I saw the sun for the first time in two weeks when I cycled back into Austria. I was beginning to think that it doesn’t exist in the Czech Republic. I hadn’t planned on going to Vienna, until this week. I’m not sure why it wasn’t on the schedule, however, I’m glad I never rode around it. Vienna is one of the nicest cities I’ve been to yet. With a garbage incinerator that looks like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory…
A pretty glorious time cycling around the city with her, the simple joy of rolling around town. The best part of the day, cycling through the leaves the city workers had just raked up. Yep. Good times.
The accommodation I found myself was something sort of amazing. I had messaged a couple people on warmshowers for a place to stay. Max and Eliza both responded affirmatively, and I responded that I would stay at Eliza’s. For some reason (likely my Austrian telephone incapability), I was unable to get a hold of Eliza. Max had written that he would be present at the bike kitchen. So I went down there, and found Max to see if I could crash on his couch. After a couple beer, going back to his place, I realized the address was that of Eliza’s. By some strange coincidence, she lived in the apartment below his. Even stranger, they had formally lived together. Valerie and I ended up going down there to have breakfast with her.
I know this picture is no good, but it’s the only photo I have of the bike kitchen.
The bike kitchen is another variation of a DIY bicycle shop, similar to the community bike shops we have in Canada. I went down there, drank some beer, cleaned my bike, shot the breeze with the locals. It was great fun. They’ve constructed some bicycle creatures like I’ve never seen before. Need to haul a couch on a bike? No problem. Pretty cool place. I would have likely to hang out longer, however I wanted to see my sister for a couple more days in Budapest before she goes back home. It was very tempting to stay and participate in their critical mass ride.
I made the decision to pick up a new tent in Vienna, rather than replace the poles for my Big Agnes tent. I found a guy who used to run a tent store, and he sold me a brand new Hilleburg Allak 2 tent.
It was expensive, and at a minimum shaves a couple weeks off of my trip, but was well worth it. It drops down to freezing at night now, and this 4 season tent makes it tolerable. It’s a 2 person free standing tent, and is well constructed. It erects from the outside, such that if it’s pouring rain, the inside will stay dry. It’s well ventilated, unlike the tunnel tents, so I think it should work well in the middle east. So far, it’s been amazing. Worth spending the money to have a better sleep at night. This is a tent I can pitch in the desert, or on a glacier at home. I don’t think they make them much better.
The ride from Vienna to Budapest was fun. I stopped in Bratislava along the way for a break. It’s a nice city, however, there isn’t really that much to see. At least the ride along the river was fast, tailwinds and all. A dedicated Slovak cycling route along the river made it fast and easy.
I’ll be in Budapest for another week, resting, clearing out my digital closet, and preparing for the next 2000-3000 km ride to Istanbul. I still don’t know what route I will take there, I will be considering it this week.