The overwhelming sight of Salzburg seen from a cycle track


  1. København-Alpirsbach

  2. Alpirsbach

  3. Alpirsbach

  4. Alpirsbach-Tuttlingen

  5. Tuttlingen-Lindau

  6. Lindau-Feldkirch(A)

  7. Feldkirch-Landeck

  8. Landeck-Innsbruck

  9. Innsbruck-Zell am Ziller

  10. Zell am Ziller-Zell am See

  11. Zell am See 

  12. Zell am See-Pffarwerfen 

  13. Pffarwerfen-Tuttmoning

  14. Tuttmoning-Passau

  15. Passau-Linz

  16. Linz-Melk

  17. Melk-Wien

  18. Wien

  19. Wien

  20. Wien

  21. Wien

  22. Wien-København




Letter 13


Tuesday 02.08.11
The first thing I noticed yesterday was an automat outside the shower. Do I have to pay to take a shower? But when I went to wash the pot later, there WAS hot water - in one of the taps at the sink outside.
When the water doesn't change temperature after a half to one minute one gets suspicious. I switch it to hot. No water. So the automat is working and I put nothing in. When I take a closer look I see lit digital zeros. It's sitting outside the cabin, it would have been better if you could follow the count down while you were showering! This way those waiting can stand excited and wait for the scream!
I only bring the purse around my neck with the notes so I'm satisfied with a partly shower.
It's 7.30. The difficult moment when I ought to pack and leave in a hurry. But it's cold and damp, the sun - which probably arrives later - hasn't reached the mountain ridge yet. The sleeping bag is tempting...

Morning sun on the grey wall Another impressing castle


It's 9.05 and I'm hungry again. The grey wall has disappeared behind the clouds other grey, but right now I see a faint shadow from me and the bike on the path. The sun is pushing through - maybe it'll be another fine day?
I sit down at a bench at the river, the water is quiet, the must be another dam, even I just passed a power plant.
It's never silent in these narrrow valleys. There's always a road nearby this time a railway too. Ahead an old castle thrones on a knoll - you just have to leave out the traffic noise, then it's pure idyll. Where's the "Linzen-stück" I'm longing for...
I hear the sound of a helicopter mingling with the sound of a passing train - it drowns the noise from the road. I've arrived at helicopter land. Passed an airport late yesterday. It's because of the mountains probably. Long transportation for sick and injured people. While I was in Zell am See they came twice to the hospital nearby. All the hikers maybe?
Now the sun has come through and warm my back. Off with the cycle jacket!

Up comes a new knoll I have to pass but this time I'm prepared. In my little Tauernradweg brochure I've found an altitude profile, but as it's several hundreds of kilometers from Krimml to Passau, the ascends doesn't look of much. A closer look shows that the one yesterday was steep. Steeper than the downhill to Krimml (9%). This one is nothing. I'm on a marked part of the highway. After Salzburg there are two "hills", of which the first will be steep.
It's fantastic. In the gorge in front the river cuts through Tannengebirge which are green speckled here.
Through the gorge there's no cycle track - not for the next 8 km according to signs. At one moment the Tauernautobahn appears from one side just to disappear in the mountain opposite in the next.
At a parking lot there's a railway bridge with a narrow walking path at the outside. Some girls are getting ready to hike that way. There are no others. Of course I have to go out on the bridge and of course a freight train passes at the same moment. It's in every sense a shaking experience. To feel the bridge shaking and seeing the rails move a LITTLE up and down with each passage of a wheelpair. Then it's gone into the mountain. The girls disappear on the mountain in a narrow path.


Picking... Railway bridge in the old style

Up comes a final gradient - the one marked in the pamflet - and a long descent. Speed limit: 50 km/h, so I have to break!
There's a smell of newly cut grass. The hay harvest is ongoing here around Golling, a cosy town. The mountains shrink to forrested hills, the valley widens and Salzburg is a few hours ahead, at the most...


Welcome to the flat land... ...looking back

And then - one the sights that stick to the back of the eye is revealed: On a wide rock thrones a fantistic fortress. No doubt the pride of Salzburg. But quite surprising for me. Maybe I HAVE seen it in pictures, but it feels like a revelation. Like the twin vulcanos once in Chile.


The revelation

And then - one the sights that stick to the back of the eye is revealed: On a wide rock thrones a fantistic fortress. No doubt the pride of Salzburg. But quite surprising for me. Maybe I HAVE seen it in pictures, but it feels like a revelation. Like the twin vulcanos once in Chile.
Unfortunately I also have a crisis... The camera has malfunctioned through out my trip. It's the focusing that goes bananas. It all shakes - for some time - then it stops. It was like that for a long time, and only from time to time. I had discovered a trick latest. Turn it upwards when it was turned on, then it stopped. But not anymore. As the last thing I succeed taking a photo of the fortress, from where I saw it first. Now nothing helps.
What do I do? If I'm going to buy a new camera for the rest of the trip, NOW is the time. In a city.
I find "Hauptbahnhof" and a cup of coffee to go. Sit down in the shadows at the busstop and eat the daily reward: A "pflaumenkuchen", doubble size, I bought in Golling.
I could easily do without a camera, but I'm used to have photos with my documentation. Then I recall the mobile! It has a camera built in. Not the best, but even though... And maybe the camera gets better. It has all the same been a periodic error. The cheapest I find near the station costs 79€ with 10 Mpix and 35-113 mm. But the quality...

