Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Steyr, Austria

We made it into Austria in one day. I remembered the way the taxi driver drove and took the same route to get out of town. What a difference in appearance. Even before the border I could tell we were getting near Austria. The houses looked cleaner; the yards were tended with flower beds and vegetable gardens. The fields looked trimmed. Once we entered Austria it seemed a different world. Am I more sensitive to this than others? I don’t know, but to me it was evident.
On the way through unknown parts of the Czech Republic we ran into heavy fog. Carol pointed out that my tail light was out so I stopped on the side of the road to try to fix it. I took the tail light apart, checked the light bulb but all was ok. I checked the fuse panel, because when I looked after I stopped; I also had no head lights. I moved some fuses around because I could not find a burnt out one. Nothing seemed wrong but still no lights! I checked for loose connections or wires. Nothing! And then…. I saw that the light switch on the handle bar was not turned on. I have a European set up and you must switch the headlights and tail lights on manually. Well, somehow this was turned off. After resetting the switch, all was well. Shows you, sometimes the solution is so simple. Lesson learned, check the obvious first.
We rode as far as Steyr and stopped for the night in a hotel right on the joining of 2 rivers. The river Steyr runs into the river Enns. Hotel was a fabulous hotel; a 4-star rating and a former way station for the wood that was floated down the rivers. We had a wonderful view of the castle and a dozen or more swans feeding in the water below our room window. I checked for lesser priced accommodations but Steyr was sold out. We had a small room, normally used as maid quarters, but it was fine for one night. Even as small as the room was, way under the roof line with 2 small beds, the price was 80 Euros. What do you do when all is sold out and there is no room to be had anyplace? I guess you just pay!
I find the signage in Austria hard to read. No it is not a matter of language, I speak German and everything is written in German but somehow no long distance direction is given. The next town is mentioned on the signs but none of these towns are listed on the map. We have 2 maps. Very small towns are written in large letters on the map and are not really on any street sign. When asking people their answer is to go to familiar spots (to them) and then turn right. “Make a right at the Bank” What bank? There are 2 banks on the corner. Or follow the road until the 3rd crossing then turn right. I counted 6 road crossing and then I saw the right sign. Or, go 50 meters, then turn right and at the end of the road turn left. Well, after 50 meters there is a hole in the fence, do I enter? Yes, and then turn right on the next left, no that was wrong, it was the 2nd left, etc. Directions are hard to follow here whether by signage or given verbally. I am having a hard time with directions in Austria.

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