Our trip in Austria started with cheating 😊 We decided to take the train from Linz to Klagenfurt to save a few kilometres – or lets say, some meters in altitude (this decision was made when we did not know yet that the roads in Czechia are actually more steep).

The first couple of days in Austria we were blown away by the hospitality and warm atmosphere at our warm shower’s hosts – and also blown away by the sceneries.

A very special evening we spent with Tanja and her family. We had great conversations about difficulties people with disabilities face due to stigmatization and discrimination. Tanja´s youngest daughter Marlene has down syndrome and the insights we got from her were very helpful and interesting. But most of all –  Marlene’s smile and her approach to the world – her happiness and her gentle heart – overwhelmed us we the next morning the saying good bye was really hard.

While in Austria the weather finally changed for the better – first the sun cam out and then it started to be very hot. Our plan to go swim to a lake next to Villach unfortunately did not work our because we ended up campground hunting until the evening.

From Villach we planned to cross the border to Slovenia but two of our warm showers host told us, that this road is super steep for many kilometres and even with a road bike its hard to get up – if at all. So we decided to take the long cut via Italy which turned out to be a great idea. Not only that we spared the steep road, but we also met a lot of other tourers on our way. Two of them were Theresa and Phillip who also cycle to Turkey (just on a different route) and raise money on the way to donate to an organisation which engages in reforestation in Romania (check their website: www.balkanbybike.com).

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