4 Countries, 6 Days
The week started in Bratislava, Slovakia. From our rest day spot on the Botel, directly on the Danube River, we set off in a southerly direction. Within 10km we’d entered Austria. Though there are no border formalities it is obvious that one has entered Austria, partly because all the people are immediately much more rule conscious and mildly irritated compared to Slovakia, but at the same time this devotion to detail has made for roads and cycle ways that are tough to beat anywhere in the world. We followed the cycle path along the Neusledler See; a large shallow lake. Before the end of the day though we found ourselves once again crossing an open border, this time into our trusty staff member Gergo’s home country of Hungary. That night we camped near a national park by the southern edge of the Neusledler See.
So after 3 countries in 1 day, things calmed down a bit and we spent the whole next day enjoying the relatively flat and friendly countryside of Hungary. Everyone was impressed with the national treat in Hungary of chocolate wrapped cottage cheese; almost everything good in Hungary in someway involves cottage cheese, it’s amazing!
The following day, after getting itchy for some cross border action we ventured off and found ourselves crossing, in the latter part of the day, into our 4th country of the stretch, Slovenia. The contrast was immediate, with a much hillier environ and vineyards climbing up the steep slopes. Our first camp in Slovenia was at a gigantic campsite named Terme 3000. Not just a campsite but also a massive water park that many of our cyclists decided to check out. Of particular note was Rob McPhersons’ daring… not only did he go down many of the extensive water slides in the park but he was the only one to brave the “drop of doom”, a trap door like contraption that when released sends you plummeting down the tubular slide at hypersonic speed. Likely as fast as Rob as ever travelled.
Our last couple of days into the Slovenian capitol of Ljubljana included a stop on the road for giant donuts, and again some beautiful scenery along the route that the not so long days allowed people to splendor in.
Now it’s our rest day and we’re getting ready for a short 3 day ride to Venice. This will spell the end of the Amber Route section and for many of our cyclists the end of their time with us this summer. We’ll enjoy our last days together and be sure to toast our communal travels in Venice.