It’s a Big Small World

A quick update from Salzburg, home of classical music and troublesome nuns:

And dramatic statues

I have now crossed my final border, and only one destination remains between myself and the fast-approaching return to the States. For some time I had called this the “end” of my trip. But now I’m changing my outlook. Instead, I just view it as a major shift in my journey. At the very least it’s helping me keep up the sense of adventure as long as possible.

Wide-eyed excitement in action

Thus I set out from Zurich one last time towards Austria. I struggled my way up hill after hill, wondering for hours how many more there could be before I found Lake Constance. Eventually, finally, I reached a peak and saw only downward slopes towards the shores of this multinational body of water, and let gravity pull my bike towards the water. Thankfully my brakes held out through the descent, but it only took one errant pedestrian along the beach for the front cable to snap.

Whoops

Consequently, the final 50 kilometers were rather slow, fearing the back would follow suit. But it allowed me to better enjoy the seaside feel of the lake’s visitors. Then I left Switzerland behind and endured a very trying border control…

It must have taken at least 30 seconds for people to get out of the way

And, despite pressing hunger, a crippled bike and a very sore butt, this reminded me why cycle touring is so wonderful:


In no other way can you truly feel the place you’re in than by cycling through it (or walking, if you’re particularly ambitious). Admittedly, trains and cars are useful if you’re behind schedule. But it’s by wandering slowly through the area with foot power, that makes me feel alive. 

Hiking through the mountains and biking along these paths that stretch to infinity remind me just how small I am. Something about that is absolutely thrilling.

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