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08/16 Passau, Germany to Salzburg, Austria

We heard today that Winn, the guy who crashed in Greece, broke a shoulder and some ribs and ended up in the hospital for several days then home to recuperate for several weeks then rejoined the trip a month or so ago, crashed again. He thinks he broke the shoulder again and maybe cracked some ribs. Apparently he crashed the same day, but at a different place, that the four riders went down while trying to mount a small curb to take a bike path. Makes us very, very aware of riding safely.

We rode this morning from camp. We were so quick in getting out, we made a wrong turn and were 5 Km's up the road before we realized we were going the wrong way. Once we got headed the right way, we rode along back roads, up and down many steep hills, through lots of forests, along many, many corn fields (most appeared to be suffering from a lack of water - lots of stunted growth, small ears and dried silk) and through lots of farmlands. We passed many well kept houses, most with lots of flowers along porch balconies and in window boxes.

It was hot again -- in the 90's. We made our first visit on this trip to a McDonalds. We stopped for a milkshake for lunch.

After 80 Km's we passed into Austria. Though it was Joan's driving day, we stopped riding there and let her ride to the finish with Larry. That way, everyone got in a nice ride, and we, D&L, were able to get to Salzburg early.

We took the car and headed into Salzburg.

"THE HILLS ARE ALIVE . . . WITH THE SOUNDS OF MUSIC . . . ."

Salzburg is known for two things -- the birthplace of Mozart, and the backdrop for the filming of The Sound of Music. And they make a lot of money off those two things. It seems that everything except the castle is tied into or based on one of those two claims to fame.

Well, almost everything. There was an art exhibit (of sort) in town. Everywhere you looked, everyplace you went, you say statues of cows -- each painted up wilder looking than the last. It was an incredible sight.

We walked through several town squares where we came upon all sorts of things (including more painted cows.) In one, on a portable bandstand were a string quartet -- well, at least it was four people playing stringed instruments -- playing spoofs of Mozart.

In another we found two men playing chess on a giant chess board that was painted on the concrete. The pieces were 2-3 feet tall stacks of concrete shapes.

In yet another were some musicians playing Mozart on a concertino and a couple of ancient style string instruments.

We walked up to the castle -- reported to be on of the largest and best preserved in Europe. (Have I said that before? I seems like it.) It is truly a magnificent castle and it has commanding views from its perch high above the city. Especially views of the surrounding mountains. The surrounding scenery is just as stunning in person as it was in the movie.

(We have to say, however, we have seen many magnificent castles, lots of beautiful cathedrals, an inordinate amount of fantastic scenery, too many incredible museums to count, and numerous lovely and quaint little towns. It's really hard to say which is the best, the largest, the most beautiful, etc. I'm afraid we may be getting jaded from too much exposure to too many incredible and fantastic places.)

In the evening, several venues had opera or orchestral music -- most based on Mozart's work. A real plethora of wonderful choices. It's unfortunate that we are usually too tired to get out in the evenings.

After the castle, we hoofed it back to the TK&A hostel for dinner.

Love to all,
David and Lisa


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