Plop Plop Fizz Fizz

Innsbruck, Austria:      I cycled from Germany to Innsbruck on Tuesday afternoon, devoid of emotion and more than ready to complete this first leg of my Euro challenge.   The ride into Innsbruck was sublime:  sunny dry skies through gorgeous Alpine country, along the Isar and Inn rivers and the turquoise waters of Achensee, without any Uh Oh moments.   I even had more downhill than uphill.   The promise of cycling days like this attracted me to Europe in the first place.  I was lucky with the weather, for this sunny Tuesday was sandwiched between a series of grey, wet, cold un-summer-like days.

But all that I could think of as I pedaled to Innsbruck was that Alka Selter commercial…. ‘plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is!’

Relief.  That’s what I feel.

This Euro cycle adventure has been reduced to a feeling of relief.   No elation, just relief.

When I reached Innsbruck I felt massively thankful that I have safely traveled so far on my own.   Grateful that I have this opportunity to chase a dream, and all the fun and not-so-fun parts associated with it.  Relieved that I end the first leg on a positive note.  And very relieved that I don’t have to get back into the saddle any time soon.

In Innsbruck I stayed at Herr Astner’s home, the father of my good friend Sabina from Munich.   This was my second time as a houseguest in Josef’s warm home.   He’s a generous host and over the years has become quite a cook.  Last night he treated me to some Tyrolean knodel specialties and this morning I enjoyed some home-made bread and an assortment of hausgemacht marmalades.  Apricot is my favorite.   It was a fitting way to cap the first half of my journey.

Today my cycling goes on hiatus so I can enjoy some much-needed family time.  I will reunite with my family in Vienna very soon, and for the next few weeks we’ll embark on a different kind of family adventure in Eastern Europe.    With no more planning than a car reservation, a map and return flight reservations, we’ll explore parts of Romania, Hungary, and Slovenia, making up the journey as we go along.   Admittedly this is not a normal family vacation, but then again, I’ve never been accused of normalcy.

My push to Istanbul resumes in late August when I return to Innsbruck, pick up Bubba Too and my things from Herr Astner’s place, and start spinning until I reach Istanbul. This first leg was supposed to be the easy, warm-up part with charming hotels and good food through cycling-friendly countries.    The real adventure starts from here.   I think I need an alka seltzer when I think about what lies ahead.

For now, here’s the score so far:-

Stage 5: Konstanz, Germany – Innsbruck, Austria via Liechtenstein and Munich

Highlights:   The big detour to little Liechtenstein.   Cycling through Bavaria, especially around Fussen.   The kocherball  in Munich.   Austria’s Achensee.

Prettiest church:   This tiny chapel just over the Austrian border near the town of Achenkirch.   

Tastiest dessert:  The apfelstrudel with Vanilla ice cream at Schloss Hotel at Lake Strandberg, Germany.   Dare I say I’d cycle back for seconds?

 

Most popular blog posting:  “40 days, 3,000 kilometers and some extra character”

 

Leg I:  Lisbon, Portugal – Innsbruck, Austria:

Distance:  3,280.77 kilometers

Ascent:   23,293.28 meters.  To put this in perspective, Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, is 4,810 meters.

Days:   46, of which 10 are non-cycling days

Countries:  7:  Portugal, Spain, France Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany

Incidents:  2: flat tire on Day 45;  police reprimand on Day 2

 

The blog continues while I am on cycling hiatus.

 

 

 

 

 

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About Todd

Around-the-world cycling, one continent at a time
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2 Responses to Plop Plop Fizz Fizz

  1. Mark Scheer says:

    Way to go, Todd.
    Enjoy your vacation.

  2. Innsbruck looks beautiful! It’s now on my list of places to visit!
    Have fun with Huey. He’s a lucky boy!

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