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Eating ice cream outside a knife shop in the late dusk. Gyor, HU.

Eating ice cream outside a knife shop in the late dusk. Gyor, HU.

This is why I cross the ocean. Did you ever hear of Gyor, Hungary? Me neither. One more out of virtually innumerable times, coming into a town I’d never heard of and discovering a beautiful old city, beautifully preserved and restored, and car-free to boot.

This is why I cross the ocean. Did you ever hear of Gyor, Hungary? Me neither. One more out of virtually innumerable times, coming into a town I’d never heard of and discovering a beautiful old city, beautifully preserved and restored, and car-free to boot.

Threatening to rain again in Gyor, HU.

Threatening to rain again in Gyor, HU.

Fishing in the Donau. There’s pike, perch, catfish, and carp in it, although only the first two of those ever show up on menus. I don’t know what these two guys were going for. About 30 km east of Bratislava, SK.

Fishing in the Donau. There’s pike, perch, catfish, and carp in it, although only the first two of those ever show up on menus. I don’t know what these two guys were going for. About 30 km east of Bratislava, SK.

Day 22 - Bratislava, SK to Gyor, HU

85 km (52 miles). Pedaled against a strong headwind alongside the Donau almost all day. I noticed my rear wheel was out of true and that it was also making some noise. Despite stopping for the rain twice I still got into Gyor mid-afternoon. Found a place to stay which fortuitously had a bike shop very nearby. The guy there trued my rear wheel and rebuilt its hub with new cones and bearings for only 3400 forints ($17). It rides beautifully now.

Day 21 - rest day in Bratislava, SK

Ludovic and I stayed with Robert, a friend of a friend of mine, and he took us around Bratislava and environs. For lunch we went to a popular countryside spot and ate brinza halushky (sheep’s milk cheese dumplings).
Adrian and I spoke on.the phone and we arranged to meet in Budapest this Thursday and Friday start the ride to Belgrade. I am now fully reconciled to the limits of time and my body, and will fly home from there on August 9.

The Nationalpark Donau-auen east of Wien, AT.

The Nationalpark Donau-auen east of Wien, AT.

In the eastern edge of Bratislava we crossed the Donau in a heavily industrialized section. You can see just a bit of the river in the center of the photo.

In the eastern edge of Bratislava we crossed the Donau in a heavily industrialized section. You can see just a bit of the river in the center of the photo.

Day 20 - Wien, AT to Bratislava, SK

88 km (55 miles). A flat and easy piece. A few km east of Wien there began a stretch of nudist beaches along the Donau that went on for several km. It was sparsely populated was well-bronzed and well-fed older Austrians and I must admit that I wasn’t tempted to join them. No pics (should I say sorry?)
Then came a long stretch of the Nationalpark Donau-auen. The bike path rode on a dike above the first on either side. Above, because “au” is the German word for a forest by a river that is prone to being flooded.
And then Bratislava, where I stopped at a cafe and meet Ludovic, a Breton who biked here from Paris. An interesting guy. We both stayed with Robert, a friend of a friend, and we may bike together tomorrow or the next day.
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Vienna permits graffiti on the concrete structures that support the highways that parallel the Donau. Riding along the Donau bike trail in Vienna is like going to a gallery showing of graffiti. (Happy Birthday, Peter!)