Wurzburg, Germany to Vienna, Austria

Wurzburg, Germany → Vienna, Austria (via Villach)

This trip was my third long-distance bike tour after Brooklyn → Montreal and Amsterdam → Venice. I was excited for the varied cycling terrain and environments, from the Bavarian countryside, to the Sound of Music scenery in Salzburg, high passes in the Austrian Alps, the beautiful lakes of Carinthia in Southern Austria, ancient Graz, and bustling Vienna.

Day  1:  Wurzburg → Nuremberg – August 27, 2016

After a short drive from Frankfurt with my bike in the back of a rental car, my trip began in hilly Wurzburg. The weather was nice, mostly sunny but a bit breezy. My southeasterly course took me through some lightly-populated areas around Wurzburg and then as I got closer to Nuremberg,  some more rural areas. One of my favorite things about cycling in Europe, especially Germany, is the way villages are spread out with little between them – there are no endless suburbs. This provides a real sense of space and access to unspoiled nature close even close to populated areas.  

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/GswFwc-9ArM8a4l_B1iilXiI-BZCSBfdWGyHTa_3TZfzeCE96tLtJ9R00rYl0lU1f6GRKiXPvjSLTuMUrBpjdKmkh1G0-zEyPSPtZ_xnv47Z8Vx-UHLNMUNPl_CLcXnyieJkFSGE

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/kS-TPJwxZVrHRndr0ZGTCfhWgKlMKBmx-GjK4-KFXfWfk3OdwB7Pn6HWUM8UFyD7Gvo_HIIzl3BMTiDd1rSI7PFYNx-HZ5CdPxUTeXtS8_-tNWaYztsXV-P_NERAiAZ5JSg2lB7R

The only significant population center along the way was the city of Kitzengen on the Main River, right before a 1,000-ft climb and Neustadt an der Aisch, a small town of about 12,000. At a stop at a gas station along the way, I met a pair of cyclists with small frame bags. One of the cyclists was American, an Adidas employee headed somewhere for an overnight trip with her companion. At another stop, as I ate the first ice cream of many on the trip, a fire engine stopped at the shop with lights and sirens. Out came a group of schoolchildren, who lined up for ice cream courtesy of the local firefighting department.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/czccx2SQWuqHqh4R1VVVFIG4zoQu2XUtemjIoplbZV7HDW3JrrmahZmqh0b9TGGkNWtM23uBLBG0xjzJ04yLnUip6onVjnY7_LFryZUI0RC3SVTI6oSQXdO33TAbINk49KeO2lFD

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/YhDk_RsD32YpfMRWKZwvzZJg28CA7xwkADSTe82MEpy8WSN8ckIQUQ0LAIvjHgFlcK57L_9xCz0Y4nHVZ1m-NjpZEbSUa2fznQtmPmyMsPt_6JKYV3Ax-E9J0Ldq3WBcgIwPqiky

My trip continued through some beautiful rolling hills and along peaceful rivers. It was a glorious day for cycling.

 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/2GydRsGHyC1Jd-ZtyNpYnufQNA64feyCq0RsfpCtpZ3_qehfo9I8Tc1FqPG4ZH-w9rUWOoH2dZmys4NZPurIi1p58qbDIhH-_VHsTI0jmhzPk3Xak-ysCYQ74ppl8FqFtUPsu5L1

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/aukCTT_Qp-cAQyIDeRkMqDpVWqiVMOIL_t8ex1-JNprWpsPJfdgADCQ3PHkXXZgXCJ7wggP3OZY1qXrQJp0NnNt65akEU6UGplBW3v8GymdQwMFVUdsZ3KStpivNh8-b3qJCPGEt

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HhEBUoiqPoltDncu1GsntoTPUBOSFT_cN9YdZG4N0SbLu9boVBgn-IdwRrfggSm78ESg1GdDTqZxORbzN3pyKMcyhRnCbHoe8l4vRZfo7KVvmfPtfLInUrb4HGH6N__FLBQ-Z7su

In the late afternoon, after passing through Furth, a city whose main industry is toy-making, I arrived in Nuremberg. As I entered the city limits, I took a slight detour for a stop at the Nuremberg Castle, a group of medieval fortified buildings on a sandstone ridge dominating the historical center of the city.  The castle, together with the city walls, is considered to be one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortifications.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/tBxg7SC65xdEgyPkUnUh0o02NjazPlwQXZQlDY3xLC3oN_UcksTEB7QjnUvYdWQGY_BBITP5aR8cypVeRm2f4qwt1NHPE78IMh8FYSsRB9BS4cBkGUBRcGenYy35wduCUglsga2t

I enjoyed the panoramic view of the city from the top of the castle, where I was even able to bring my bike, just as sunset began.  The Old City center, which I rode through on the way to my accommodations at the Novina Hotel Tillypark, was also beautiful.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BCqXbTPxQVHeU9Gg1W1CwJ8B-9hLV6yVXcNlhI8_HIVySrzoWj3_98caNmp2kC8BOTV_0na-aaCy8URAiYYFlVbfFW5cEMQly3KpZP3pEj7b4FdOblJH5h8JYOqWTwXHLil_gNqQ

