Sankt Georgen ob Murau

That's the name of the small village in the valley of the river Mur, where we are staying now. We are not camping here, since we are staying in the Aktiv-Wellness pension Da Capo, owned by my former colleague Ad van Dongen and his wife Ellen. They moved from the Netherlands to Austria in 2004 and now they are running a small appartment house and this family hotel. It is nice to meet again after some 5 years or so and under such completely different conditions. Yesterday bedtime was in the early hours.

How did we reach this place? We left Breda by train a week ago, slept our way through Germany aboard the train in a private sleeper with coffee in bed in the morning and got on our bikes in Passau at 11.30 Friday morning. Two days riding along the rivers Inn and Salzach brought us to Salzburg, the baroque birth town of the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The old city centre is marvellous, a fairy tale in reality. We spent a day there and continued southward. The next day we had our first test: we had to get over the Tauern pass, 1739 altitude, slopes up to 15% and more. Of course we made it, for a price of lot of sweat. We spent the night on a wonderful campsite below the pass on the south side, Mauterndorf. The day after that we comfortably cycled via the Murradweg (Mur cycle route) to Ad and Ellen's place.

Today was a day of relaxing, with a 3 hour walk to the summit of the Kreischberg mountain, guided by Ad. Tomorrow we will continu following the Murradweg and reach Slovenia in 3 or 4 days. It's not the shortest route, but we'll avoid some more mountain passes and will be able to visit Graz.


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