Salzburg would have been worth a two days stop, but that will have to wait, I don't have the time now. I now have unerasable memories from here....
I find the tourist-info and get a map. I thought it looked big, but it quickly overlooked, the old town is at the foot of the rock with the castle. 150.000 inhabitants... so it's no big city, says the girl. I WALK around with my bike through the walking streets. Once I succeed getting through a passage to a new "Gasse", I don't dare try again, there are no signs, but everywhere are narrow passages to the sides to galleries and things I don't know about.
In the "Universitäts Platz" there a market - probably every day - where flowers, sausages, cakes, toys, honey are sold and... such wooden flutes with two birds on, that my brother and I had, when our grandparents had been here in '54? So, they're not new.
I've given myself until 16 o'clock, then I'll move on.
You can buy tickets for "Salzburger Festspiele" - I don't think I have clothes for that - even it's clean!

I'm sitting on a bench at the forrested riverside and it's 17.50. I don't know which river now Salzach has been joined by Saalach in Salzburg.
I bought two postcards, one for Angela's parents and one for the church in Bistrup back home.
I sat down next to an elderly austrian on the only free bench on "Dom Platz" to write. He wanted to know all about my trip. When I had written the second card he left. Just as I was annoyed having lost a possible help for my german, a young girl arrived. I couldn't help asking if she was a tourist too? But she wasn't. She wore "rails" and all included rubberbands, if you know what it is? And spoke english, so we put a text together, and I learned some new expressions.

In the cycle track I can be anonymous, but every time I arrive at a city, there are elderly men who want to ask about or comment on my trip. Here someone said with joy that to go by bike was the only thing to do and that he had done the Passau-Vienna tour.

At 16.15 I went on. There was quite a lot of traffic. No doubt the rush hour and I now understand why they have warning signs for cyclists. They drive like maniacs.

After some time the "forrest road" starts. I pass through a forrest along the river. It's shadet and cool. It has turned into a brilliant summers day with blue skies.
Some time when I'm just to catch up with two ladies, the track ends. But isn't this the Tauernradweg, I ask injured? No, it turned off some distance back, they say, but there's a path over there, we'll give it a try, and you may follow...

We follow the doubtful track into the woods. It continues like that, I'm happy to be able to turn on the front wheel suspension. One kilometer after the other we go through the woods. From time to time I spot the river - or rather the lack of trees. So we're on the track even the path keeps bending.
At some time we meet with a father and son, so we are certainly going somewhere.
And we do, and I'm back on the Radweg thanks to the ladies and I've saved some kilometers.

While I'm sitting ona bench writing I stop a woman to ask for a camp site. I passed a sign some km back, but I'd like to catch up with the next one, so I can get to Passau tomorrow.
Yes, there's one in Tittmonig. That's in Germany. Germany, I exclaim unbelieving. Yes, the river marks the border, so it's Germany on the other side. It's another 18 km. She's riding a MTB and has overtaken me before and is now on her way back, so she seems reliable and accurate.
I'll have to go until 111 km on the meter.

Then I meet with some austrians on bikes with luggage, that are taking a break. They have the book: Tauernradweg. There's no sign of a camp site in their map at Tittmonig! When I ask if there was a sign for the last one, the answer is also negative. I still believe in the woman on the MTB.
I ask a man with a dog just after. He doesn't know for sure, but he has a lot to tell. And I may put up my tent close to the river, as long as I don't make troubles. For example yesterday, there were two tents right there - and he points. He's absolutely right, and I will, if it has to be. But the bridge across the river is by the way 1 km ahead.

When I reach the bridge I ask some ladies with a dog? Yes, I have to cross the bridge, go into town and go right. And then "den Berg hoch" and a little further, then I'll see the site.
"Den Berg hoch!" It's steep as hell. Tomorrow I'll see the percentages, I think 15. The sweat pours out when I'm up there. Nothing to see. I find the first house and rings the bell. Yes, I'm right, and now I have a precise description, which I could do without, because another 500 m and the signs begin.

One night with tent and bike, that's 10€. I put up my tent, make ready for the night, cook and eat in half an hour.
My new neighbors are austrian. They've been on a trip from the polar circle and back to the village in Steirmark, well they're not home yet. It's a man and two young girls, or women might be more correct. The project has collected money for some charitable purpose, the man has a multi handicapped child. Two at a time has been cycling while the third has driven the car. They will have gone 2000 km on bike when they're back. They've been to Copenhageen too. The man claims to be olympic champion in long distance biking. Has cycled 900 km in one piece. I say: "Das ist ja Wannsinn!"