Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wachau Bicycle Tour

This last weekend, I joined my friend Isabella for a bicycle tour through the Wachau Valley to celebrate her birthday. Here's Isabella!

I met up with her and her friends (all extremely great people), who had come in from everywhere - Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Geneva (Isabella) and Bratislava (me) to spend a wonderful day biking by the Danube River. I had no idea how wonderful it would be.

After catching a train to Melk, we rented our bikes and set out down a trail that followed the Danube (Donau) as it meandered from Melk to Krems, and eventually on to Vienna and Bratislava. This is a giant monastery in Melk, famous for its reference in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose (among other reasons).

Austria is beautiful. Every time I come to this country, I become more and more enamoured of it. I may just move here some day.

The tour was interrupted by multile schnapps breaks - the region is famous for its apricots (marillen), and therefore also its apricot schnapps and dumplings.

It sprinkled on and off throughout the day, which gave us good reason to take some wonderful eating and drinking breaks at little taverns and restaurants along the 35km trail from Melk to Krems.

That evening, we took the train back to Vienna where we shared a dinner at a wonderful restaurant overlooking the Viennese skyline. This might have been the best weekend I've had (or will have) all summer.