Slovakia – a new direction


If Vienna was Salzburg on steroids, then Bratislava ‘Slovakia’ is Salzburg after a nice bottle of red. Totally chilled and happy to see us.


I rate the Bratislavan chef, as sculpting me a ‘five star’ meal. The euphoric culinary experience eclipsed any I have had, for a very long time. Cautiously selecting the duck (I have had a bad duck experience in Cairns) and with advice from the Maître d’, he assures me the meal will be a taste explosion. It truly was. The duck breast was crispy, laid upon a bed of orange cubes and apple that had been caramelised. The zest, left on the caramelised orange, is also to be eaten. It is surprisingly subtle and allows for a tart contrast to the sweet caramelisation. Finished with a red wine sauce and perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes. A monumental moment. ‘Don’t tell me monuments, I know monuments’ YUM.

Lunch on the left and breakfast on the right. Cheesy garlic soup is a local delight, accompanied with a schnitzel and a local beer rounded off the carbs nicely. The soup soaked into the cob loaf and was devine.


With blue skies and warm temperatures reaching some 30deg, so many people had flocked to the park areas. Colours of white, pink and deep red, flourish on scarcely seen arms, torsos and legs. Tulip buds blooming, colour spectrums that Pantone would be proud of, litter gardens and park areas alike.

Town Tour

Interesting things.

Most fountains have water coming out of strange places. At least this one is anatomically correct, LOL.

Found the cannon ball. Napoleon left it here in 1809 when the French were fighting against the Hungarian, Austrian empire. Napoleon didn’t win this one.

A turning point

At this point we decided to take a different direction. After some discussion and an agreement, Mandy and I discovered that we were simultaneously feeling and thinking along parallel paths. The built environment of Medieval construction and reconstruction, within middle class villages and wealthy cities is an experience we will hold dear to our hearts forever.

We are, however, craving a more natural experience. Getting out of the main towns, camping and experiencing natural wonders is where we want to be. It will take us a few days to move ourselves toward our new direction.

What our days are like – from a conversation with a friend.

We are riding approximately 50 to 80 km per day. It is super easy as the river/canal is pretty much dead flat, and it has a path beside it.

Depending on the weather conditions and temperature, we are either camping or staying in budget hotels or hostels.  Initially, it was blast, freezer-style cold, in time it reduced to simply freezer-style nights. Staying in the hostels allowed us a warm place to sleep at night; often breakfast is included and it has allowed all the sightseeing to be within walking distance. Recently, it has even warmed enough for me to actually sweat occasionally.

Yes, you can put your tent up for one night along the Danube Canal. Technically, you’re not supposed to, but we were told it is our right to be able to do that for one night. Just don’t back it up for the second night.

We did catch a train to Salzburg from Passau and then back to Vienna. We wanted to see the city and it was a long way off route. We are now back on the bikes heading to Bratislava and we are following the Danube again. Cause we only have 80 days, we can’t ride everywhere we want to go.

Tent is operational and ready and we expect to be using it more now that the weather has become much more mild. In fact, the weather is fantastic.

Unfortunately, attempting to find accommodation using Warmshowers (the bicycling network) has been a letdown for us. We have heard that a lot of young people join it just to use it whilst touring and aren’t/don’t actively host. This has definitely been our experience so far. With the exception of our first hosts, for the first two nights we were in Germany. They were wonderful people.

Campgrounds are plentiful. WTMG (Welcome to my Garden-didn’t buy the subscription, using it for cycle paths) and ACSiCampsites (subscription, but worth it) are two apps that are indispensable to find camping places easily throughout Europe.

It is kind of special here. 


  1. Curious to see the more natural environment too, great everything close enough together to be able to choose.

    Are campgrounds expensive there?

    I mostly stayed in campgrounds in NZ and found they varied between about $20 and $40, with the more expensive being Big Four with lots of facilities (a couple of free DOC ones, but paying for a hot shower won me over 🙂 ). The laundry and kitchen were great and often very social.

    • Hi Col
      Yes we are as well.
      That is one of the motivations for the change in direction. So far camp grounds are around $40 Australian and it looks to be similar in Holland. They also have a network where you can put you tent up in someone’s yard. 🙂

  2. Hi Les and Mandy. Great that the weather is being kind. I’m also interested in the cost of campgrounds. Are any/many of your photos taken using phone? Very impressed by the quality.
    Keep enjoying 👋.

    • Hi Geoff, camp grounds are around $40 Australian. You can get away with one nights wilding camping beside the Canal in Germany. However it is strictly forbidden to wild camp in Holland, you will be fined. All of the later couple of posts have been taken with the iPhone. It has an amazing ability with such small sensors. I have a iphone 15, but not the top of the range. All these images are post processed, only in the iphone software. So actually I’m fairly happy with the results.
      🙂 Les

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