Having finished another medical trial, an easy way to make money and break up my trip so I can see family & friends, it was back to the road. I had originally been thinking of flying to Scandinavia, but a quick Google suggested I could be getting quite chilly come mid-September so made the most of being home to get myself a Russian visa. I’d thought for a while that I wouldn’t end up in Russia, because you have to apply for the visa in your home country and then arrive in a window
I’d taken a few months off over winter, to spend time with family and also to make some money. Having found another trial to make more cash, the decision was made to fly home from Budapest. There was already no way of getting to all of the countries I’d been intending to before the end of summer, and so taking 6-8 weeks off to make money and start again seemed worth it. Even paying for my flight home, the amount I’d earn would mean I’d end up a fair bit ahead and I could
Vienna and Bratislava are the two closest capital cities in the world, conveniently located on the Danube making the ride very easy. Coming from Vienna, the first thing you see of it is a huge suburb, full of communist era tower blocks. The next iconic thing is Bratislava Castle, which several locals told me isn’t that pretty and looks like an upside down table. Slovakia is apparently full of castles, but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to go and explore the other ones. There
Win, a friend of the family, lives in Vienna and was more than willing to put me up while I was visiting the city. I’d been before, but this was my first time alone. The previous visit had been just before I was about to graduate uni and ended up with some impressive sunburn as I fell asleep at a swimming pool just outside the city. With that in mind, I was quite glad to see it was generally overcast.
He had been out of town to play bike polo and so wasn’t due in until late in the evening.
After a few days of riding the dull flats of Austria, being up in the small mountains of southern Bohemia was rather lovely. There were forests and an abundance of deer too. It didn’t involve long climbs, but enough to keep the tedium away. The area I was riding through had plenty of small towns built on the rivers, reflecting beautifully. The area felt poorer than Austria, with houses looking more dilapidated and several towns where the market was little more than a guy standing in a car