Visiting the station master - and playing cards in french


  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 8

Thursday 28.07.11
It's not a lovely morning. I'm pleased not being able to look at myself. I must look quite used. Some time in the night the rain stopped - but it started again. Now it's stopped, there are just scattered drips from the trees hitting the tent. I don't feel like looking out. Even there is a beautiful castle high up on a rock ahead. But the noise from the motorway is disturbing.

Morning in Landeck for bike... ...and luggage

Markus calls me. Markus and Berni live in Vienna where my journey will end. I know them from my last trip to China, where we met in Lijiang and went for two days trekking in Tiger Leaping Gorge together. They have had a boy since then. A boy who is apparently conceived in China. Anyway he's got a middle name: Tian (Heaven).
I tell him everything is going according to plan.

It soon starts raining. A drizzle that comes and goes. A cycle path appears. There's been some before but each time they suddenly stopped and I had to drag the bike up the slope. This time it's "real" - Innradweg - leading to Innsbruck.

The rain gets heavier the last bit to Imst, where the railway station is my first goal.
I wash, put the rain covers on and enters the café to have a cappucino and a cheese bun. After Germany it's hard to get used to austrian prices. 2€30 for a cappucino. 1€30 for the bun. But the gas is cheaper!

In the station someone is speaking on a cellphone. In Voralberg one don't understand a bit because the Arlberg Pass has through ages ment a physical separation of the austrians, that has had an impact on the language. But now that I've entered the german speaking part, I still dont' understand a word? The third time I get near I realize he speaks arabic...

I stop at a Spar in Silz. But I'm too slow, it's 2 minutes past 12 and they close between 12 and 15! I have to remember.

Shopping or not I have to eat, so I continue to the station in the next town: Stams. There's just one bench on this side of the track and it's not sheltered, but I have to make do with that. When I've parked the stationsmaster comes to greet me. Grüss Gott, as they say here. I understand when he ask about the bike and soon I'm inside to borrow a better knife for the bread and I also make him boil some water for my cappucino. It's much easier than packing out the cooker.
Every time a train passes he has to put on his cap and stand outside. He asks if he can take a photo og me and the bike. So I get one of him - including the cap.

The station master in Stams Bicycle dressed in orange

I have a nice time. While it's still raining outside he shows me the station boards. He's in charge of two stations. The other one is automatic, but he can switch off the automatic. And by the way, he's crossed the Brenner Pass once on bicycle. With only 5 gears!

The next part is hard. I keep on thinking it must be Inssbruck soon, but nothing happens. I have to go through a new rainshower first.

Then comes a sign about camping, but that's when I'm on the mainroad. The last part there's a cycle path, so I evidently passes by. A kind gentleman, who's been working at Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, and in Helsinki, Tokyo and Singapore, tells me to follow him, he's going that way anyway.

When I ask how much it is for a bike, a tent and one person, I get a shock: 20€ (25€ for mobile homes). I ask if electricity and Wi-Fi is included? Yes, of course! Then I'll stay.

Beside the bathing facilities there's a kitchen and a dining room upstairs. There I come to talk to a nice french family consisting of: father, mother, daughter of 12 and a boy a little younger. We eat together and they offer me theirs - I don't have anything to offer, you can't offer frenchmen untasty packed slices of cheese!

Afterwords we play cards. With tarot cards. I never saw such a set of cards. Besides the normal ones there's an extra series of trumphs and one special one I've forgotten the name of. It's much different from those games of cards I know, there are elements from Casino, 500 and Bridge.
All the rest of the guests are in their mobile homes, they say - and that's true. Life on a camp site has changed a lot the resent years. Many bring so to say their home with them, when they go on holiday. Then you don't have to live with too many changes.

Now at bed time it's raining again.

73.20 km
17.2 km/h
48.8 km/h
4:14:35 h