The Rhine and Lake Constance … I’ve heard of those – 25 June (Day 32)

Aldi is called Hoffer in Austria and before leaving Bludenz I get an Austrian SIM card here for less that EUR 2. Sarah and Tobi had helped me research my options – to keep using my Italian SIM is too pricey – and the Hoffer card looks a good deal. Now if I can just make it work. I’ll need help from tonight’s host with the German, I think. I won’t say that more of my German has returned but I am feeling more confident about using the little I have. My ear seems to be tuning more to the sounds …

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Feeling Restored and Ready for What’s Next – Bludenz 24th June (Day 31)

When my train arrived yesterday evening Tobi was, unexpectedly, on the platform to meet me. I’ve found the guest/host relationship on CouchSurfing and Warm Showers – both web-based hospitality communities but the latter expressly for bicycle tourists – can quickly form and, even untended, be lasting. Tobi and Sarah had stayed with me and my then-husband in 2012. They were medical students. Their Austrian university allowed/encouraged their students to do learning-rotations at hospitals overseas. They were in the midst of a year-long series of such placements interspersed with travel when they visited us in Sydney. At the time, the idea …

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I’ve Ridden Over an Alpine Pass – Now what? Indecision in Austria (Day 30 – 23 June)

My first morning in Austria hasn’t begun well. It’s rained overnight and I wake to find a fairly significant puddle between the floor of my tent and the footprint (groundcloth) and some water has gotten into the tent as well. I think it’s a combination of a poorly chosen site and signs that this tent – beloved as it is – may be on its last legs. The rain has stopped falling but the sky is heavy and the morning is cool. As I lie in my tent and contemplate the tasks ahead I want to be someplace else. It’s …

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Climbing to Austria (Days 26 – 29, 19 – 22 June 2015)

Friday 19 June In Meran I seem to have left behind the last of the immigrants – everyone has been white and mostly German-speaking since I left that city for the smaller towns between here and the border. The climb is now more discernible but still, mostly – but by no mean always – gentle. From Naturns to Laas I follow the narrowing and increasingly torrid river. Cycleway-side cafes advertise Forst Beer, pretzels and sausages. And yet all around me – Italians, whether they like it or not. Late in the day I stop for a coffee and fantastic apple …

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On the Divide: The Cities of Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol (Bolzano/Bozen & Merano/Meran)

Days 22 – 24  (15 – 17 June 2015) Monday 15 June – From Rovereto to Bolzano I wake to the sound of the nearby church bells striking seven and pedal away at 8:15 only to stop at the first café I see. I take my cappuccino and Germanic pastry (apples, nuts, some sort of cheese) at a table on a cobblestone square with a view of Neptune’s ass – the café is behind a statue/fountain. A couple seated nearby are switching between German and Italian through out their conversation and, as I’m getting ready to go, they ask about my …

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A Bush Walk and Apple Strudel (No 28: Flat Rock Beach – 12 May 2013)

Here’s an interesting and unexpected story from Killarney Heights, the suburb where you’ll find Flat Rock Beach: In February 1979, a Lithuanian couple who believed they were being chased by Soviet agents were discovered in bushland adjacent to the suburb. Stepan Petrosys (81) and his 68-year old wife were discovered after having lived in a cave for 28 years. That small discover was too good to bury deep in my post. Now that is out of the way, let me tell you about Flat Rock Beach.  This is the last of the beaches I visited with Mitch and I have …

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