Author: Mrs A
Location: Pirkdorf, Austria
We headed east from Ferlach and drove just 45 minutes to the small settlement of Pirkdorf. We then spent two days and 55km exploring the R1D, a signposted cycle trail through some of the quieter lanes and roads through sleepy hamlets and villages.
One of the reasons we enjoy cycling so much is the ability to see and experience things at a slower pace to the car. Yes, we are on electric bikes, which essentially give us the option to smooth out the hills, but we also get some exercise too – after all our legs keep on moving and we choose how much the motors help us.
The cycle route took us past houses and gardens, through picturesque agricultural lands – the wind whispering through fields of corn, the sunshine gleaming off the smiling faces of sunflowers, the lush green of fields of carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, all ripening in the summer weather.
It was midweek in the middle of what is the European school summer holidays, but there were few people around. The occasional person gardening, but otherwise all seemed deserted. There was not even a pub open for us to have refreshments.
Every village has at least one little chapel-shrine (small buildings by the side of the road), often in the centre of the village, but also often on long country lanes, far from houses, probably for the workers to tick off a prayer or two while they’re labouring.
The other thing we noticed was the Austrians’ love of colour. Very rarely would we see a bright red or blue house in the UK or Australia, or two toned colourful shades, but it is frequent here. And they are all newly painted – every village looks affluent and smart, with not a scrap of graffiti or rubbish to be seen.
My bike ticked over to 1,000km since we first purchased it (1 April) meaning we’re averaging more than 250km per month. They have definitely been a great investment. Mr A’s ticked over to 1.000km a couple of weeks ago – he had my surgery time to tick up a few bonus kilometres.
It’s been a great introduction to Austria. Our only challenge has been the lack of English spoken by anyone. It gets a little lonely only talking to each other, we’re dying for someone else to converse with!
Tomorrow we start heading north. We’re expecting it to get a little busier the closer to the cities we get, but we know there will be more adventures and great scenery ahead.
Our stay in Pirkdorf concluded with a fabulous dramatic thunderstorm, followed by a beautiful sunset. Just lovely.