Day 17 and country number 5 – Slovakia.
A relatively easy 40 odd miles planned in for the day. Saying that, no miles are really easy at this point. All manner of aches, chaffing, twinges are occurring now! For instance, since Germany I have lost all power in my left hand – is really weird and I think caused by the constant gripping of the handlebars – but things like changing gears to tying my shoelaces have become problematic. Googled it and apparently it is relatively common and called handlebar palsy!
We set off fairly late in the morning after breakfast and headed out through south East Vienna. Didn´t take long to get back to the river and the Eurovelo 6 path. The path today took us on levees and they were straight. Too straight in fact and for around 20 miles this was all we could see.
We amused ourselves by seeing just how fast we could go in ´peleton´ formation and started bombing down the track at around 20 mph – practically terrorising all the other cyclists as we tanked it past them. Was good fun and made easy work of the first 30 miles or so.
By half past 2 we were at the border already – again not much of a border to speak of, and no checks, but you could see the remnants of the old set up prior to the opening up of the former eastern block country.
We had an accident today… As Lucy tried to bat a wasp away, she lost control of the bike and took a serious tumble. I was behind her and saw it all happen. Was convinced it was going to be pretty serious, but luckily was not too bad. Some road rash, and a sprained wrist. She dealt with it far better than I would have, and got back up on the bike in moments and off we went. We took it easy from then on in and made it into the town and hostel for the eve around 3.
Bratislava is a really lovely place…
Spent the late afternoon and evening wondering around, having a few beers and grabbing some food. Like most Eastern European cities there is a distinct contrast between the old town, which is stunning, and the new developments trying, and succeeding, to ape classic western shopping/leisure malls. We looked at both, and to be honest the new developments were ghastly in comparison to the old town and it´s charm. I can understand why these new developments are being built – just hope they don´t affect the business´ in the old part of town.
Here are some more shots of the day.