forcast is 3 degrees. Looking forward to your return and some warm weather. BA

Bronny on

Hi Mike and Jo,
Enjoyed your tales and pictures of your Austrain family.
You both look fabulously fit and happy.
Happy Travels. love Bronny

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