The Dresden weekend turned out to be real nice. The weather got a little better and I pretty much visited all there is to visit: walked all over Neustadt (including the house that makes music when it rains, which of course it didn’t when I was there…) and did a free walking tour through the old town.
Staying with my absolutely lovely warmshower hosts Jule, Felix and their three kids was great. It truly felt like family and home. Following their recommendation I took the train on Sunday and went for a little hike in the Elbe Sandstone region. It was beautiful and it felt really good to spend a few hours walking through forests and sandy paths after only riding through forests in the last few months.
So and for those who wondered why I chose the title I did for this blog entry – well it’s time to say good-bye to the virtual me. I did take the most direct route from Dresden home: hopped on a bus and arrived in Vienna on Monday morning:-) So the riding is over, but I am not fully back yet – no worries… This week I was busy emptying out an apartment and moving, next week I will be back on the bike, working as a guide in South Tirol and then I go for a well-earned (at least that’s what I think) three weeks vacation to Greece. I finally do want a little bit of that summer that most of you had! Starting in mid October I will be back in Vienna for a final month and then we will see – everything else is still a beautiful blank page.
But before saying a final good-bye:
Here is a last little statistic of my past five months (and don’t take the numbers for the ultimate truth, they might be +/- a few for some categories):
- km pedaled: 7’566 (excluding the mtb week)
- hm pedalded: 51’520 (excluding the mtb week)
- nights spent in my tent: around 88 (most of them in camp sited, only about 15% “wild camping”)
- nights spent in shelters: 4
- nights spent in “real” beds: 38 (hotels, b&bs, airb&bs, gites, trains, ferries (actually once it was a chair not a bed), bus( actually that was a chair, too))
- nights spent at warm shower hosts: 11 (8 hosts)
- friends visited: 5 – nights spent at their places: 13
- family met along the way: my godparents once and my parents 3(!) times:-))
- countries visited: 9 (Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark)
- one of the best and most peaceful nights I had: sleeping underneath a beautiful and a few hundred years old oak tree in Ingas garden… and all those “freestyle” nights on Swedish lakes, as well as the second and third shelter I slept in in Denmark
- worst night: the last night in the shelter in Denmark: giant mosquitos (or at least they sounded like they had the size of elephants) kept me awake most of the night and attacked me when I finally fell asleep – I will spare you the picture of my face the next morning…)
- flat tires/mechanical issues/broken parts: 0
- wasp bites: 1 (mosquito bites: uncountable)
- things lost along the way: 5 (rain shorts, neoprene socks in Napoli, a pair of underwear somewhere before Marseille, a sports bra somwhere on a Polish dirt road, my favorite camping cutlery in Jonkoping/Sweden).
- things lost and re-found: 1 pair of cycling shorts which I lost, did a 6km detour and found them:-)
And one last “favorite” story that I had always wanted to tell, but somehow forgot: when I was riding in France in the direction of the Col du Verdon I came upon a few road cyclists of rather an older generation (I would go with 70+ years). To be more precise: there was the oldest guy on a an e-roadbike, a lady on a trekking bike and another men, a little younger with a regular road bike). They somehow cycled together, even though they sort of all had different speeds and just always waited for each other to restart together again and over again. This made me catch them about 3 times on a stretch of 15km or so. We kept greeting each other and exchanging some smalltalk. So when finally I got to the top of the hill (the three were in front of me) and apparently our paths separated I saw the oldest guy on the side of the road, doing what one sometimes has to do. Well when he saw me coming up, he lifted his arm (and I was thinking “noooo – better keep them holding on”), waved at me and yelled in German “Gute Reise Fräulein!”. That picture: the old guy, peeing, waving and yelling in German, was just one of a kind and I couldn’t help but smile for the rest of my ride:-)
So. That’s it.
Thanks for “tuning” in, keep on riding, stay in touch where ever you are!
Es war mir ein Fest!
Eure Eva, Eure Flotte Lotte