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fPuyktvZxQaNMgcpS7PIpO6exdp7h5ZK4uw92SHzBM9uB308nrMkO3jOPiXmQx8xff2Kh1xyLl8SqeVwFe-aVV8dhVr10an9igj1spNjk9LuNdHvtGjUcbX8pzscYCI8GG9PwPO3

Day 1

Distance: 68 miles

Elevation climbed: 2,753 ft

Average speed: 13.8 mph

*****************************************************************

Day  2:  Nuremberg → Ingolstadt – August 28, 2016

Day 2 of the trip would take me south from Nuremberg.  The first half of the day I rode along the Rhine-Main-Danube Canala, which connects the Main and Danube rivers. The canal provides a 100-mile long passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea to the Black Sea. It is one of the largest engineering projects ever undertaken.  Incredibly, this canal reaches an altitude of 1,332 fee) over the Swabian Alps, south of Nuremberg.  Along the way, I saw many cyclists, swimmers, and boats of all shapes and sizes, even the Mississippi Queen.

The cycling infrastructure in Germany is superb. On this day, I rode many many miles without riding on a single road.  

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JsHkuzShk5OgTfWnaMds0jLZe-l17yz2Gt-31jXtizWIzpmMEEgvzFp41-qVSevRoYtIcvBy0i99i_Ej4GjPuwnLE5lsJzvu4oHPX8Hs2if-uZN1N2Lasueo2Idg3JpB52-AahX

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/7h5KnmbH0_5AzS7dnleWrufcnyApQVFddm3yrBod0dvtbDQ6ngCXzGDb6XQbptGelRjnz6k5qfFdTWDxdV24nGCGq2WQozGeksOjAlDzrCoDRCju-njtj8gw-UB-p8OAH7K1k9xR

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mTPpjOECYXWSzEtlSJ2yGomZ_AHPBYzURQwOWr8O9j-5wisd5iFWTx9X85H9h5e0uCCeFfAVrOLrlxsRE6jnkh1-1mR817c1zSzfrR2hsPsRwmIqSDKRiACbP-fXocEy4Mr5EZrS

The cycle paths through thick moody woods were amazing.  

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/li-UW7TXFLIFGetJbRB5US8WpASYdCh-cAYOwsz10wyMx0Hiya7v_exPJ5o0QNLEXJXoTXsi64HgSGmtRk6fyQ6Df-xj1KEXXJ7z0sZZkeaJBysFEGfpLzWikgc_ClVDLqBPykUO

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/PJbVMv0apG-G5uWxmgDuYswXz5dRWJIC4MF18qH1BT-f_Lz5STs-q5ADXke6NRTPyb0RladlauewIHyjIK1AyaPyMGp1Of2X2bG_Ii5AOJI5DVZfNidQ5aD6ukvhAJg1kGuu0Tgv

It was always a treat to come across castles perched high above a small town, like the Kipfenberg Castle, built in the 12th Century.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/77svcA9KMYhGQ0YMIc__GblNNCEFbqfhZdAuCFDO2NecBa4BoUw7PvbUNzYt8F7mZVQKbDiND7yh0TeJfEf0gHW8SPPm-5AUxBZ_clA3rr3s1FR8FqTIQu198kYLy_AWznRklMq8

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/USCaenv--bF0NIgATwWkuwwHkWMzHOXKLY_9SC7pS2egIBncy7boIUzWDUn-7AzCsgEzKtRqLgiuwEdfFh5jV6kLekETc_jyhc-RNM9F-KhQPGOcCRBu1mlmrrYyTR_pbN-2xw3k

I arrived in Inglostadt on the Danube River, and headquarters of Audi and Airbus, just as a light rain began to fall. Apparently, the weather forecast had not deterred thousands of cyclists from leaving their bikes at the train station, right next to the Intercity Hotel, where I stayed.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/SlfZeCde_m83TOESncG_ym3IYVjamEICSGG1USWBEb698A3m9MapKGaYzEQsicJ7v71ggyIc-j_6SBr33rETE5xRNHJKmMhOJpcwzeUCRD5a-JghTUwNOciLIlXZTZG7viCTy4tV

Day 2

Distance: 66 miles

Elevation climbed: 1,939 ft

Average speed: 13.8 mph

***************************************************************

Day  3:  Nuremberg → Salzburg – August 29, 2016

After two days of moderate distances (134 miles total), the third day of the trip was going to a long cycling day, more than 130 hilly miles. In the morning, I awoke to heavy rain and the  forecast looked foreboding. I prepared for a tough day in the saddle. As I left my hotel, the rain how slowed to a drizzle and a friendly tailwind helped speed me south away from Nuremberg and toward Austria.

As I rode through the beautiful rolling countryside of Bavaria, the skies threatened a downpour all day but delivered only a few times, like when I took shelter under a huge tree near a grass field airport.  

