There’s two parts to today’s cyclemeter map:
- Down the hill from the hotel to Grein itself
- Along the South bank from Grein to Melk. This map isn’t quite complete and the overall time is dead wrong because jPhone 4’s battery ran out just before we reached Melk.
I’m writing this in the courtyard of tonight’s hotel because, despite it being nearly 10pm, indoors is stickily warm. This might be to do with the washed cycle clothing hanging in our room and humidifing the atmosphere.
What do I remember of today?
- Stopping for drink at ‘Andy’s Drive-in’
- A cycle museum at Ybbs. This was the size of museum you might want to see while travelling: cutely small and informative, with a penny-farthing style bike to try. There’s a comical video of me trying to pedal it.
- Stopping for a picnic lunch opposite Gottsdorf, a typically pretty village
- Visiting the Oskar Kokoschka museum in his birthplace in Pöchlarn. He seems to have been all about his affair with Alma Mahler. Amor fati rings bells from my early escapades: I wish I’d been able to draw out some of these, rather than let them fester. We were guided by a young woman: it was the first time she’d given the tour in English. She was nervous about her English (far, far better than my German) but with a few giggles on both sides, and some pre-existing knowledge of greek and roman mythology, we got on fine. It turned out our guide was a school student, just doing this for a summer job. I’d thought she was about 20. Yet again, one shouldn’t assume!
- Reaching Melk, then trying to navigate to our hotel. (Postcode areas in Austria are large because they only use 4 digits, unlike the UK’s 6- or 7- alphanumerics.) By now, jPhone 4’s battery had run out and navigating in a completely unknown town by hand-held jPhone 3GS wasn’t much fun.
- Walking through Melk’s high street looking for vegan food. The jackpot was an Austrian form of pasta cooked with cabbage, followed by a plate of salad including the ever-wonderful Austrian potato salad. Here’s some potentially amusing emails:
Bruce: Pasta with cabbage for tea. Elly will suffocate from my fumes!
Dad: Cabbage should not be eaten boiled. It should be shredded & rinsed with cold water then, while still wet, gently softened in a fairly hot saucepan, adding a little oil & spicing with caraway seeds as in Mum’s Austrian method. The other acceptable way to eat cabbage is to have it as Sauerkraut. Neither produces antisocial aromas.Bruce: Useful phrases for travelling: Ich furze wie ich ein totes Schwein auf meinen Hintern habe.
Dad: I imagine that eating cabbage could have antisocial consequences. I translate your sentence as ‘I fart as if I had a dead pig on my back.‘ Did you mean up your backside? That would be ‘Ich furze als ob ich eine totes Schwein in meinen Arschloch hatte.‘ Tiny pig – humungous Arschloch! Lay off the cabbage unless you have it as Sauerkraut.
I’m saddened to report that there have been no posterior reports. Perhaps it’s the vaseline. Whatever, it’s now nearly 11pm so despite the continued heat in the room (the hotel, in common with most of Austria, shuts at 10 so I was gently hinted out of the courtyard) I should sleep. Goodnight!