Roasted Hazlenut Spatzle in Austria
It’s hard to believe that we are already in Austria, the third country of eight, and are rapidly approaching Vienna, the halfway point of the tour. This last section from Regensburg to Linz has been a little different, but variety is truly the spice of life. Jon has been cooking up meals of decadence and extravagance. I keep trying to remind him that we are camping!! We’ve had smoked salmon sandwiches, duck breast in an apple glaze and roasted hazelnut spatzle – unbelievable! We have been following the Donauradweg, but the river has swollen, as each day we cross several tributaries supplying this great water way. Passau was our second stop and made for a very interesting destination. The Dom there is the home to the worlds largest Pipe Organ. Actually, it’s five pipe organs that have all been connected and controlled from the same keyboard. The cathedral that houses it is ornate with sculptures, mouldings and paintings throughout. There was a large group of us who went to attend an evening of local talents performing Bach and Hayden. I’ve always been amazed by how acoustics play such an integral role in the architectural design of these ancient buildings. It just so happened that that day was the Solstice, so in celebration of the longest day, we all returned to camp and sipped Grand Marnier until the sunset. Passau is also the site of the confluence of three major rivers, the Inn, the Ilz and of course the Danube. And this is where the many of the River Cruises start. By taking the noon sailing several of my clients were able to spend the morning exploring the history of Passau and then cruise into Linz. The boats are quite luxurious with bar and restaurant services and a sun deck to enjoy the Danube from a different perspective. Itâ€™s important to take advantage of all that these places have to offer. Today we are in Linz for a day of rest, but its not like things have been too stressful lately.
As for me, well I have been trying to exploit the ZEN of cycle touring.
I’m amazed at the technology in the bike industry. My bike is easily the biggest hunk of junk on tour but I love her! Lizzie is my best traveling companion and, by the end of this tour, we will have covered over 65,000km and 22 countries since 2003 when I crossed Australia solo.
But it’s not just the technology of the bikes, it’s the accessories too. People have speedometers, odometers, thermometers, inclinometers, altimimeters, barometers, GPS units, heart rate monitors and calorie counters. By measuring all of these things you are able to completely quantify the trip. But then you spend the whole time taking measurements and not enjoying the quality of the experience. I have stripped my riding kit of any data collection devices, including a watch. I’ve even gone so far as to remove the optical display from my shifters. I still carry my camera and my journal, but I find the best days are when I’m riding solo not looking at the clock or my speed, I just let my legs set the pace and I spend much more time taking in the sites and enjoying the scenery. Biking is all about simplicity and efficiency and when you incorporate all these instruments you lose the Zen of biking. Keep it real!