One Hundred

Trip Start Apr 25, 2013
Trip End Nov 02, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Lower Austria,
Monday, August 19, 2013

Its been my longest trip ever. Today marks my hundredth blog entry of the trip; Over 20,000 words, over 1,000 photos uploaded, four months, eighteen counties, so far, by plane, train, car, ship and bus. Its not been easy at times, its time consuming especially via my Android tablet. Ultimately, worthwhile though, to document the detail of this worthy adventure. We've met new people, tasted new things, heard new languages, seen amazing places and experienced enough for a lifetime! Today was just another great experience. Cycling, beautiful scenery, swimming and wine tasting. Its a winning combination! We met up with the days tour group in the north of Vienna at 9am. It was a small, dual nationality group; 9 Americans and 7 Australians, which made communication pretty easy. One American couple was in their 50s, but the rest were all from 24 to 30ish. After meeting, we bounded a regional train for about an hours trip from the city. It was a full day, the ride itself being about 25km through the Austrian countryside. It was a pretty casual ride, through pretty little villages, through a valley, along the riverside. We made a couple of rest and photo stops before arriving at our first winery, where we sampled four white wines from Domane Wachau, the major wine producer in the region. For their lack of acclaim and popularity, I must say I'm a pretty big fan of Austrian wines.
From here, just a short ride to the old walled town of Durnstein for lunch, and the chance for another schnitzel. There is no such thing as too much Schnitzel. The local beer wasn't bad either. We spent a short time here, sampling schnapps, peach liquor, chocolate, jam, mustard and enjoying the town before heading on. So full, and content from delicious food, wine, beer, liquors and beautiful sunshine, the only thing to do was visit another winery for three more tastings. Having enjoyed that, and to a lesser extent the swarm of wasps in the area, we headed for the ferry, swimwear equipped. Once ferried across the river, we were a short ride from a small beach and opportunity for a swim. By now, it was late afternoon the weather had started to turn. The sun was gone, and water cool, but pleasant enough once fully immersed. The scenery here sure added to the experience, even having a duck for a swimming buddy. It was a quick dip, 15 minutes later I emerged, my toe aching over scattered pebbles. On the ride back to the bike depot, we were pursued by ominous grey clouds. The wind picked up and blinded us with dust and leaves. We returned the bikes and clambered onto the train, just moments before the storm. We enjoyed a cosy ride back, with plastic cups of wine, as rain pelted down and lightning flashed outside.
Once back in town, we invited a nice couple from Sydney, Nick and Lisa, out for dinner and drinks. Where else to go but Ernie's? Its delicious, convenient and affordable. After dinner, we bid our new friends goodbye, and also, to Vienna. Tomorrow we have a train to Zurich leaving at 9.30am. Blog number 101 will be from Switzerland.
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