We can confirm, after a full day of testing, that Austrian/Hungarian rain is just as wet as the English variety. The saving grace was that it was neither cold nor windy, so two out of three ain’t bad.
Day one of our latest adventure saw us leave Fischamend, a small town next to Vienna Airport, for the Hungarian town of Sopron, some fifty miles south. The first leg of a circa 1,000 mile peddle through Eastern Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia’s Istrian peninsula, down the chain of islands protecting Venice, and onwards to Verona, finally heading back to Venice Airport for our homeward flight.
Besides a decidedly damp start, we had to contend with a series of roadworks which had completely closed the path we were following. Fortunately, Austrian road menders appear not to work weekends so we managed to sneak through certain sections and detour around others; albeit somewhat muddy in places.
The fields are ripe with vast acres of maize, head-drooping sunflowers and vines, netted to protect their bounty from birds. Our sound track for the day was firework- like whistles and bird of prey calls set to scare off the feathered thieves. Several of the Austrian villages we cycled through are lined with small wine cellars, very reminiscent of those we encountered jn Czech last year. Very atmospheric.
Our route took us down the east bank of the Neusiedlersee following the Jubillaum ‘Radweg’ (cycle path) until we joined up with Euro Velo route 13, The Iron Curtain Route, as we entered Hungary; a country neither of us has visited before.
Our first experience in Hungary is delightful. The town of Sopron has many fine old buildings, beautiful, cobbled squares and ornate statues. Our visit co-incides with the annual wine festival, so plenty of street traders, music and locals enjoying the evening.