Saturday, 20 August 2016

Euro Tour: Vienna to Bratislava// Five things to do that are not 'go on a stag do'

The 40 mile ride from Vienna to Bratislava is a really easy ride but not always the most exciting. 

I mean, Vienna was great and everything, I was a complete tourist and cycled almost every inch of the city, but it was really busy and full of lots of couples on long weekends, waiting for the perfect light to propose in. Soon after leaving Vienna and getting back to the Danube I realised how much I had missed the calmness and having huge stretches of path all to myself. 

This bit is really easy, you just follow Velo 6 that is really clearly signposted. 

Most of the ride was through Nationalpark Donau-Auen on a straight flat raised path. This was the view for miles: 

It got a bit samey after a while.

A good thing about this bit is apart from the paved path and the odd bench and sign, there is no sign of modernity and you could be cycling back in time. I only passed a few other cyclists so it was almost deserted too. Which was nice after spending a few manic days in Vienna.

Also, if you are a bridge nerd like I unapologetically am, this bit is extra special. Crossing the long bridge at Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, just before you get to Slovakia takes you back beside the Danube. This bit is breathtakingly beautiful and almost beach like. The weather was glorious so my view might be bias. 

You only need to spend a day or two in Bratislava so cycling there makes the trip worth while.

I stayed in the most bonkers hostel. It looked my A-Level art classroom. MY ROOM HAD A BATH PEOPLE. That was a pretty big piece of news that no one back home gave a frick about. 

It had a bike stand inside for extra security. Most the staff speak little or no English so practise your Slovak or get really good at doing the action for 'I love your bath.' Am I going on about the bath too much? I feel like I'm not going on about it enough.

Anyway, It's called Hotel Gallery and it's in a slightly quieter park of town.

I It was quite near the train station and I did contemplate getting a train to Budapest but it seemed a massive faff. I think cycling 786086986 miles is an easier option than packing a bike down and putting it on a train.

Bratislava is small so to save your bum from the cobbled streets, park up and walk around.

Things to do in Bratislava apart from join a stag do:

1. Go to the Slovak National Gallery. It’s free, the art is wonderful and it has a great cafe.

2. Walk up to the castle and check out the incredible view. I always like to go up to the highest point wherever I go to get some perspective of how far i’ve cycled. Also, I just love heights.

3. Have a picnic in the garden of Grassalkovich Palace and admire the contemporary and classic sculptures. It was the 1st place in Slovakia to have electric light.

4. Visit the Art Deco Blue Church. It’s like being inside a cake.

5. Take a walk along the Danube (obviously) and check out the galleries, the architecture and the UFO cable stayed bridge.

Thighs Matters Euro Tour stages:
Ulm to Ingolstadt// Bonking and trying on dresses 
Ingolstadt to Regensburg// Bike drying my hair and putting bikes on boats
10 Regensburg to Wörth an der Donau: Pimping my ride and hunting down chocolate
11 Wörth an der Donau to Passau// My last day in Germany and probably the sunburniest 
12 The Austrian bit. Not the Australian bit as autocorrect likes to think
13 Vienna to Bratislava// Five things to do that are not 'go on a stag do'
14 Bratislava to Gyor // Not checking my feast days
15 Gyor to Esztergom// Being scared of dogs and referring to my bike and I as 'we'

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