We made it!!! In fact, we didn’t just make it, we really really enjoyed it!!!
A little background… We’d been planning this big adventure before Ozi was even born. We figured that unlike climbing or hiking, taking a baby on a seven-day cycling trip should be, er, fairly straightforward. Then about a week or two before heading off, I began to wonder if we were just doing it to prove a point (think two outdoorsy parents desperately clinging onto their old freedoms etc etc…). Perhaps, I thought, it would be nicer to have a week at Butlins.
But on May 30 we managed to get two touring bikes, four panniers and a chariot trailer onto a BA flight to Vienna, and set off down the Eurovelo 9. In Austria, this follows the route of the Thermal Spa Cycling Route or Thermendradweg and it proved to be a really good route choice for a baby/toddler. It was mainly on cycle paths or quiet roads, without too many unpaved sections, and with a good smattering of towns about 60km apart to stay in. It’s reasonably unknown and completely foreign to us, unlike the Danube or the Loire. It’s a wine-growing area, which is always a good thing. It’s never too steep for a fully loaded bike or a trailer. And there are thermal spas. Lots of them.
And I don’t think it was just us grown-ups that enjoyed it, either. Austria is in the midst of a baby boom so there were fabulous playgrounds to stop at at least every 20km, and we never rode for more than about 60km or four hours. Wiener schnitzel became a firm favourite. Plus Ozi had such a good selection of toys with him in the trailer (more than an entire pannier’s worth) that we spent most of the trip being chased down by toy police cars and fire engines. And when he wasn’t busy playing with those, he gave us a running commentary of what he could see – baa baas (cows), ba das (birds), ba bup bups (bikes), bow bers (flowers) and all manner of other fairly mundane things that were nevertheless way exciting for a one-year-old.
I’ll try to upload our route and any tips we picked up over the next few weeks. For now, though, just a few photos of our gorgeous, sunny holiday. Ah, I’m feeling a little sad already.