Devin Castle

Our last day in Slovakia as we cycled from one capital to another. Bratislava traffic is so fast and dense that we walked most of the way to the river. It has such great assets in the river and the old town but it needs to radically redesign its road system to encourage active travel.

The river path was quiet in the early morning, initially right by the river then diverging slightly until we reached Devin Castle at the confluence of the Danube and the Morava rivers which form the border with Austria. Up to 1989 the Iron Curtain was drawn below the Castle, lined with barbed wire. Near the Castle a wetland area was noisy with the sound of mating frogs.

The path looped north to cross the Morava then a long paved path which at first featured pools and wetlands to either side but later became a straight run along an embankment with trees either side. We were glad of the stiff northwesterly even though it impeded our progress, without the wind it would have been stifling hot. There were few benches and none of them had canopies to protect against sun and rain. We found a building with steps in the shade for our lunch then were delighted to find a wooden cafe/bar where I refreshed myself with weightier and Christine with apfelsaft, we were out of Kofola country.

As we neared Vienna, the grass alongside the path became populated with groups having barbecues, then we reached the pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Danube into the city. We threaded our way to Prizeotel Vienna City, near the main railway station, chosen for a quick getaway on Sunday. It was quite a long way but the city has made a great effort to encourage cycling so it was a lot easier than Bratislava and we saw lots of cyclists.

We chose a Turkish cafe that was nearby and had a 4.9 rating on Google but the food was dreadful, the worst of the holiday, so we called in at an ice-cream parlour on the way back to the hotel then ate a banana and had a drink in the bar.

A day in Vienna