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/vCaN_YmwRy2g_3CZcgisrIhetmbAu5Ajqt-NFAV2jwzNkxgzXJRFRTb2frsCtEt13R9PeJYQeFzMM1maV9qKmx-2BLTmpk7_BwiuOV8ukviq0n37QrTFeIlkBKejV8nxf9w08yA3

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/gZlAT0Xqdn-AZ-EFm72BRq3i4DRrZI63ni79ZGsh2BSRD2V2P-rZ9q0u_122tBVqReZ3PxLw7UvylH5EPWe-GoP-lKdU6f9gCuQKb0aSUHP5ynKNK3WN7pILe0AmzocQNpEpiJWy

Even with the cloudy, gloomy weather, the scenery was splendid with the foothills of the Alps looming in the background and I managed good speed along this long ride.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/BONqnmq8cQKMs5eNJh1QQMwWoTyNOoSSTmejEaUtsUEmg1L0SL8yjZBKij3T_y_3bH76SEL9k7BNWkGi0paHRkSLGYPMFmRCjtkeu_AlWmNjM9J4QxPFaddNDZVxZ9b0iDPukkcm

 

I crossed the border into Austria and arrived in Salzburg, Austria after dark. Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria, first settled about 5 BC, the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music.  As I entered the city center, the incredible Baroque architecture was gorgeous. Even on this dark, rainy night, Salzburg shined.

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/DhXZ8vDRJmFPNRqSGl42UhrBCOHMUkyEXoAyeJw9saB2USFVLbyMTbCgVUdAdKqiyQ-Z23obgsJn5vfbiQOkN101aG6Mb278AnewNe3kpT1lFdBCLzUTWRUW0YUH0dWj1mYnV9OC

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/rgpIQ_3lVHQ9Fr_Y3kuP1d0sS598jEdN0CisBbFHCNxcJj11w16PUnebmjfi-6Go-TpJ_pWZToxfJ6s3p8nbSeefZfo1aEF4F5cZRY_XCmrfNq0dQ7qMcCIHH5ufLy_K2p6sWOgH

The beautiful Hotel Gabi was my resting place for the night. I arrived after 10:00 pm to a friendly welcome from an American student manning the front desk.

Day 3

Distance: 131.9 miles

Elevation climbed: 3,540 ft

Average speed: 15 mph

*****************************************************

Day  4:  Bruck → Villach – August 30, 2016

One of my favorite things is waking up near big mountains after having arrived in the darkness on the previous night – when only in the morning can you get a sense of the surroundings. Salzburg did not disappoint. The views from my hotel room balcony were postcard perfect, with the sun shining and the birds chirping – I could have stayed there all day.  

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/yXOzY9azM3L-UM1jaWP0J608smUlkxYlURXY6B0JVpC5eFsFtcR7a0eJa-9sV39nuz0LOZ-dC_lVLorqz_tPzAMsMgD_cL5EzjBBQ-t-Ovt3Y74HHprQJgQzsHmJObm7eVsNqg6z

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7QO-VS5goRgAWLiG01FAtO4-G4gyJ9DwrgsCbm1jsTMTUfbI7A_1N-sdBQl12QqtgdgrxHlOQuvKH-UBsDiayluIQIi_CK5JMkCB4Dfq-wkUhXlS9edQU9QCJRTYNso5IV58STub

 

But this was going to be a long day – it was time to get moving.  Also, I had to catch a train. When I arrived in Salzburg the previous night and began reviewing my planned next day’s route to Villach along the Alpe-Adria Cycle Path, I noticed a more challenging, scenic way to cross the Alps than through the low-lying Alpia Adria valley pass.

So I took a train from Salzburg to Bruck, gateway to the famous Grossglockner Hogher Alpine Strasse (or Glosslockner High Alpine Rouge) to cross the Alps over this high pass.  I rode 5 miles to the train station and took the hour-long train to Bruck.  

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/an2o5sbf0SdlSzCqUuj6jMc07wuGbNwlXdPHSsqLyeyA9y1p9cur3fQv8T9YKzdWEgEqvGiZWLDm4VxIWMI9zwlJASEWvO48rco2-bCciJkjNErsqqGord2KjRmQNIgw_3ylYKKb

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fWOnV8keNuqb5U5ugaBozKKNNE1cysDnTthR4lszj9iwHN1O_LgBGB0F9xon-M38HWapNCu8tO8REDQNekY2ytr2HKEAZrLlRIhP6M0lC42TT0HFy1maFfdpyjW517QDpedmsoWM

As the train approached Bruck, the high peaks of the Alps filled the windows.  The train had a dedicated car for bicycles – I remained in that car to keep a watchful eye (except during a short nap).

