26 – 27 July – Truffy heads west!

Author: Mr A

Location: Fisching and Murau, Austria

Our departure from Pirkdorf was quite a turning point in our trip… literally… as we started heading west. We have gone as far east into Europe on this trip as we will go. The next coastline we will see will be the English Channel in early September.

An atmospheric morning as we departed Pirkdorf

But we have a few more rides to pack in before then…. I know, I know… more days in the saddle! Well, given the incredible cycling infrastructure here, and the stunning scenic context it’s in…who could blame us?

The last two days we have based ourselves at a lovely campsite (Camping Olachgut) around 160km south of Salzburg, bang in the middle of over 30 marked cycling trails. We chose to ride along the River Mur Cycle Path, this being part of a 365km long route that runs from Austria’s mountainous west to Hungary in the east.

Cheerfully negotiating a forested pathway
Another picturesque view on the River Mur – there are several dams contributing to the electricity supply. This one near Fisching…
We lost count of how many magnificent bridges we cycled over
The River Mur rushes on past

Everything is catered for on this path, from the clear signage to the nearest beir garden or toilets, to water fountains and picnic tables. The crystal clear water of the Mur river cascades by our side, and our eyes are constantly drawn to the lush hills either side, peppered with chocolate box scenes. This is the Austria of our dreams, and we are really here, and loving it.

Amazing views everywhere we cycle
Lush meadows alongside the cycleway
A train every two hours – they allow bicycles so you can do a one way ride if desired
Riding through the grounds of an old monastery- being renovated while we were there
A stunning valley to ride through

After lunch we rode into the nearby medieval town of Murau….

The River Mau is a key feature of this little town
Colourful buildings abound with the presence of many church spires
The view from the church
Looking down at the clock tower
We take a diversion along the riverside…the history of the town’s brewery is detailed along this path
We head back to camp after hearing the first rumbles of thunder, signalling an impending storm and change in the weather

Last night we ate at the restaurant run by the campsite, a delicious traditional fare of liver soup for me and goulash for both of us, washed down with a glass of white for madam and a local wheat beer for me. I also had a desert of indeterminate origins, all I can say it was sweet (cream, raspberry coulis and ice cream perhaps). Chatting to our table neighbours from Hamburg, we also got tempted into a local drink – zirbenschnaps – distilled from the sap of pine cones!

Made from green pinecone sap in a bath of vodka for four days…it was strangely ‘ok’

The whole lot AU$62 (€38). We couldn’t get a takeaway from our local Indian for that in Australia!

We rode around 80km (50 miles) in two days…tomorrow we head onwards towards Salzburg…and give our behinds a bit of a break from the saddle!

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