We started out on Wednesday morning. Right into a golden October. We plan to ride to Venice through the “Tauern-Schleuse” via Salzburg, Villach and Grado to Venice. On Wednesday, October, 5th, the night train will take us back to Munich.
We managed to depart on Wednesday shortly before 9 a.m.. Our first stip is the Chiemsee, after having crossed the Mangfall and gone through Rosenheim. Due to all those signs saying “Via Julia”, we got a little off the planned route behind beautiful Rosenheim.
But the weather was nice and warm, the sun shone all the time and in the end, we were on the correct route again.
In Gstadt, the evening sun was tempting. So we looked for a place to stay and enjoy it. In retrospect, we seem to have known that the next morning was going to be foggy.
Our speedometer said 97 kilometres, the Hotel Seeblick looked extremely inviting and there was exactly one vacancy. Consequently, we parked our bikes in the shed and enjoyed a glass of beer and the remaining autumn sun on the porch.
The Hotel Seeblick is just a few metres from the landing stage. So the first thing we did on Tuesday morning was board the boat, instead of the bike.
At 8.05 a.m. on Thursday morning, my journey continued with “Barbara“ (in fact, two of them). First we went to the Fraueninsel, then we changed and went to Chieming via Seebruck.
Afterwards, we returned to our bicycles. Slowly, even the sun finds its way through the fog. This is typical autumn biker’s weather. As we ride, we hear the beechnuts and acorns being crunched underneath the tyres. In between, you can see chestnuts. And you can always smell the sweet autumnal odour of decomposition.
Allegedly, the following 17 kilometres are a very narrow and highly frequented street. Between here and Werfen, the way is said to be hell for cyclists. Narrow, uphill all the time, no cyclist’s path and many cars.
They advise to take the train to Werfen or Bischofshofen. We decide to do exactly that and take the road to Golling-Abtenau railway station. The only way to get a ticket is the ticket machine, no information… On platform three, the EC from Münster to Klagenfurt arrives. It also has a biker’s compartment. So we take our bikes and board the train. Bischofshofen is the next stop. That is where we want to exit.
The Austrian conductor is not at all amused. You can only bring your bike in an EC if you have made a reservation. Which is not what we did for our bikes! He could not care less about the fact that both the biker’s compartment and the entire train are almost empty. We boarded the train illegally, so we will have to exit at Bischofshofen. Well, that is certainly fine by us. After all, we never wanted to go further than Bischofshofen, anyway.
He finds a solution: we can upgrade our bike ticket to an EC bike ticket. Total cost 10 Euros. Now we can start a friendly conversation with the conductor.
Still, we exit at Bischofshofen. Our bikes get a little exercise to St. Johann in the Pongau. We are looking for a room to stay overnight, but the first four hotels we try are full. The Hotel Alpenland, however, takes us in. It is a nice sports hotel. We visit the sauna and the swimming pool. Now our speedometer says 187 kilometres (not counting the distance we went by boat and train). Today, the restaurant has its Schnitzel day. Since we feel we deserve a reward, we really indulge. It tastes delicious.
Today is Friday. Being well-rested, I will immediately go and take my breakfast. After that, we will ride up the Tauernschleuse. It is about 50 kilometers from here, but it is a constant uphill road. And then we will take the train through the mountain.
Well, let us wait and see where we spend the next night.
(Translated by EG)