Cycling south from the Bruck train station, the road quickly began to point upwards. Over the next 20 miles, I would climb from a 2,500-ft elevation to nearly 8,000 feet. Several miles south of Bruck began the official climb of the Grossglockner. The high peaks were obscured by wispy clouds but an occasional glimpse provided a sense of the climbing to come.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qUoUqkC0hSM_ZeC-uMegZTJhKJIDvwvZtoH75LHNdspKI8zReTEVWFG87JJjb75jawdTcd9UbsdecZs5HWfWHtVusR3pD7-qPMsZjrbIpIbQ-tPRiG2_DYBqoN8W6ri3KM-EiAr5

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/oWFOqP-CJg5TpAUaoKkSX8x9K-GvXTaeWpFDqjVn5gcTLsgThMKqhb29i_BCPEDKoqlw1nuTX9W_fAXgPRkgvurfSPrh-bBnr4IxfOUIZ75hkkpk8jBv2V7noJp0Eywt28284mf6

 

As I climbed, the road became a steady 10% grade, which continued almost non-stop until the very top, with some significant sections more than 15%.  The changing views from each of the 17 switchbacks was breathtaking. The smell of burning brake pads from the occasional passing car mixed with the pure Alpine air.  I passed a few touring cyclists and some day trippers, and many thundering waterfalls. On climbs like these, I am thankful that I kept my load as light as possible, but that’s still 10-15 lbs more than a bare bike.  As usual, pictures do little justice to the majesty of the mountains that surrounded me.

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/wouD9urGjcIAEYz5c3rjJLUnWdq5T88eUkWDz1zFXYK3Rar3yFrYIx11cowAVutECwXcGLFsWsX4q6UsqBwBKVjJOrK8YzGB0LWBHgbxtGgJxA_ovnP-iPgpaVd0P3gGouLmgH-5

 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/C_bnzR9gpgteWeimzQAqRX4mlzWJq2UV95p8oGoi4kv1twjzeXlXHX7tCwOslhSl-cwN-2Q0UQjuAm5tWb35tB9SEqiWvs87z23bBHEw9XAgq83n1Cw1Wh6XyJhaovYhR71nRJKx

 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/P02Rl_HtPiqLEoqKvqOHf4FzLitXvXJ2tEBwfHyP14I_WwO9n2wkPL9HKS_TU6dr4QFxH_DXcD__YvUwdZhJYOCAs1ES65_1YkYQioESIwUgeuHHfe5AE7uS__JthTYT4iHVEn8A

 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/3Xhassy73L4zgPZ8SjtvDh-gwQSENQpv49eUKb0eKMmXsiv7_uAqaDSAYmOgMezUslf40hyxkZtBPOwfDgOWYPuPG7RAhhDI3h-Gxb7-6xU8fjh7MxynCCoFCktyIe8RqcythY79

  https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/HNboZuUNXY63zd0KWTg9_us_lLKhvZ90HbkGeG13X0s6ulWqRo6rXdzziLB53Gja1vZ6tJirKLnSHTnj9B0UxIFyCSEUfBdH51ieXjKc-IRi-uJ_sJOqw7PNd7a2ECU2Esd3V649

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/f1m0uFUIfN_cO4RkfCvmGJy-Ufo6sENzTPTK136Lx2Ogcvu7H38ByCTVeRAIWRbj5ZIoxzf_ySd34eG1TVUZKY6Q6HFNXZWek7h75a1Ohfog_LuZfUROazDepoGoyiB9Q-19r45B

 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/jXtC9to4Z9vKUq-zao65CvJzYaCu2pTq9gRsVCgFCavHLHDeagfCRIOwOVU5IKCc62qLlnXxXIA-3k97OK2ItRYcoBKRKuGW1uLCBH-T5VIBqY6gY2EqvNL0MLlBfY5OjvzsHGrQ

 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/DBL_Uh1-_M-AkB2gI2cBwMT7CfBahUMrLAroWbSqzJnwhyXszlbAXVG3dfQLpSk8ufIyC2pluDklcwjX1gZV0ad0ZFRrPaM3LQllEjJOLcON0X0_Rusj7HBLB-dHR4SNUPNlGWRL

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/8zFeUiGmJQ8wawz5VyRt2cHLPmHdaFwUf7OI2ZmsnpcXlmSUVXP8ltBgBa8hgbrvlGr51RA969jyWdBicoO_C-YLRrEbmpMfbP2trm0P4X8j-cTKQdna1ZTIcloQjrhz75yWOGVB

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/981heKaxFhbMYj9F3XbMC_kNeA-OxQpPzKlqeHTHIjHblLv-_VVRkfnppS6bypueXcsMUWgdRbFW2z1jfLlZ3U0VIUh6hsVAFjft12PTQU6mD7HUpAp2Wm6TvD6SDr6BGdPgpWRy

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Vji5tVq8CGpC_fhkuqbt-g9z6ymt3ceLiMFWP4f3AqosTY-k3OzyRPfcAn7qJnvSln_cs0Z8_g5HWzPzwBEiS8CfgDJwNkEuQxVgcw_clAfkXGKKd_oU8KWdtL0FjyKBpC6b6Kxn

 

At the top of the climb, a short tunnel opened up to the southern face of the Alps. I realized that after three hours of constant climbing I had crossed another high Alps pass by bike! The road ahead looked like a roller coaster built for bicycles – more switchbacks and long glorious brake-cooking downhills awaited.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pC2Ng5g1AALxH1YSHKXZne28zPkDHN_cir_PxMlRh2JoIUlORkUUbVSufW1bK8DuVqvc03zb2AlNeeFHeug8j9g7jhe2HuP943JvfyGKOTddGRiX0sIKEVX2m4ZtUESJXLUg36qX

