Posts Tagged ‘Bike Tour’

Eurotrip 2012 – Day 6

July 24th, 2012 1 comment


We awake to a tremendous thunderstorm this morning. We first experienced the wind beating the tents. I was praying that the tents were staked out well enough to hold. Then comes the rain and lightning. Sometime later the alarm went off on my watch noting the time as 6:30am, beeping to get us up for our drive to Salzburg. Vicky went to wake up Chris and asked, “Chris, are you awake?” He responds with, “Are you kidding me?!!??” I don’t think anybody could have slept through that storm.

With rain falling, I’m thinking to myself, “There is no way we are going on a bike tour today. Frauline Maria will just have to wait another day.” But then I think, “Vicky will want to go anyway.” And I was right; she had some rational explanation about weather patterns moving west to east or something. As we drove to Salzburg, the skies cleared into a beautiful day with all of us getting a little too much sun. But now I am getting ahead of myself…

So Hildegard… who’s Hildegard you ask? We’ve named the built-in GPS system Hildegard, a good German name, and she has a personality of her own. Her voice is not nearly as sexy as the Jamie (GPS system in my car back home) but Hildegard does keep us entertained with some of her sayings. Here are a few:

  • “Your position is not located on a digitized road.”
  • “Please drive onto a digitized road.”
  • “There are traffic disruptions on route.”
  • “Prepare to keep straight on soon.”
  • “Please keep straight on.”
  • “Please follow the road until further notice instruction.”

Where was I? Oh yes… So Hildegard sends us on an interesting route. Right off the start, we are going down a one lane gravel road that leads to a one lane tunnel. Vicky just missed getting a picture of a deer on the road in front of the tunnel. Hildegard, are you sure?

We make it to Salzburg and meet our tour guide, Rupert, for the bike tour from Fräulein Maria´s Bicycle Tour. What happened to Fräulein Maria? I saw her picture on the website advertising this tour. We didn’t realize it when we booked the tour, but the bike tour takes us to many of the famous scenes from the movie, “The Sound of Music”. If I had known that, I would have been tempted to watch the movie beforehand. As it is, it has probably been twenty years since I’ve seen the movie; and there is a good chance I slept through it then.

We figure is has been seven years since any of us have been on a bicycle. But we did just fine. I suppose that old saying is true.

Here is a trivia tidbit from the tour… While tunneling water to the city which is surrounded by mountains, they used old tombstones to line the tunnel to give it a smooth surface. The water is used to turn the watermill. This watermill turns the millstone to grind the flour. The bakery is still in operation and is one of the oldest in Europe.

Navigating through the city was a bit of a challenge. At times we had to deal with other bikes, pedestrians, cars, and trucks. In a few places we had to make some tricky turns all while staying together in a group. At one point we were travelling through a particularly congested area. It was important that we all stay together. Sure enough, one member of the group managed to get separated – none other than our very own Chris. As the group formed up, Chris was nowhere to be found. Rupert instructed me to watch the road ahead in case Chris took a different path. The guide went back to search. While waiting I heard sirens approaching and I had to keep a rising sense of panic in check. Just about that time the Chris and Rupert come around the corner. Everybody starts ringing their bike bells in celebration!

Towards the end of the tour, I wound up in the back of the group behind a family from Singapore that was struggling with their bikes more than the others. We reached another point in the tour that it was very important to stay together. But the family was falling behind and I could not get around them. Sigh. We drift further and further behind until we get separated from the main group. The mom, who was in the “lead”, started heading the wrong way. After a few minutes, we circled around to the last point we saw the group and waited. Rupert came to our rescue and we too were greeted with ringing bike bells celebrating our joyous return.

Some additional tour photos can be found on Fräulein Maria´s Facebook page.

As an aside, I am writing this journal entry at the gasthof at our campsite enjoying a local beer. While sitting here, one of the chickens is pecking at the shoe laces on our shoes. He is quite determined that Vicky’s lace is a reluctant worm.

At the conclusion of the bike tour we enjoyed a nice lunch before heading up to Hohesalzburg Castle. We took an inclined train (pulled by cable) to the top of the hill saving us the need to climb many steps uphill. From the castle we had a spectacular view of the city. Salzburg was a very rich city because of the nearby salt mines and the Archbishop saw to the construction of the castle as well as many of the churches in the city. Afterwards we enjoyed a milkshake before heading back to the campsite.

We turned on the “Eco” option on for the navigation system and it took us through one of the many small forests. On a one lane road that pretended to be a two lane road we were forced negotiate around heavy farm equipment that was also on the road.

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