Thursday, July 14, 2016

Riding Day 2: from the wet ruins of Carnuntum to Bratislava

After a soggy start of the day looking at the Roman sites in Carnuntum (pictures in earlier post), we continued to follow the EuroVelo 6 route downstream through the town of Hainburg, which has a neat-looking 13th-century city gate (no picture due to traffic avoidance maneuvers), then through some agricultural land.  The farm fields are small and varied in this region -- much more scenic than the large monoculture farms that we sometimes see back in CA.

Toward the end of the riding day, the sun came out, and we saw a curious tower rising in the distance.   As we got closer, we realized it was a support tower for the bridge on which we made our second Danube crossing, into Bratislava.

The route to our hotel took us up the cobbles right through the old town pedestrian zone.  It felt a bit weird to be riding here -- kind of like riding through Disneyland -- but there were a few locals riding their bikes here too, so it must have been ok.

As was to become our habit, we wandered around town on foot after checking into the hotel and taking a short break.  The buildings were delightfully colorful.

There was a fine set of rebuilt city walls to explore, 

and we ran across a giant Peter Sagan billboard under a bridge.  (For those not in the know, he's a highly entertaining and impressively talented Slovakian bike racer, who happens to currently be in the lead in the green jersey competition in the Tour de France.)

We eventually settled in at a brewpub for dinner, where Chad found some especially delicious beer (also pictured in an earlier post).  Lots of bars and restaurants had flags and television screens up, as Slovakia was playing in the European championship soccer tournament that night.  A fine, festive atmostphere, and people were quite friendly.  I decided that I like Slovakia.

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