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/kC0CKAntoQ8WAk8cZXm6ubCEayE_KyymBaO6xwnDEm0aEpPZ6OHiWaNtASVi-Nb17r4zOcWwKKbJBDeIpKBe01UFBkoZHhKMnG-iRMy6jEjsIuY9Dh-SKsDMR5bVUIaqLCYtXvDv

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/2RwlsOQg6YyPiDocevGXxV1a6fY2hBDcuUt5YjsfBKjO2a-vdudbzJqVZ46kAcDr8qoERZc7tpDElGPZM4lXoaPWJLI273IfHvyODIMbVsYBcWQj4RpNWL5z5ZgmNCbnaA_qsCeR

The scenery, the weather, and the roads were perfect. My bike, though fully-loaded, handled 40-mph screaming descents and hairpin turns beautifully.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/ZsLNHINVb9xnZGOcLXg7fjkuWAU1kUxEBd0O_jvHbadBPL1Bkv6xJKBBThLP0AJxgmbnBrqmr-6N4fSW7ySuUtOSva_M7ThNlwMQKY3XUIYAxX7eE5T3-4Nrd0aAnJG2yO8rcekI

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/mEfj2XVsPySet09YgJAD6jAHFYXbj2dNAB9YTGYC8X7ix3WNXN-LbXiAc0UvEUg7DjrSc939MEo1zl1zgdOoDsIh0HpoHL1gPipNxzR379rvUE2nvxojnt69PGxZwZTJSfcl8A7n

After a stop for a large schnitzel platter, I continued on a gradual 70-mile long descent into Villach, in Southern Austria right near the border of Italy and Slovenia. The riding was stupendous. Beautiful mountain lakes, lush valleys, roaring rivers, perfectly-paved roads – all of the ingredients for an awesome ride.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ZD6MbWRJLvMIJ4wJU1g3992Za-tKSlkREu1k3EctTlFivNakNg0SSPAfiTHSW_72IQwh0Wq8V0WxwzRM8d3ko6zxTJ13r68lkuoE5QlLcqDdg3XKaVSwXtdmLJH-aoy1B7nrnCW0

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/WvXMl7zNM1jh4TFApTOy4kISPfpUxNEVcKz5fSGQf7-tUxEXXcLLEdAoIblADDXeh9WSD09uPOeeMQV_1-6xjJQNtYdxmEj2j0CIV45RNuRZFYCZC2j3uPdXzmkN7qethoaijwRi

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/KZVJmjqSMm60US_kyOu8cLJRWWnZZbdDBaEH88Y5WXVzX1TsiAe5vX1qYmPAWCvfAdUEhRU-kcHzhuABclVP06Q7TBQ21m5L3hJ0Y9IDBJ1iJrdf1_ZsNXBC8gSiDfO9_LcGYHQm

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/EYcFmoiAlCdgPZkzdKuFIRJrzCUEIwQ-r5VepLPpKk6O06pNc1tmZ5oRJj9d-pyH_A-mcHc78Dn42xHPaXbzqNTw_hz6Lhs4uzeiNI256PWPmBCZhVPC35X16kcz6dHALp5MRHWn

After a long day, as night fell, I arrived in Villach. During WWII, allied forces bombed Villach 37 times, dropping 42,500 bombs and damaging 85% of the buildings. Today, the city is rebuilt and splendid. I rested my legs and stayed at the wonderful Thermenhotel Karawankenhof.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/wOkaGj0OXVExUOz2rIRhD75jXlweAkFgJLDft3Phkom5Eh4dZ26l9uh-tLkddoxn6MR414TLFBJKwyeGTNzqan0dr7njc5HEESdgiYahG79Fuo7ON9Xva-4eQiFCYgC9A6fJ1aaN

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OGmXuCOrymMIEMcy2mWhA9o1bX5hGCq26KsyMbs_lmIismPHonEIV14_n6cKTXa0CySxFsc2_xAj8F0F7D_Eew67j6eigj5ylReE11uZwV6FuhqFSdh-H4gEfjIll9i-Cw1x2MyQ

Day 4

Distance: 112.1 miles

Elevation climbed: 8,422 ft

Average speed: 13.9 mph

***********************************************************

Day  5:  Villach → Wolfsberg – August 31, 2016

After a long, hard day in the saddle, this day would be a slightly easier ride east and then north from Villach, along the beautiful Alps-draining lake Worthersee, through Klagenfurt, and on to Wolfsberg. 

The weather was spectacular as I set off from Villach. I encountered many cyclists enjoying the majesty of Carinthia’s lake district. Numerous cycle paths, smooth roads, and courteous cars made the riding fun, varied, and carefree.  The green-blue waters of the Worthersee were a constant companion appearing and disappearing behind trees as I traveled farther eastward.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TM0S-Cy6Wcqb5zDqjmSvOjdsECO5bnGUeE4Duhy5wiqA368cyGj6dT-dI7y0tpQYogSfI1Nuvb1fpvZHao2yyvVsE9XVV18beG7sM92QbOH-LUWRYw4oyZIBnz0uXTRGHX5PQdu3

