Today felt rather long and tiring. I know that I slept for two hours straight after tea and that some unmentionables are quietly glowing. Today’s map might explain why.
We started by shopping in a nearby Backerei and DM (think of UK Boots amalgamated with Holand and Barrett) for lunch items, retrieved our bikes from the hotel’s underground garage and sett off along the north bank. I don’t remember much about this (photos will remind me) apart from the joy of seeing our first crossing-point, a hydro power station at Abwinden.
Our route then meandered us through farmland, back to the riverbank, then slightly inland to Enns. This is apparently Austria’s oldest city, having been giving a charter by some king or other. Quite why a place needs a charter to be a city is beyond me: I’d make the distinction based on relative or absolute size and/or population density or possessing certain characteristics or governmental functions. Anyway, leaving behind my ignorance, Enns’ history includes being an important roman settlement, quia nomine erat Lauriacum.
There’s an extensive museum: we’ll worth a look, especially if you can read German better than I can. The city also has a more recent tower (built 1565-1568) which ‘served as a clock tower and was a distinctive symbol of the city’s pride’. There was a magnificent ‘Boris and Boris’ (doubled-headed eagle) mural on it: photos to be posted later. (DocM, I hope you don’t mind me extending the name from the Romanovs to the Hapbergs. Aarrgghh! I’ve just thought of a double-headed Boris Johnson. Shudder!
We thought we’d escaped today’s promised rain because it had poured down while we were in the museum but no, we got severely wet while negotiating our way back to the cycle route and out of Enns.
The route then took us through some industrial areas before guiding us through more rurality away from the river on to Wallsee. We had a very quick lunch-stop there because we didn’t want to miss the 5pm pick-up. (Tonight’s hotel is 5 km from Grein up some very steep slopes so the tour company has arranged for the hotel to transport bods and bikes. I’m slightly nervous about cycling back down to Grein.) We then pushed on through more rurality along the south bank before crossing a fairly busy bridge and getting to Grein itself.
The hotel transport seemed full, so for a moment I thought I’d be perched on the bike-trailer going up through the hills. Bit of a shame that there were enough seats after all. Anyway, tonight’s dinner was a treat for carb-lovers: a salad-bar including Austrian potato-salad (nothing like the mush that passes for PS in the UK), then a huge platter of roasted and boiled potatoes and other vegetables, washed down with earl grey tea and and a light local beer. Then two hours of post-prandial torpor to recover from 45 miles of saddle-interaction. I may need to vaseline my posterior before setting off tomorrow.