SAI Day 10 No ride – Bus to Salzburg

Another wonderful breakfast at the Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden. We said goodby to everyone not going to Salzburg and took a 2.5 hour bus ride to our hotel in Salzburg – the Goldener Hirsch Hotel. Not everyone is staying here – some are in a Sheraton across the river. We tried to go to the Panorama Restaurant but I didn’t do enough research on how to get there. After climbing most of the way up to the castle we realized that we should have taken the funicular. So we compromised and went to the Steiglkeller restaurant that has a “free” view of the city. After lunch we explored the area near our hotel had a nice meal and went to bed early because our van to take us to the airport arrives at 4:30am tomorrow for our 7:00am flight to Frankfurt. Then after a 5 hour layover we fly direct to Denver. So we should be home late afternoon – early evening tomorrow.
Pictures are still coming!

SAI Day 9 Ride Day 6 Worthersee Lake

The weather forecast once again changed from bad to good. We feel blessed. The breakfast buffet at the Hotel was HUGE! There was one table with just jams and jellies. I am running out of superlatives to describe things. The breakfast buffet was spread out over about 18 tables with each table having a theme – like bread, cereal, coffee, juice, more bread, American style breakfast, english style, European style … Too bad I wasn’t that hungry!

Our ride today was around Worthersee Lake that the hotel is adjacent to. There were 3 options on distance. The shortest (18 miles) was to ride to Maria Worth and then take a ferry to the hotel. The second (24 miles) was to ride around the lake completely. and the third option (33 miles) was to ride away from the lake for a while and then back. Some people chose the ferry and others chose the whole loop. As far as I know no one took the longest route. We had a short rainstorm near the hotel just before one group got there – and others rode through some of the puddles afterward – but for the most part we missed the direct rain. We were on our own for the rest of the day – most did lunch in Velden – and some took advantage of the spa at the hotel, others read in the library or their room, and others went shopping. We gathered at 5:30 pm in Rick and Janelle’s room for wine before our last dinner together which was at the hotel. The hotel did a superb job with innovative food that wasn’t too heavy. We thanked our guides Damjan and Jelena for all their work in making our ride fun and enjoyable and helping us
through all of our travails.

Tomorrow we start the process of going back to reality. Most of us are going to Salzburg tomorrow and overnighting then on to the US. Some are spending a few days in the area, some to London, and the sisters group has rented a car and will be traveling a bit before they return home.

Thanks for following along on our adventure. Pictures still to come!

SAI Day 8 Ride Day 5 Kranjska Gora to Velden

Today we rode in 3 different countries in less than an hours time. We started in Kranjska Gora Slovenia, headed back towards Tarvisio Italy, but before we got there we switched to another bike path and went to Austria. We had an “Austrian alpine lunch” at a farmhouse/pub called the Almwirschaft Hut. From there we had to choose a “short” or “long” route that both ended up in Velden. We went for a ways along the Gail River and then either stopped in Villach for a train ride to Velden or continued biking to our destination hotel – the Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden. Part of the hotel is an original castle and they have added some newer buildings to make the complex bigger. It is at the higher end of most hotels we have stayed in. Some of the group took the train and others biked. The bikers won by getting to the hotel first.

The sisters group rides faster than the rest of us and they got to the hotel before anyone else – so I guess they were the real winners. They were celebrating another birthday today and so we sang to her at the start of the ride.

We enjoyed drinks on the hotel patio and then went to the recommended steak restaurant nearby for dinner. The salad bar at the steakhouse was unbelievable! They had hundreds of options to chose from for your salad. I have never seen anything like it. And the steaks and lamb were good too!

We have had truly wonderful weather for all our riding days so far. But tomorrow our luck may have run out. We shall see. Tomorrow may be a spa day for some of us.

If we ride it will be around the Worthersee Lake that we can see from our hotel. One of the options is to ride part way around the lake and then take a ferry to shorten the distance.

Til tomorrow!

SAI Day 7 Ride Day 4 Kranjska Gora to Lake Bled

Another beautiful day for riding bikes. We left our hotel and headed in a different direction and a different bike trail towards Lake Bled. We stopped for a visit in Mojstrana at the Slovenian Alpine Museum. Because of all the local mountains they have quite a tradition of mountaineering and rock/mountain climbing. Just afterwards there was a fairly steep hill 2k long that some of us rode up and others rode in the van. On the other side of the hill we had a traditional mountain lunch at a farm along the road. From there we rode on into Lake Bled. We rode around the lake – although in some places it was so crowded with tourists that we should have been walking. We had several falls today – all at low speed but not fun. One was due to people congestion and the other was my stopping too quickly.

We had several sight seeing/tourist options around Lake Bled. The first was a visit to a Castle that is prominent on the side of the lake. The second was a famous cream cake on a hotel terrace overlooking the lake, and the third was a boat ride to an island in the lake that has a church on it and has beautiful views of the lake. Afterwards we shuttled back to Kranjska Gora and we had dinner on our own.

We have 13 people from the Boulder Colorado area in our normal group of long time riders. In addition we have 3 couples where the women are all sisters and they are all celebrating their 35th wedding anniversaries together. They are from Oregon and Minnesota. The other couple is from the Boston area. We all have been helping each other on our rides and it is amazing how quickly we get to know each other. Our guides have been most helpful and accommodating in helping us with all our “issues.” Through it all they remain positive and cheerful.

Tomorrow we transfer to Austria and end up in Velden. There are 3 options for distance and modes of travel.
More tomorrow.

SAI Day 6 Ride Day 3 Tarvisio to Kranjska Gora

Today we rode from Italy to Slovenia about 19 miles. We will base the next 2 days out of Kranjska Gora. After another amazing breakfast we packed our bags for the shuttle and headed towards Lake Fusine. Most of the ride was on a bike path with only a little on roads. The ride up to Lake Fusine was optional – it was a little steep in spots but most of us did it. The walk around the lake was interesting. It started out as a normal gravel path but quickly turned into a very uneven mix of stones and roots. The stones we were used to but the roots were different and slippery at times. The next adventure was a ride up to a World cup ski jumping site. They were making jumps while we were there – onto a surface that acted like snow but was able to handle the 70 degree day. Some of the group did the Zip line that was next to the ski jump. In Kranjska Gora we took the last optional ride up to Lake Jasna just outside of town. We had many options for lunch today but we chose to eat at a restaurant in Krasjska Gora after checking into our hotel. We enjoyed walking around town – it felt like we were in Aspen or Vail.

In the evening we gathered in the lobby and walked to a old house that is now a museum and had a presentation of some of the ways the locals used to live. We had a cooking demonstration of some of the local food and then later got to eat a full traditional Slovenian meal. It was very filling!

Tomorrow we bike to Lake Bled