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/35Bjtu3dfrU4kNeSROx6t5V6hD6pMbhLHiTELaH_3UUDNQLYiKEpnKMQyFhW6xeAvpWtpw0chTttQuIQMg9XAQgRaNFTfT5xTAi_l2eUl_yS_APG-cSUXdpsbTieSQlHVvKQeZpi

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/8hbSv1sEszF8s4u6No_fPP0gbjD7HGfII_6TbsBjbsmx3m39qtTxJB7ZkHMA2RIR0qOL_BB5I8huaplKdeU1qB6oOsUgVnnr6Vrq894yjipDC2WoM9qbgUPlhwJL_vBRsaSkoS8I

Just as I entered Klagenfurt, a town on the south bank of the Worthersee, my bottom bracket began clicking and the right crank felt a bit loose. As I continued riding, suddenly my right crank detached from the bottom bracket. Had this happened in many other locations on the trip, I would have been delayed for a day or two. Very luckily, this happened about a mile from an excellent bike shop on a day that I did not plan to do too many miles. In no time, Rasch Thorsten, owner of Sportart Sportgeräte Handels and his mechanic, a Continental racing cyclist, had my bike on a stand, swapping out the crankset for a new one and arranging to ship the broken one back to me. I had a long relaxing lakeside lunch while my bike was being repaired and was on my way two hours later.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WDWODk0aoPwpK4DxwlBObOGOz4-uk0Q09nu230_X__WzJFcWcgFPX770WBbEsd6eouAu200O-EvDSsm3p9BotfP0xtx0RyDw4upy3KdRMk8VwUS-XY1MrcJISUKG8yr2paqu_Nnv

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5Yxl60eq5x8xrT1IHrGzgIvoRmMdXbHUEtXnbfiIE4LnnVNu2IpajW8tJzm9KuS5A20fuE665x_5VrIYk3PzViev-IMKDkjaNFFGiMuoCgr6u2H4ryL0Nhx3dpDe8XoMbRD1AAqm

With a new (mid-compact) crankset, I continued my journey northward toward Wolfsberg. The riding was beautiful as ever. In the late afternoon, I encountered an 800-ft, steep climb near Limberg, followed by an even steeper descent. I rode more than 30 mph for at least 6 miles.  The views were stupendous – rolling hills, pumpkin fields, and flowers of all colors.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/kmJAe-zy_pU6-wXuxYa8QsA1sU6MapCXZhwfa00_8lIDK-88bhoJsyH4-FWOUMa1aWHyrE6XFHCqhOz1wP_bYjuGuh2YiWuwHpj1e8y_lhBjkTvzUE-0QSRAj50c3ya7dvbpPYz3

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/3CLGPAmz97Akv8-P9C8reD6wo7CatFhHUnqJK3cs9eaVGy-adMRKOAnSumAnR7RmQCg6dImEnIwyrJ4b-x6JcSpB3iV0DxeM1O9dqkdMvFoqwtpOixGmOYdPkjrG_qr9BzTWNZGl

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-f1aAMCDLcLNI3uONKzZz8p1M4lIosoADueBmcLyI2F6ep0X5EmRMsMFgI3_In6HNMm3WimlXCQOBL9X3BvFsxSp_JnJPyC1EPFB4gCXD2XbWZc4GsonnWSIYn3MU37P_zwzO__h

 

 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/m98gLDKmudfQL0ej1biVL8UfgUjW-fHt_04dkT-lIP4U7V8fTIYjYLmeGv9hpZkfCqnqbbJLdzbq2UbIx8ijE6HRE1S7cWjgD9PZo1y5StFEVvLZkmV9RQwwvkmVsvG0sAxXrdtl

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/chJlZyoLYy4nwdu_-ff-UNZfRWLWKrup33yALkfG67zj10enGKj3vU6s_YK91NAI5iR0N9ZTifhTe_4nUwdo4z3BruOpdd2yOgV9eXKDyPRbwK9iSbJHZEGoUrvqUXhIpwg1JMPi

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pv4GHWPA88_BdZxWC9nfUvSDnDfPmPqLOthUS7YRZhobVWWlLqR64MxdwQkEkHz82K_5z2Ad_QPkyiGfZ0xgCr8PuwKiwlVGg9yVvwU15NzCZklHfyA4Gm_O5WDHqlZAzrAxKLEI

 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/KIMLxSfccsfqSiIsmQGEgk-JnWPC5nmeTBekMI6C_ErJcGSGwBK8jLQpCDOWtvoguZy-bP79kffiRHcrCosdyqT5fu_SEsHEITIQ2EXty0iwKUJfGgjm7ktieJczTNKWGthh5pRX

 

As I approached Wolfsberg, very hungry and thirsty, I passed a Subway and craved a foot-long tuna sandwich, which I made quick work of. One of the many nice things about spending a week cycling hundreds of miles is the ability to eat whatever whenever. I enjoyed a beautiful purple sunset in front of what might be one of the most scenic Subways in the world.  I proceeded to the Hotel Hecher, in charming Klagenfurt and enjoyed two amazing Austrian ice cream creations.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/SmVAPnt8bTkyQu6QFWMauZO4uR1Z6xL9okQO6dhaM4sYCL0Y6A6xdUY866V7w1xW2EuCfe9Wq6KzQSnUqORZ6Vs4ZJGH-pI6k_oWgK-1lN0sJQz8er4MfvkNhWAY2mSGgrHsvwxr

