Bruce and Elly do the Danube, Vienna and lots of vaseline!

Wien: Kahlenbergsteigradeln! Monday 9 July

across the Reichsbrücke

halfway up Kahlenberg

view from top of Kahlenberg

Elly and Random Bozo

in Grinzing


Random Bozo has a lolly

Rondom Bozo goes in

Random Bozo swimming

Random Bozo in the Danube




Random Bozo preparing Curt

back on the Reichsbrücke



integrated transport!

Hotel details: Hotel Capri Vienna, Praterstra├če 44-46, 1020 Wien, ├ľsterrerich

Distance cycled: 25 miles (cumulative total for Vienna: 35 miles; cumulative total for Austria: 266 miles)

To the north of Vienna is a 500-metre hill called Kahlenberg, which gives a fantastic view over the city and surrounding areas. You can go to Nußdorf and get a funny little buggy up the hill. Or you can take a regular Wiener Linien bus. But, we we still had the bikes and the weather was getting slightly cooler, we thought we should do something energetic. So we

This road is mostly cobbled, presumably to avoid tarmac crumbling in winter, but the cobbles are square, flat-topped lumps of granite that gives good traction, not the rounded slippery death traps I'm used to in the UK. Also, I don't think I saw any missing cobbles on this road.

A relevant email

Good morning Bruce. I wonder if any other Brits have ever done what you two have managed to achieve. I recall that on my first trip to Europe I used to try to walk a lot to see places and to get to know what the place was really like - not just do the 'tourist' sights. Your record of your impressions are far more useful to those who might follow than mine ever were and are far more enduuring for your own future use. Harking back to cobbles, I only recall flat-topped variety anywhere in Europe. I believe that they are very regular & about 10-12 cm square on the road surface. I wonder how many people were employed chipping away at lumps of stone and how long it takes to make a single cobble. There must be millions of cobbles made to surface the roads & paths across Europe. A research project for some future student? Cheers, Dad

We enjoyed the view and some very welcome Vöslauer bio-himbeerensaft (organic raspberryade), before heading back to Vienna via Grinzing, a wine-growing suburb (and former separate town) and then returning to the Donauinsel via a bridge dedicated to cyclists, pedestrians and skaters. (There is a parallel bridge for infernal combustion engines. I imagine the authorities might stretch a point and also allow steam-engines on it.)

We returned via the Donauinsel, partly to avoid traffic but mostly because we had seen people swimming in the Danube here and wanted to try it. There are a number of pontoons moored along the banks so people can sunbath and dive into the river but these were all already occupied. So we found a shady spot with reasonable access to the water, then Elly sunbathed while I tiptoed in. (For anyone concerned, I was wearing trekking sandals: lifeguard training has taught me not to trust underwater surfaces.) once I'd worked up the courage, I found the water was lovely: cool, CLEAR, and relaxing. I couldn't swim proper strokes apart from backstroke and sidestroke due to my frozen shoulder but these were enough to take me where I felt like going.

I think I stayed in the water about an hour. I didn't want to get my cycling gear wet so I cycled back along the Donauibsel in my trunks. (Elly was much more discreet and lady-like, as is only to be expected!) Once we'd changed, we took a tram to the 3 Bezirk to eat in a veggie/vegan Taiwanese restaurant called Vegetasia. This uses 'meats' made of plant protein and tofu to make very convincing oriental dishes: highly recommended! We had planned to walk back to the hotel but a sudden downpour saw us firstly sheltering in a doorway the making a dash for the nearby Landstrasse U-bahnhof and a dry but unromantic trip.

Here's a map of today's cycling as far as Donauinsel. (Ignore the bit about going to Alsergrund: that's spurious.) And here's a map of our tram-journey to Vegetasia.

Other bits

© (except the blatantly ripped-off bits) Random Bozo 2012