When it blows, it blows

It blew in Austria. The wind moved water in the rivers, tried to slow us down to a stop or push us into a ditch. It made our eyes cry. Such was the first day in Austria: we managed to leave Slovakian Stupava, but not before buying a ton of supplies at various markets, and valiantly cycling for 30 km to reach a cozy, free-of-charge camping site in the Donau-Auen National Park. We met there Kyle from Florida, who at the same time while we struggled against the unruly airflows, had casually walked 20 km from Bratislava. For a moment we began to question the rationality of using bicycles, but the delightful surroundings and the circumstance of meeting a fellow traveller with whom we could hold a more complex conversation in English took our attention away from the less pleasant subjects.

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Neusiedler See and the surrounding vineyards that seem to go on forever are the main attraction of the Burgenland region. We circled the lake from the north side, where it’s flanked by vast marshes and virtually invisible from the road. There are camping sites on shore though, and we chose one to overnight. After going down a perfectly straight, 3.5 km long track through high grasses, we made it into the camp but there was nobody there to register us. In the morning it turned out that dogs may not be present on the lawns or at the beach, so the actual appearance of the lake remains a mystery to us.

Wind was our fellow throughout the vine country. We could even make it a patron and follow a thematic bike route — the route of wind turbines. Making the journey on two wheels and sleeping under the stars would regularly knock us out with beautiful sights. We got close to the elements, too, to the point where we felt overcome with heat and downright lethargic in the choky atmosphere of what otherwise could only be described as slightly-warmer-than usual restaurant. But from the second day in Austria, the sun had joined the wind and together with mild hills, blue skies and sweet grapes made life really, really good.

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