Thurgau – Werfen 70kms 1199’ascent (all in the afternoon)
We didn’t get off to the best of starts this morning as the machine in the gasthaus would accept neither of our debit or credit cards. It was not a real problem but one that always results in a level of angst. In retrospect, I have a suspicion that the error was deliberate and intended to ensure that we paid cash and thereby circumnavigated the tax inspector! It did seem to be a ploy as, within less than two hours, both cards were functioning as normal.
Anyway, enough domestics. We set off on quite a cold morning in vaguely the right direction and chanced upon the signs for the cycle route into Salzburg. These were easy to follow and we set off at some pace – only ‘cos it was downhill. As we reached the outskirts of the city, the route divided and Mr. Master Navigator was called upon for his expertise. Right, as ever, we located the river and then the centre of the city. We still needed maps! Once again the information centre provided nothing but did point out a bookshop, which did have something. While I ran around the busy streets of Salzburg, Alan stood guard over the bikes. It was at least an hour before I returned, during which time he had watched the same horse drawn carriage pass by three times! Such entertainment.
Eventually, maps in hand, we bowled off again along the river bank. We enjoyed our lunch on the banks looking up into the really big mountains. Then, after another ten kilometres or so, our cycle route disappeared. Now Mr. Master Navigator was going to have to earn his keep. Mmmm……. It was a bit up hill and down dale but nonetheless always in the right direction. Still close to the river for a while, we spied a group of youngsters surfing the waves on the river- very skilfully. (See photo)
We now found ourselves on the main road and suddenly we were channelled into a spectacular gorge. No more gentle meadow, this was dark and deep and with tunnels. It was the Austria of the high mountains and castles. Needless to say, it was also accompanied by quite a lot of climbing. Just for once though, the whizzy wind was behind us providing much needed assistance up the hills. This is the Austria we love although it might be a tad tainted after tomorrow’s uphills. Who knows?