With nothing much interesting us in Vienna other than the super duper zoo, we set off again after just one day there. Our plan was to follow the Danube cycle trail out of Vienna and up to the town of Tulln where we would split from the trail and go north, heading to the town of Znojmo in the Czech Republic.
After only a few minutes, the Eurovelo 6 signage was up to its old tricks and we’d lost the scent again. Luckily it follows a massive river so we headed north, through the city and back on to the banks of the Danube where a short time later we found signs again.
Powering along the lovely flat and smooth cycle route it wasn’t long before we had demolished the first section of our day, we even had a small tail wind for some of it! We rewarded ourselves with an early lunch of cheese, bread and meat outside the local supermarket.
Despite the fact that some of the Eurovelo is good, it’s spoilt by sections that are completely void of signage where you’re left to figure it out yourself. That, coupled with the often awful surfaces that pass as a cycle route, make them a complete pain in the arse.
The second part of the day’s ride was much less flat, much less fast but quite a bit more interesting. Having successfully negotiated the town of Tulln, our route now took us up and down lots of very hilly roads, interspersed by quaint little Austrian villages.
The villages reminded us of Spain, mainly because they had no people or shops in them. They were very clean and very Austrian, though.
The other thing was that our route just so happened to be on a very busy road. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was flat but slowly ascending hills with lorries mere inches from your face is not the greatest feeling.
With that in mind, we ditched the main road and made a b-line for a longer but more death-free route.
Even the signs agreed.
As we cycled up and down the rolling green hills of northern Austria, we were warmly reminded of home, except without the fly-tipping and rain.
All too soon we were forced back on to the main roads to cross over into country number 10.
Immediately the scenery changed from sleepy farm land into SUPER AWESOME PLANE RESTAURANT AND OH MY GOD IS THAT A DINOSAUR AND OH YEAH HOW ABOUT A GOD DAMN CASTLE YEAH AND WHAT ABOUT A CASINO OR MAYBE A 24 HOUR STRIP CLUB YEAH?!?!?!?!
It was an assault on the eyes to say the least. For some unknown reason the Czech-Austria border has become some kind of tiny Vegas, maybe this is where Austrians come to lose money and gain STDs?
Soon enough we were away from the neon lit debauchery that was Czechvegas and rolling past yet more corn fields into Znojmo.
Once again, the Czech Republic was another place we knew very little about and neither of us knew squat about the town of Znojmo. We had a point on the GPS that said it was a campsite but after rocking up at someone’s house, we figured otherwise. We found a local coffee shop and had a think about our next move.
Nobody spoke English in the coffee shop so we went to one of the B+B/Bars nearby. There were loads and loads of little guesthouses as the area is really popular for cyclists but these were all way outside our meagre budget. After the nice man who spoke English drew us a map of where we could find a campsite nearby, we set off on our way again.
We followed the rudimentary map, stopping off at an abandoned building along the way until we saw a tiny weeny sign for camping. He said it would be written on the building but we figured this was close enough.
The campsite was actually just a bar with a field behind it where you could pay to pitch your tent. We went for a bit of a look round the area and followed a little track by a river, which turned out to be an awesome (and free) place to camp.
We made a note of it and headed back to the bar for a few drinks and at less than 80 cents a pint it made for cheap entertainment until the sun was sufficiently dim so we could pitch our tent and cook some tea. Total spend for the day, about 10 euros.