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/cl8ohKeEK_Ublnr9AcOIB-dPlT7_ScFSqCq4N60HYG_3dlX0XhbfHvO9KA9vO65Pf5Eh1GcWY5LQppo21FmOKDF3PoYVB8zC5R_YvbClA1ojiVpeZTJJeoYekcFKGv5q98IH9TvX

Day 5

Distance: 64.6 miles

Elevation climbed: 2,552 ft

Average speed: 14.9 mph

***********************************************************

Day  6:  Wolfsberg → Graz – September 1, 2016

The morning in Wolsberg greeted me with beautiful weather again. I was amazingly lucky during this 7-day trip to only have one rainy day. The sun was shining and wind was light – after a good night’s sleep I was ready to head northeast to Austria’s second-largest city, Graz, dating back to the Middle Ages.  This day would be a hilly day, winding around various mountains through deserted valleys and thick woods. Some of the hills were endless and steep, but the scenery made it enjoyable.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/7n7F1v4xJpWAde-IiKlyjhFIckUcVOCCJUX_AqpkIIJW0uapwXHftYx6cmGcdHXYTQ5CrnKh1s1FGCcMmF8v0QtmmPLdip3-0Da538CC_s5gLUD49cdBNdaBpNobKgwcKHoy9UgC

 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Ae6_Os7LdrhTLdoZNbo3slaoNFSVbRuK7rx_l_Ok0lS5FNXYf7I1O9ngqURqTRUmXS1XBXdglXsRihevVqMS-MWI9W-_AStFAJC_AGBEeWmVwiyTLlHwpVEtRQal9yLW_Lh_g4d2

I stopped for lunch in the remote mountaintop town of Pack for an excellent schnitzel. It is unlikely that the inn I stopped by has changed much in the past 50 years, but the proprietors were welcoming and friendly, as was almost every other person I encountered in Austria.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/v0NmDOIteq74JFZUZJ6uqcVkgyMdlPbpeN86YuN42MwurLSJaQOUa4VJASUADrPIaOBL080sUQglFr63s-Aj9zmr2n47J3K_Wh8GYzkySCNgRqSiiabJtKos1ds453vcGX31vlEQ

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/qtuyka1ayZCfvOv9AbKedOE5AOAYYDCRcaAo7BeM_HLpsouxX0n-oJrEJVXWQ6Rm8sNzQI5Ozzo8dmqmpMTo4putzYJUz_M2K81ye5eKb0ToUyybWYZhrdtH0tGt9PgQmhmveX-p

As I made my way closer to Graz, I continued to enjoy the delightful scenery and beautiful weather. I had to limit photo stops to keep making good progress but some of the backdrops were majestic. In late afternoon, a delightful cycling path from the outskirts of Graz took me to the very comfortable Amedia Luxury Suites, where I enjoyed a rest before exploring beautiful Graz.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/dhjffmVrqGWRef2RPHLUce6-K4KdnKntYcILE3B2VvO4e6cp1CZ8TiY0xoLqwsOiCXLp7z_u_ibjRyawUSA6FPUTAAwjuOLuTwsKM1jiTA9J7NUg5LJCrCxUz845NpAg2xtJvgkM

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/XronrjlH7FFqXaSlB5bJR6F314XmJL4Dbo6nQBj3W1DNAnAZIlVfJicSRifzEluW81zCk1GRrjYzawcYrn2r2qSBYf5f9uUKRidM0a-jEtfw49-l76EkyM6ZrNApKBttbfEtw25D

Day 6

Distance: 56.8 miles

Elevation climbed: 3,323 ft

Average speed: 14.4 mph

*******************************************************

Day  7:  Graz  → Vienna – September 2, 2016

The final cycling day of my trip would take me northward from Graz, along the Mur River, and over the Semmering Pass to Austria’s capital Vienna.  Again, the weather conditions were ideal for cycling. I headed out from Graz into more incredible Austrian landscapes.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/pmcpyFmwZq4cLIXKybfbbsJGZOLUD53ZmhhuIO3_jE-769Rd4Sy5lBpeU2OFBJHnQYYoAPo_ceh_ZAMVzaX4IWjrlTpzMMYjvXNlfUiWzVAJbCeE0ztDb73SHpXZGpSPadPsKNtT

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/oV8UG2TmX7hiRZPD0s-M6uYjEYQxt7eQJcGL10k4_9e_GDdEynvfqOg3SbSbynpXKaS4cmWgjBzsafjWLfIXOVc6-IxnhyN_0-n0OlwDCEmhW20-zYfE5R7cpSJwgyeTsJeCNYQm

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/XxS0mnCQ_1zj5sKTMnS9YRFGYntUwaqlfVchsvG2hAU_3z_tONSav73k9vhdWRZ1w0zk-Tcz2PqDgRCe9xdQs6ChGonEK53brj0px7keW8CEdRAG7fmxghTwfBFMRA6asS4zMyIl

