Today I headed to the northeastern corner of Austria since the weather is great and I want to try burning the autobahn. The bike is amazingly stable at high speeds. Now that it has been gently broken in with over 1000 km on it I don’t mind winding it up a bit. I lurked around at 140 kph until a couple of Audi’s blurred past at some obscene speed, which I was soon to find out was beyond me, and ran up to 175 kph. It has a little left in it but not much. The Audi’s continued to move off and I had to wait for a more moderate rabbit, which soon appeared and I stayed with him for about 40 minutes at 185 KPH and 7600 RPM if I recall. Not a lot of noticeable increase in hand buzz either. There are no photos of this as I had my hands full. Thankfully, no photo radar either.
This engine impresses me. Not as smooth or powerful as my BMW at home but plenty there. It is happy between 3800 and 6000 RPM so who the heck put a 10,000 RPM redline on it? Nobody could stand to get it up there without shifting but I guess it is nice to know the valves won’t float or the pistons erupt if you wind it up. It sounds a lot like my dad’s old water cooled Honda V-twin CX-650. Not surprising I guess.
Just across the border into Bratslavia were a line of huge duty-free stores alternating with whore houses. It seems border towns are the same everywhere when a rich country abuts a poorer one. They advertise 24 hour service but 1:30 on a Monday afternoon? Come on. I waved at a gaggle of working girls smoking in the alley behind Moulin Rouge’s as I was shortcutting to the vineyard overlook. They waved and shouted something in Bavcezkosobodiviskian but between my ear plugs and wind noise I missed it. I just waved and gassed it. I should have stopped to talk and take a photo but between language and them trying to make a living, nobody would come out a winner. Pimps lurk I presume.
This place is an exercise in contrasts. Ancient cobblestone streets next to fields of solar panels and behind me were brick earthen bunkers where workers lived.
The vineyards are indeed high tech though with drip irrigation and meteorological stations and giant stainless steel accumulator vats. Naomi would probably like the wine tour in late summer.
One minute you admiring an old castle and the next you are admiring a Crossbow race car. Apparently one of the designers was a motorcycle designer first then did this car. They are supposed to be a ton of fun too.
Somewhere near Leobedorf I saw this castle on the hillside. Clearly a movie set eh? I found the road up to it and sure enough, a big Rock castle. No moat though.
It looks like they either have a statue of a man wearing Ray Ban sunglasses holding a golden eagle or they have eagle flights, which I would like to see.
The countryside churches are all impressive. They make our stylish but diminutive Russian Orthodox steeples pale in comparison. Of course, they have had 15 times as long as us to get it right.
The vacant twisty roads are both a mental, physical and relaxation treat. Here notice Ms. Frostback, I am wearing all the gear all the time, even when lying down on the roadside for a snooze.
I wandered back town to Tulln, a small town on the Danube, where I found Renate’s 39 Euro Pensione. She is a spectacularly busy 58 year old woman running her own business, former town councillor, solo now that her husband of 35 years R-U-N-N-O-F-T with a 1.5 meter tall Vietnamese woman 29 years old. Can you say sugar cane daddy? Oh the injustice. She is still steamed but it is over. So she plays tennis 2 hours per day and fools with her garden. She wanted to go to Vienna with me and show me the sights but there was no extra helmet and not enough time to get back (thankfully!) .
I retired upstairs to a giant room with two double beds to watch the Boston bombing marathon. Lucked into a replay of the opening round of the MotoGP race last week – the Europeans take their motorsports seriously – and vegged out while updating my journal. I had my own bathroom but it was down the hall. I got a laugh out of this pasted on the inside of the toilet lid. I didn’t follow the rules though.
The breakfast at the Pension was impressive. Notice there is only one plate? That is ALL FOR ME! I am afraid I disappointed her.
Wound my way back to Gerbrauchtbikes – which was hell because the main access streets were closed to vehicles and were only for rail cars (I surmised this by the lack of traffic other than me and the rail cars as I ran down the smooth 1-m wide cement strip between the tracks). I caught the train back to the Hostel Ruthensteiner .
Lunch practice I can now say “Vienner mit saft” Then eat it.
I call this one – “Still life with Weiner” - It should have some fruit in there but clearly, the Austrians don’t eat fruit, they drink it.
Tonight at the hostel while trying to get my trip report together, an overweight, self-appointed German yoga and meditation specialist named Eigen invited himself to my table. He wanted to talk about chakras, energy fields- hey, his cats feel them!- then he proceeded to eat half of my homemade soup. Now he is on to talking about how he made his money in selling virtual islands on the internet where people can go live vicariously in Second Life to experience their wildest fantasies. He is down on materialism (predictable) yet he made his early money teaching people how to sell vacuum cleaners. Now he is off talking about Ofid chips (?) and Obama’s plan to get people implanted with these chips. Oh man, the Hostel has not disappointed. I thought I had flashed back to 1969. The happy hour is starting to roll in the bar. It has almost driven me to drink. Here is Eigen with the heart Chakra symbol. I think the Stomach Chakra would fit him better.
Can you feel his energy field? I wish I could have plugged my computer into it.
I had made a pot of leek, parsnip, turnip and carrot soup and grilled a couple of brats to go with my 2 baguettes, all purchased at the grocery around the corner and cooked on the fire in the courtyard. Cheap and healthy and almost like camping.
I almost spat the fat brat out in the dark until Eigen explained it was Kasa Kermulein (?) or cheese-filled brats. Mildly disgusting but tasty once you get over the concept. It didn’t slow Eigen down, he was not a vegan spiritualist, he was the original freegan with an entitled attitude. No wonder he can live on his earnings. He is a flipping mooch!
I have de-splurgd and moved to the $15 per night rooms with 4 other guys. I just realized, I have ear plugs and they don’t. Let the snore-fest begin!
Up early to catch a plane tomorrow so I better sign off for good now.
Lee 16 April 2013, Vienna, Austria.