Change of plans once again. In my last report I told you that I would travel to Germany after my Italy trip but I have another stopover in Austria. I wanted to skip this part of Europe since I thought that it was more a destination for winter sports. But my friend Sandra told me that I was wrong and invited me to join her on a bicycle tour.
Biking the Kitzbühler Alpen
As a real Dutchman I’m love with my bicycle and therefore I cannot reject such an invitation. Sandra is cheering because she knows that I have never cycled in the mountains before (what we call a ‘mountain’ in Holland is probably smaller than a hill). We meet in the early morning at a small hotel in Kirchberg. Sandra shows me the map: she has prepared a 15 kilometer tour to Aschau and further to Spertental. After 10 kilometers my legs start to hurt. These mountains are something entirely different than the flatland-biking I’m used to. Sandra and I pause on a friendly green meadow and I cool my feet in a nearby creek. I reload some energy by eating two sandwiches before we move on. Two hours later I’m finished so we decide to take a seat in a cosy cafe. While we enjoy our cold beer, Sandra explains that we are more than 1.200 meters above sea level. The view is stunning. I’m grateful for her invitation and this trip.
Now I’m in Austria, I also want to explore a bit of Vienna. Sandra has told me so much about Schönbrunn Palace that I need to see it with my own eyes. I have to admit that this building is in a different league than the cute little residences of our Dutch royal family. The Baroque Habsburg palace has more than 1.400 rooms, amazing gardens, a maze and a labyrinth and a marble summerhouse situated on top of a hill. Besides, there is Schönbrunn Zoo, the oldest zoo in the world.
In the evening I make my way to the Vienna State Opera. Certainly, all performances are sold out (and far above my budget). I only wanted to catch a glance of the building because it has a stunning architecture and is probably the most celebrated opera house of all time. While I walk around the building to take some fotos I’m surrounding by elegant people in black and grey clothes. I think they could use some orange ties here to make the opera more fun.
Plan my visit to your country
After my second stopover I’m finally travelling to Germany. Then I will head north to explore Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the UK. Can you recommend some great attractions and activities in these countries? Please tell me about them.