The cycling infrastructure in this part of Austria was spectacular as usual.  I followed miles and miles of dedicated bike trails through lush valleys and along sleepy rivers.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Vot6Q9-wmb18TC8cG506LU1ZSrhxnp_ZXPnJsL75rWJA4606Q8PDKejm6MnqdCuLB6X3cw288KOPxkKlk1_TUtwuFVngpyZQU3JadIkbMUpsvSJcsZqvJIOVTu_B4KoPRkh-MnAQ

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/2Bm3qV9LkPKPKckHcSQQxqRanW0jsFA3LRrwlDS0RPfPAtgYeMUPthYdbQ0aeuyhqZ52ZCBewFoug5eOYfhXxWN6jV6BPlqGAemt4ivGiStebxf2A61VAbsPN4OZQRme-hOB3R1a

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/9wz19JCQhgEUqtZBslmI8KSzURezRTEWcu7473e3uhL1O4QOkmnpJGcuTGEcT4raFsB0ETaO0WBdZn68TWJbrBLyVC5JvtrA48yUvdTrW8xa28u401KiEB5SuifoMuNw43nHyPg-

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/RxxrBVbfPCJB8aFRgQUCaKPr0NHS89Vtvy6i-u5TcHsPU_TBS4XxLiIP5Sbz4PW_r8jdZeNWYGtrxHEL3p7gJWHWixwWsnKfyKJmsNkdh__OH6mp8fNUgbeAap5BP5LMLUol7L78

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/O66kaaREPw4GN5AacPvEMe0ng_liPSqKhSd3NkV2hRcYb36iiLv3_IX_wHlka48HhkwqqNZhQ2f4g3xW9zfP_5qnxB8XF0r2PJur5I8x6XqJGBD0P6KiiMsOicRUSLv8ATMAZWaA

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Jv4e0XG8EUMkiPo9sTJM2u6iBRXvJ8X9CGqxLnnZ-HnvntAkk6YqMwcQYS6OzYx7oz8gxf_dmOZGKHUDu8CoJDXESzq1Zdz87Mot_ntEqOLQrAFw3Ua4K1093KAD9qqVGl45OP1a

The first 75 miles of the day’s ride was a gradual climb, finishing with a steep slope, up to and over the Semmering Pass, the location of the UNESCO World Heritage site The Semmering Railway, which is considered the world’s first mountain railway. constructed between between 1848 and 1854.  The long, tough climb over the Semmering Pass was rewarded with fast descents on quiet, perfectly-paved roads as I got closer to Wiener Neustadt, south of Vienna. The high,wispy clouds and beautiful cycling conditions made this a remarkably enjoyable ride, despite all of the miles from the previous week. Big open spaces, lush fields, rolling hills, and the slowly-setting sun were my companions for many more miles.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lnhvbcxM3o7U8tq7jbhowCrmCvUFN8eTxQyzGSLyBgxeFAOSmKW7gu0cUjVaLdy9G_GYQbnifYGw88uUSdBeBfumZuu5GUcbSTvktYnEx6HygZCN0whcG1-NBKe9w4sLe2Pxz2jp

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/IQp82tueM6WzrxLA-Oh2JVfi8za1TR3LaJ1viOVlcFcLJbe1tsRBKjka6sbsEDGchyPLg8rbD3Ju4Jwa_kR-VBBXCHGTI2FLXhgf2dMJn5iMXRbkV_gg5cpiZT-BC_SyrQMf4ChB

Alas, as I approached Vienna, a strong headwind picked up making the going slow. But suddenly, in my handlebar mirror, I spotted a big, strong cyclist catching up to be from behind. I managed to get behind him and for the first time on the trip, enjoyed some fast drafting behind a fresh, fast cyclist riding an unloaded bike. We rode together for some 20 miles into the city limits of beautiful Vienna. I made it to the Hotel Zeitgeist Vienna with some daylight to spare, tired but thrilled to have accomplished this amazing trip. 

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/orVj3G_wqqVm9zEncEQr9O5m2F55hbbkJtybLxrpAADjAvLFEj0EFylAGKJ9IhBflrDIC_0mLq4zFc_IWp2pZFEPOYmPbIamPCaIAXzhHiaJK_tZ-Fz9ExnoOtBPTxhvOqWRfRUz

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/wARQ6i739AQJJ96cb5XISyNH_0c0zewqO8QMB5JWRxoIC_ul25dofSntfX9SCnMRzimP8FRtGt0r-LeE6S4knn0Uv9cUwV1byRkc2F72WLBnWyIrxq3Auset8_SgN5WIr1no_Dln

 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/cPFjKM8IYH0kSAyHKPD9hdsFGF_BUc5bnGFrxT9cKx-mA7ylV8Yrs4UZ6hL1IMkKNu33EAgW522qh_CgZosXhNe2PlpMAhx4wx1a4dHJUahHryMJ11QuaARR9XWJCbNX7PhHHEd5

 

Day 7

Distance: 132.2 miles

Elevation climbed: 4,072 ft

Average speed: 15.7 mph

******************************************************

Total 7-Days Distance: 631.6 miles

Total 7-Days Elevation Climbed:  26,601 ft