Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Take Me to the River!

Just about the only thing saving my sanity during the awful heatwave we are having in Vienna, is the splendid and beautiful Danube. The Danube River and the Danube Canal run through the length of the city, and the bicycle paths along them are extremely useful for travel from one neighborhood to another. The streets of Vienna may be choking with exhaust fumes and the asphalt may be melting from the heat, but the cycle paths by the river are leafy and breezy. And they can take you from the center of town to the serene countryside in as little as 30 minutes!

A couple of days ago, Anna (from Cycling is Good for You) and I escaped Vienna for a trip to the country, swapping bicycles while we were at it. But I will have to postpone writing about that, because I am off to a conference in Romania (which, incidentally, is accessible via the very Danube bicycle path that runs through Vienna). I enjoy knowing that I can get on the river path around the corner from my house, and just keep going for days until I reach either the Black Forest in Germany, or the Black Sea in Romania. And this is the same bike path on which I commute to work! Magical.

8 comments:

  1. Beautiful! You have to feel blessed for sure.

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  2. I loved Vienna. Visited back in 2005 with my mom and prior to beginning bike commuting. It was there I got my first real exposure to a city equiped with bike lanes and multi-use paths and my fantasies about tooling around Louisville by bike really began. Hope your having a great time.

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  3. Romania! Love! Try to eat the polenta-type dish with the farmer's cheese. And there's a traditional beef soup that I can't remember the name of, but it's spicy and delicious...

    Can't wait to hear of your ride on Anna's Retrovelo Paula!

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  4. Keep an eye out for lovely bikes in Romania. I am curious to hear your impressions of the place. Will you be in Bucharest?

    Corey K

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  5. Europe's connectedness is hard for me to imagine - how someone could take a train (or bike path!) from one country to another so easily. Going from London to Paris is easier than going from Chicago to Nashville. America really is so different for its isolation, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

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  6. Dottie: It is indeed interesting to be able to bike so easily from one country to another. Back in pre-EU days, when one had to show a passport to go from one European country or another, customs officers waved me through without demanding to see my passport when I biked from France into Belgium and the Netherlands, and from Italy into France. I recall now the time I followed the Meuse from France into Belgium and the Netherlands, and the time I did a particularly lovely ride along the Doubs from France into Switzerland.

    The relative isolation of America, both from other countries and of places within America from each other, is really a key to understanding the cultural as well as political differences between this country and Europe.



    Velouria: Ooh, I'm envious. I've never been to Romania.

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  7. Corey - Yes, I am in Bucharest. I like it here very much. But the main streets are enormously wide and there are very few bikes.

    Margo - That stuff is called mamaliga : )

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  8. so relaxing!! cant wait to ride to marin this weekend, creeks, the bay, lots of greenery and the majestic pacific ocean.
    happy 4th from coast to coast
    much luv +bici hugs
    xo.m

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