Good progress so far, more than half the distance in half of our time so some easier days to come? Our journey continues, south, through the province of Burgenland, on the Austrian side of the border with Hungary; no troubles to report. The landscape is very rural, having cycled through more acres of vines, those not yet harvested simply dripping with fruit, today (Wednesday) has been mostly maize with, autumn cultivation in progress on the, already cropped, arable lands. The terrain is more hilly now, with wooded ridges, just hinting the autumn reds and gold to come.
Thinking the night in the winery would be hard to beat, last night we slept in a hilltop Castle above the village of Lockenhaus. The oldest part of the castle was built around 800 years ago with the wing we were in being positively modern, having been added in 1661. Our bedroom was huge with magnificent views down the valley below. Gavin insists I call him “Your Lordship” now. The old kitchen, great hall, and banqueting room were all very impressive with vaulted ceilings and huge wooden beams. The torture chamber, complete with chains, rack and iron maiden were a grim reminder of less civilised times. Historic accounts report a previous owner, a completely mad and evil “noble” woman, who is alleged to have tortured and killed over 600, mainly peasant, girls so she could bathe in blood in the belief it would keep her young and beautiful. Fortunately neither the victims or the mad woman made their presence felt….