Day 35 - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - Vienna to Rusovce, SK - Trip 94.25 kms Time 5:26:30
Well that now makes it 6 countries I've cycled through since beginning my Europe 2011 cycling tour i.e. Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, (Germany again), Austria and now Slovakia.
I woke up several times during the night. Once to close my door as it was banging in the breeze. I guess I was anxious about not oversleeping and making Martin late for work. I got up at 6:30. Martin was having his shower so I had a bowl of cereal and a banana for b'fast. After showering I finished packing, made myself a cheese and turkey breast sandwich since Martin insisted I have something to take with me for lunch. He then helped me carry my panniers down to the bicycle storage room. I loaded my panniers on my bike, thanked Martin for his wonderful hospitality and set off for Bratislava at 7:40 AM.
That is the earliest I've ever started cycling on this trip. But in the end it turned out to be a good thing as I avoided most of the morning rush hour traffic and was able to get on the Danube bike trail without to much difficulty. Also, the maps Martin had printed off for me the previous evening proved to be very helpful as I did miss a couple of turns, the sort of keep right or keep left turns.
I had come to the traffic ring where I had to get on the Hauptallee but wasn't sure how to go about negotiating the twist and turns. I had to stop at a traffic light and a nice young lady pulled up beside me on her bike on her way to work. I asked her if she knew where Hauptallee was. She said she was headed in that direction and to just follow her. Hauptallee was a very long and quite wide stretch of road that went on for about 5 kms. No cars, no motorcycles, no mobilettes, just bicycles, joggers, people walking their dogs, etc. As I was cycling along I noticed a convertible car coming towards me with a camera on the front of it. They were filming a guy riding down the Hauptallee riding his bicycle. I had my camera ready so I took a picture of them. I may end up in their movie so watch for me in my Viannese cameo role coming to a theatre in your neighbourhood soon.
I missed the turn at the bridge and had to backtrack about 1 km. Ran into the film crew again. This time the director was waving at me to get out of the way. I totally ignored him.
I found the path leading along the Praterbrucke and crossed the canal. It was quite an impressive view from up on the bridge. Got in trouble for not keeping to the right!!! as I was to busy gawking at the spectacular view of Vienna off in the distance.
Once I got across the bridge I headed for Lobau but ended up at the entrance to a National Park. There was a map at the entrance to the park and it showed a path that zig zagged all over the place. I wasn't up for that kind of an early morning ride so I backed out of there and set my GPS for Schonau. I ended up on the B3 going through Wittau, Probstdorf, Mannsdorf and Orth a. d. Donau. Which was OK because I needed to find a bank so I could get some Euros which I was able to do in Orth. From there I was able to get on the bicycle route again. It was a long stretch, very flat, isolated and rough pebbly cement. It went on forever, I thought it would never end. Eventually I arrived in Hainburg at noon. I had covered 60 kms by this time. I found a bit of shade by a warehouse along the road and had my lunch. The wind was really starting to pick up. I thought it was going to knock my bike over it was blowing so hard.
I set off for Bratislava at 12:30. It was only 10-11 kms away and arrived at 1:00 PM. Bratislava is a very large city, pop. 427,000 plus. I decided it was to early to stop cycling so gave it a miss and continued on to Rusovce. Crossing over from Austria to Slovakia there was no border crossing, no customs, just rolled right on through.
I couldn't find the cycle route so ended up cycling on a fairly quiet road. I arrived in Rusovce at 2:00 PM. I stopped at a Pension. They didn't speak any English or French, just a bit of German and Russian. It was 30 E for a room. Not to sure about b'fast and surely no Wi-Fi. I decided to go on and see if there was any thing else available. I went right through Rusovce and was on my way to the next town when I saw Hotel Ponteo in the middle of nowhere. It was a brand new 4 star hotel in a sub-division that was still under construction. I stopped and went in to check it out. They wanted 89E for a double but I bargained it down to 60E with b'fast and Wi-Fi.
After having my shower and doing my laundry I set up the Notebook on the desk in my room and checked out the Internet. It worked fine. Then I discovered I had little red ants crawling all over the place!!! Why me??? I went down to the reception and told them about the ants. They quickly arranged for me to move across the hall to room 108. So far no more ants.
After cheking my e-mail I lay down for a nap. Somebody started boucing a basketball. Just like the kid across the street back home. Whenever I lay down for a nap in the afternoon he starts boucing that damn basketball. It actually turned out to be a bunch of guys playing volleyball. Then there was the little yappy dog. I got up and went down to the bowling alley, yes a 10-pin 6 lane bowling alley, but that was to noisy (screaming kids, loud music) so I went up to the restaurant and sat out on the patio. Ordered a large beer and filled out my journal and tried to ignore the constant ringing of cellphones.
Later on I had dinner. A nice meal of roast pork (very tender) with horse radish (whipped cream on top of it), vegetables, fried potatoes and onions. All very tasty. Oh yes, and tatziki sauce. The whipped cream really fooled me though. I didn't know there was horse radish hiding under it and took a large dolop to taste it. That's where the tatziki came in real handy to cool things down a bit. It was all very tasty though along with a nice glass of red wine.
Well folks that's all for tonight. I'm off to Gyor or possibly Komarom or Komarno, which is just north of Komarom, tomorrow.