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Day 15: Vienna, Austria to Laa an der Thaya, Austria

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Start: Vienna, Austria
End: Laa an der Thaya, Autria
Distance: 75.5km
Elevation Gain: 2478ft
Elevation Loss: 2416ft
Time: 6h08m
Reading Material: The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown – Hugh Agnew (figured I should bone up on my Czech history as I’m basically crossing the country twice);
Audio Material: The World in Words Podcast; Re:Sound; Nerdist podcast

After several days exploring Vienna, it’s time to start heading to Krakow. I’ve chosen another EuroVelo-inspired route. Sometimes called the Krakow-Moravia-Wien Greenways trail or the Amber Route (either an ancient trade route or a nice piece of marketing). The planned route is about 700km in length and might take 8-9 days of cycling with a few stops along the way (Brno, caves, Ostrava, Auschwitz).

Today was a bit of backtracking from Vienna north to the Czech border. To keep things interesting, I plotted an alternate route that conveniently landed me in Laa an der Thaya, a thermal spring town just a few km from the border.

Unbeknownst to me, today was Ascension Day — a public holiday in Austria. This meant the streets were empty as I bicycled away under blue skies at 830am. Unfortunately, it also meant I wasn’t able to get a farewell breakfast bagel from my local cafe. I had a beautiful farewell cycle through Vienna and up the entire length of Danube Island, much friendlier than the route I took on the way in. Twenty km north of the city, I was able to stop and get a proper breakfast — espresso + marmalade rolls.

The remainder of the ride was on quiet backcountry roads and some stinky fields freshly fertilized. Achtung Wildwechsel! (Beware Wild Children?)

Don’t tell anyone, but I decided to stay an extra day and enjoy the thermal springs in Laa. I’m a sucker for hot tub soaking — hopefully this doesn’t ruin my cred.