I wanted to show you our shower, photo taken from our bed. Yes, three sides are glass and you can see our bikes through the shower! The shower is part of the bedroom. I would not want to be sharing with ‘just a friend’ lol.
After showering in ‘privacy’ NOT 😂🙈 it was off to breakfast. This is such a quirky hotel. You can see an old cash register and sewing machine, amongst a room full of eclectic knick knacks.
There is a wonderful outdoor atrium, but we chose not to sit there as the smokers tended to congregate and smoke the place out !
Leaving the hotel we decided to wing it with no directions (bar trying to follow the Danube downstream) and see how we went. Saturday morning it was reasonably quiet both people and car wise.
Some of the snap shots as we headed out.
One of our friends in Tassie had suggested we check this famous old ferris wheel out (thanks Rodney V), but we had got the message a bit late in the day after returning from our upstream exploration. We were fortunate to just happen to see it upon leaving. It had not commenced operating for the day but imagine there are some great views.
The first problem for the day occurred when we were one the wrong side of the road to access the bridge over the Danube. Not as simple as crossing the road, as there was a tall fence! So there was only one option!
A final look back towards Vienna.
We were now riding the main trail along the Danube.
We passed about five different groups of guys watching pigs on spits over open fires. Later on an older lady was kneading bread. It all smelt lovely. We would loved to have taken photos but felt we should respect their privacy.
Then we came across these guys very proudly showing us their catch from the river.
Wonderful infrastructure over the river for walkers and cyclists.
We had noticed a number of people on kick scooters. The girl with the pink compression socks was fascinating to watch. We sat behind her for a number of kms. She had a very powerful and full kick back, and was alternating legs at regular intervals. Downhill she would streamline like she was trying to prevent peeing! She was very fast!
We stopped following the kick scooters when we rode into Orth an der Donau, where we had a pit stop. The local schloss (castle) was just over the road from our stop.
We then detoured via the National Park Donau-Auen.
It was very pleasant and the track was constructed on top of the levee built to restrain the river at times of flood. There was a mixture of recently sealed and unsealed. A great use of existing levees.
We came to a screaming halt when the track was closed (preparing to seal), so we needed to climb another steep track with our bikes to get onto the bridge. No photos as it was a two person push and pull exercise.
Once on the bridge we were surprised to find the scooters again. It transpires they were in a race from Vienna to Bratislava. A 70 km race! Respect!
One of the last villages in Austria before we crossed the border was Hainburger an der Donau. We turned right from the river path here into the village and passed the castle.
As we approached the castle we were directly behind scooter girl and about to overtake her when she came to a screaming halt! We were not anticipating that given she was racing! We connected! Fortunately I was able to uncleat quickly and prevent falling. I said ‘SHIT’, she said ‘Excuse me’. Turns out she was lost!
So we decided to get ahead of her!
Closing in on the Slovakian border
The final few km we were riding through agricultural fields. We were surprised by the number of high rise clustered residential buildings on the outskirts of Bratislava.
We later learned these prefabricated structures are from the communist era post war.
One final bridge crossing and here we are bang smack in the old part of the city. I am sitting here using free wifi to locate accomodation. I selected the hotel directly in front of where I am sitting ( Park Inn). Check in was not yet for another 90 minutes so we used the bikes to scoot around the busy old part of town, seeing how slow we could ride and keep balance as it was very crowded in places.
The cute little coffee van outside our hotel.
This city has a real buzz and vibe. You can feel it! It is contained and vibrant and we were immediately liking what we saw, felt and heard. It is all about the vibe!! 😊
Lots of people were photographing this statue, so we followed suit. Later I learned that Schone Naci was a famous local eccentric who lived in this part of town in the first half of the twentieth century. His ‘elegance and kind heartedness’ was deemed an integral part of the vibe for the Bratislava promenade and cafes.
Well done Schone Naci! You succeeded!
At 3 pm we were able to check in to our room. Our bikes were safely stored into an office ‘out the back’.
Great view out the bedroom window. You can see where I was sitting in an earlier picture on the promenade below.
We showered and headed straight to the castle, as a newer cycle touring friend, Biff had recommended it as a must see.
Looking across the Danube the bridge is the one we rode over. Known as the UFO bridge for obvious reasons. I gather the room at the top of the bridge is used for reception purposes.
Svatopluk was an early Moravian King in the region.
Cycle touring ensures you only buy what you can consume within hours. Souvenirs are a no no as you have to carry them! Tony took a fancy to this though, reigniting childhood memories. You are not able to bring them back into Australia!
Adjacent to the castle is the Slovakian Republic building.
Walking around the back of the castle towards the baroque gardens was this statue and fountain.
Imside the walled baroque gardens, I liked a series of trellis plants. I think this one might be clematis? There was a pattern, clematis, then a climbing rose, followed by grapes and then repeat the pattern.
A wide angled garden overview.
Back into town we decided to have an earlier dinner at this Slovakian cuisine restaurant. A talented pianist provided nice entertainment.
Peter Sagan is my favourite cyclist. Mr Personality and highly skilled. He is from Slovakia, although his home town is further north in Zilina. How surprised were we then? Peter, Peter, Peter 😊💪🚴
Quick walk around town and we found the Bratislava bear before retiring for the night!