Strike Day

Day 390, Vienna, 27.096 km

It’s been more than a year since I left Hamburg, more than a year since I have been giving you, my faithful readers, regular (more or less) news, chronicling in my articles the time and the kilometers that pass. And all this without having exercised at least once a fundamental right of the worker: the right to strike. Well, that’s for today. Any demands? None. Reasons? It is much more pleasant to spend the evening playing with Thaïs and Louis and chatting with Marion and Sinan who welcomed me in Vienna than to hide behind my computer to write an article… So I hope you will forgive me, but it will be quick and concise today…

I left you in Ljubljana, in the middle of a week of « intellectual exchanges ». The exchanges were intense, interspersed with (short) sleep phases (it takes time to write a treatise on proto-economic philosophy), epic hikes, a migration to Dutolvje, in the Karst valley (I have to confess that I cheated: I shamefully took advantage of Louis and Rémy’s car to carry my bags and just transported myself on my bike…), local and not so local food, and a little trip to the sea.

Hiking at the lake of Bohinj
The natural window of Otlica
The sun sets on Piran

After so many exchanges, it is necessary to think about pedaling a little, and also Jay and Bob are not going to return all alone to Hamburg, so we set off again! First step: Bled, where I plan to meet Hélène and Rémi. The easiest road makes me go back through Ljubljana, the shortest one goes straight through the mountains… As usual, I choose the non-easy road, thinking that it will probably be one of the last massifs that I will have to cross before Hamburg… I might as well take advantage of it! As when I crossed the Slovenian border, my adage « the higher the better » is unfortunately not true… But the beautiful descents, especially the last 25 kilometers before arriving in Bled, compensate largely. The passage to the spa with my hosts and the small restaurant lost in the countryside offer me a climax (for good this time!) to end the day.

Sorica valley
Bled

Then, direction Austria. A new border to cross. I choose a road which seems to me favorable to my passage and I start climbing the pass of Loibl (or Ljubelj, according to the side of the border which you choose). This road turns out to be forbidden to bicycles (which I quickly ignore) and leads to a tunnel that should take me to Austria. After a last look at the Slovenian mountains, I enter the tunnel. As I cross the border in the middle of the tunnel, I tell myself that I’ve crossed another border without any problems. When I get back to daylight, I have the joy of finding myself face to face with a customs officer who asks me for a COVID test… For a change. Fortunately, I had time to contact a faker in Bled and present a test certificate, made the day before (!) in Montpellier (!!). « Very well, thank you, you can go ». At the end, it was not so complicated…

Goodbye Slovenia …
… and see you soon

After a short passage through Klagenfurt, I follow a bike path to reach Styria. What a pleasure to not have to worry about passing cars, honking trucks or smoking motorcycles… And there are even fountains from time to time to fill up the water bottles! After a good night’s rest, I go back to the Mur valley. The most assiduous among you will remember that I have already followed the Mur, twice even, between Leoben and Bruck an der Mur, but no matter how hard I try, nothing comes back. No memory, except the city stadium, where I remember having taken a break and the city center where I remember having taken a picture… After one year, memories are already blurred…

Friesach
Bike path along the Mur

After the Mur, I ride along the Mürz, still on a bike path. A short ride up to the Semmering ski station, an agitated night (between night visitors wondering what a tent is doing next to the city stadium, the storm that breaks out in the middle of the night and the walkers that wake me up in the morning) and then a bike path back to Vienna. I still can’t believe that I don’t have the constant company of cars anymore. It’s like starting a new journey… I finally arrive in Vienna, where the memories come back a little more numerous than along the Mur. I am reassured about the state of my memory! On the other hand, a bit tired, I forget to unclip a pedal while stopping at a traffic light and sprawl miserably in the middle of the road. The cyclist in front of me turns around and smiles: apparently I look funny and okay… Or maybe he sees so many cyclists falling down that he knows they never get hurt… It’s good to ride a bike in Vienna!

These bike lanes…
… what a treat!

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