While riding at sunset I saw a huge shadow cross over the road. It made me feel like a mouse under a hawk's shadow, then this balloon settled into the field right next to the road. 9 km from Wieselburg. Awesome.
Got into town, found the Top Motel Josef had suggested. 39 Euros, not bad. Interestingly, it is a self-service motel. There was NOBODY here, just a credit card machine that took my money and produced a magnetic card with my room code on it. The lights in the hall are motion activated too. Weird.
I had a message waiting from Josef he even volunteered to pick me up in this large metal box on four wheels and take us out to eat. What a gracious host and I can assure you his English is a HELLA lot better than my German! It did strike me as odd that he has a bit of that Italian/Austrian national competition yet rides a Ducati, eats pizza and says he ends up on vacation in Italy quite regularly. What is not to like?
Here is Josef and his cute friend Anna. I think I wore them out with my quizzing about local politics, land use, history, naming conventions, genealogy, motorcycles and travel. He is doing his best imitation of that Highland Steer I showed earlier.
I need to hit Josef up for a farm tour. They have a cool operation it sounds like.
Here we toast to a better photo of my host.
We poured over the map and lined out a bunch of great little secret roads in the region. It is as if there are little Dragon tails all over this country. This is the paper map to have for Austria riding BTW:
I learned one interesting thing – it is illegal to ride my motorcycle on gravel roads in Austria. They are private and I would be trespassing. I did that today and as Farmer Brown’s mongo dog tried to line up on my leg, I hauled booty up a gravel road that turned into a two track, literally, with two strips of pavement for each tractor tire going up a steep hill. That necessitated turning around in the field and racing back through the fire swamp with the rat dog waiting for me.
Later I was riding on a gravel road that should have connected over a pass to get back to pavement. It actually showed on the map too. After I rode through the snow a while it opened up in this alpine meadow with signs for hikers. Ooops, I was dirtbiking the V-strom on a hiking trail! I turned around and slunk back down the trail under the stares of some woodcutters.
Up late and riding to the north of the Danube to a big plateau in the woodland district. Wow, spring has not come there yet. It was 1000 feet higher and snowy and cold. Big managed forests and lots of grit on the roads. Having skipped breakfast I stopped in at a ski lodge called the Wsomething Schnitzel
and ordered the . . . schnitzel – Duh! There were lots of local families eating lunch after church. Language was a problem (a good sign) and the waitress brought me what looked like espresso with a shot of mineral water and heavy cream on the side. Hmmmm. I drank them all. The table next to me broke up laughing when I did a shot of mineral water. Apparently it goes in the coffee to dilute it.
The schnitzel is an act of terror really. First one separates a baby cow from its mother, then they feed it an iron-poor diet to make the meat white, then they kill it, then they butcher it, then they pound the meat (I heard this part) then batter it in the same grain they denied the calf, then they fry it, then I cut it and chew it. And you know what? Joy comes of this.
Unfortunately, those little calves are a byproduct of the milk industry. Milk cows must be p regnant and they yield, of necessity, calves and milk. We get the milk and the calf is going down one way or another. For us to live, something else must die . . . every day.
Veal reminded me of the human carcasses I had just visited in the Vienna museum, that travelling exhibit of freeze dried, skinless people in the acts of ski-jumping, ballet, and even coitus. That was interesting and with humor, he had crossed the receiving lady’s eyes! I digress though. Each of these people had willingly given their bodies to science and something good and worthwhile came of their death. That little bummer veal calf brought some joy to the world too and I appreciated it.
So, I have deduced that “burg” means castle over here. Not so in the US apparently but we don’t have many castles. One cannot swing a dead cat here without it hitting a castle. Some are in ruins like this one
Back in Vienna, the buildings are not slouch either. A plate of Spetzle, a street party underway with the Rathaus in the background.