Long day today, 86km or so of riding from Linz to Kasten, just 20km or so short of the German-Austrian border. Tomorrow we’ll be in Passau, Germany.
In the mean time, near the end of today’s ride we found ourselves crossing from Austria into Germany and then back into Austria basically by accident. There was a sign saying Freistaat Bayern, a billboard with a URL that ended in .de instead of .at, and that was about the extent of our border crossing excitement.
For someone used to the rent-a-cop histrionics of the Canuck and Yank border monkeys, it was a refreshing and somewhat startling way to cross (then re-cross) an international border!
Aside from failing to cause an international incident, this morning I took an hour and a half off from the riding to visit Linz’s Schlossmuseum, which is hosting a special exhibit on the First World War (Der Erste Weltkreig, auf Deutsch) and specifically the effects in what is now modern Austria. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had a terrible war and ended up collapsing entirely in November 1918 immediately after the Armistice. The front lines never reached Upper Austria but the effects were certainly felt, from rationing and privation among the civil population to the large collection of military, POW and other camps the region wound up hosting.
Should you happen to find yourself in Linz between now and December, I recommend the WW1 exhibit. Well worth an hour or two.
After the museum visit I booked it out of town up the Danube to try to catch some of the rest of the group. Riding with the group has been great, but it was also nice to head out and set my own pace for a few hours!
The guesthouse here in Kasten is very nice, a definite step up from the hostels. Eight or nine rooms, the lady who runs it does all the cooking too, and she is well set up for bike tourists.
We’re less than 20km from Passau, so tomorrow’s ride will be very short and easy and give us lots of time to explore Passau, which is supposed to have a lovely old town.