Week 2: The hills are my friend

Tomorrow my second week of travel will be over, which means it’s time for a new blog post. Last week already feels like history, but I’ll give you a short recap. 
So, last tuesday I passed Prague. I stopped only to get some bike accessories and for a coffee at a nice place that let me park my bike inside while I used their wifi until I started feel that it was time to stop blocking the passage to the toilets. 

I moved on. After Prague the road suddenly stopped being nice and flat. Instead it turned quite hilly, but I still enjoyed the biking a lot. I would almost say that I enjoyed it more than before, since hills tend to save you from getting bored on the roads. They don’t save your ass though. Anyway, the czech countryside with its small villages and farms was pure joy. And the roads were in perfect condition. My only small issue was the communication. In Prague most people could speak english, but in the small towns and villages it was more complicated. I had to use my body language skills, which fortunately are getting better and better every day. In one restaurant it was impossible to explain that I wanted vegetarian food, so I tried all possible ways – in the end the pig sound and a no sign followed by the german ”nicht” was the way to sucess. I got fried cheese with french fries. For those who know me, let me say that I left my vegan diet at home. It would have been way to complicated since I already eat constantly and often get invited by people who want to feed me. And the last thing I want to be in those situations is rude or (too) picky. 

Next destination after Prague was Vienna. After 2 days of camping and a lot of sweat I really longed for a bed and a shower. I was so motivated that I biked nearly 160 km (a lot more than I usually do) to reach Vienna where that bed waited for me. My friend Mimmi, who has been living in Vienna, had found me a place to stay: with her friend Julia and Julia’s new flat mates Isaak and Anna. Danke guys! One day’s rest was awesome, even though I felt I could have stayed there for several weeks. 

But saturday I started moving towards Graz. I was not so motivated though and it felt like I was biking very slowly, even if the road was very flat. When it got dark I was not even half way to Graz. Besides, I was hungry and the austrian countryside is not the ideal place to find open supermarkets a saturday eve. Finally, I found a petrol station where i could buy some food. While doing the ordinary presentation (”where are you from?”, ”where are you going?” and the natural questions people often ask when they see my bike) I was lucky to get invited by the couple sitting there having a coffee with their daughter who was working in the shop. Elke and Thomas, and their old cat Jenny, were lovely. The next morning I was more than ready for the hills that waited for me on the way to Graz. Amazing views the whole day! I wish I had a camera that made it worth trying to show what I see. 

Yesterday I slept at a camping outside of Graz. Then I passed the slovenian border by lunch time today. Right now I’m at a camping in the city Velenje. It’s clear that the tourist season is over, because I’m the second guest here tonight. The receptionist told me I have to stay until sunday. Then there will be a ”Pippi Långstrump” (Pippi is a swedish caracter in children’s litterature) festival here. So, for those who didn’t know that our swedish Pippi is called ”Pika” in Slovenia – now you know! 

But I won’t stay here until sunday. After some sleep I’ll of course continue towards … yeah, direction south I suppose. 

Be safe wherever you are and we’ll be safe on the roads! 🚵🏽

/Zelda & Link