Biking and Olympics - Day 22
Pochlarn Travel Blog› entry 13 of 30 › view all entries
On Tuesday the 12th, we gathered our things and caught a ride with some of Nicolai's friends to the train station. On the way, we talked about San Francisco, and the gay population there. Fun times.
We took a train to Pöchlarn, Austria which took about 2 hours. It turns out that our new host Alfred, had attempted to send a message through Nicolai's friends for us to go to a different station. We however received no such message, and when we arrived at the station there was no one there to pick us up. We tried using a pay phone to call Alfred, but we Americans are too thick to figure out the complicated pay phone usage. I'm sure its as easy as can be, but we can't seem to make it work for us. Fortunately for us, Alfred realized when we didn't arrive at his station that the message was not relayed, and came to our rescue at the station we were at. Whew!
At Alfred's house in nearby Marbach we settled in and relaxed for a bit after chatting awhile with our new host. Alfred made dinner of risotto with fish and vegetables, which was wonderful. Later in the evening we got to meet Christina, Alfred's wife, who returned from a day trip elsewhere. Most of the evening was spent talking, and off to bed we went.
Most of the next day was spent laying around. We were worn down a little, and needed to rest up a bit. The most exciting part of the day was watching olympics, which was women's gymnastics (our favorite). We watched China eek out the US in the all-around team competition, and it was quite fun.
The next day, thursday, we rented bikes at a nearby shop and rode 12 km to nearby Melk. At this picturesque town we toured an old benedictine monastery that was built originally in the 1100's but was torn down and rebuilt in the 1700's. It was once relatively modest and mostly functional, but those who rebuilt had grander ideas in mind. The new one is more like a palace (and it in fact was built with visiting royalty in mind), and is quite opulent, at least in terms of architecture and grandeur. The library, one of the highlights, is absolutely huge. It is one of the largest collection of historical books in Europe.
Upon biking home, which was very tiring, we arrived back at the house to a dinner of soup and peach dumplings. Neither of us has had anything like these dumplings (which was an entree, not a dessert), but they were very good.
That night we had made reservations to take a night train to Zurich. We had to pay a little more, but a great way to occupy a 10-hour train ride is to sleep the whole time! We shared a cabin with two girls, who were on the bottom bunks, which left us with the top two. It wasn't altogether too comfortable, but we managed.