Day Six, Backroads Danube River Cruise Full Ship Celebration
Today, we couldn’t pass up one of the rare opportunities to bike from one capital city to another, in this case Vienna to Bratislava. Actually, Lisa wouldn’t let me bow out of this ride early, because her mother was born in Vienna and her grandmother was born in Bratislava. So even though it was called the Iron Curtain Ride, we called it the Fried Roots Route for her mother’s family. Most of the riding was relatively level through bucolic countryside and forest, primarily on one of the EuroVelo trails that crisscross the continent for bikers. We stopped at a small snack bar for yes, our last radlers, and yummy cherry strudel, before continuing to our glamorous lunch spot, Schloss Hof, an 18th-century country estate established by Prince Eugene of Savoy. The gardens are still a wonder to walk, replete with resident camels, llamas, horses, and mountain goats.
Then it was on to Slovakia, crossing a small bridge where a memorial was dedicated to the people who died trying to escape communist rule in hopes of finding freedom in Austria. We pedaled past old castle walls before hitting the city and snaking along the Danube to where our trusty home for the week, the AmaLea was waiting. A nice 46-miler with relatively little elevation, 900 feet, and a great way to end the close to 160 miles of biking we did with Backroads over the course of the trip.