The first part of the ride out of Tulln was quite nice. We had a sunny day with comfortable temperatures in the high teens. As we approached Vienna, we were all about navigating. The last thing we wanted, was to find ourselves lost in the middle of this big city in heavy traffic.
The directions in our tour notes were minimal but accurate. The most challenging part was the last section, when we had to leave the river edge and travel into the city. The street names didn't seem to always match our map, or maybe the street changes names randomly. Anyway we had to back track a couple of times before we finally found our hotel.
It was about 1:30 we arrived at the hotel. We turned in our bikes and officially ended that part of our holiday.
We really enjoyed the cycling holiday. We met people from all over Europe and we saw Austria and European society in a way you just don't when you are part of a 'tour' group. People were very friendly and helpful. Just stop and open up your map book and someone will stop and offer assistance.
Austria has amazing infrastructure to support bicycle tourism and cycling in general. For all we've talked about getting lost, the signage on the Danube Trail is very, very good especially considering it was mostly under water a few weeks ago.
In the cities and towns, on a typical road, there is the road for cars, there is a bike lane raised a couple of inches above the road level, and next to it, raised a couple more inches is the sidewalk. There are even separate traffic lights for bikes.
Along the Danube Trail there are also many signed bike trails that head off into the countryside. The whole trail is paved. Bikes seem to have priority. And everybody cycles. All shapes, sizes and ages on all styles and vintages of bicycles. We in Canada could learn a lot from these Europeans.
With most of the afternoon available, we decided to explore the old city. We caught the U-bahn (subway) from the hotel to Karlsplatz and started walking.
Here is St Stephan's cathedral.
The buildings in Vienna are grand.
I think this is one of the Hapsburg Palaces. We will get a city tour in a couple of days.
There are hundreds of out door cafes and restaurants we found one to have supper.
Tomorrow we will start our second stage of our trip by moving to a hotel booked by our other tour operator.
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