The Balkans – Day 16

Day 1 * Day 2 * Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6 * Day 7 * Day 8 * Day 9 * Day 10 * Day 11 * Day 12 * Day 13 * Day 14 * Day 15 * Day 16

Oct 1 – Sunday

Map Link

Home again, home again.

Everyone had to leave early that morning. Sarah and Petra to catch a flight back home, and Dan and I had a six-plus hour ride ahead of us. The weather had finally broken: rain was expected for the entire day, for almost our entire journey home. Oh well, at least it had held off while we had been in Cortina.

Dan chose this trip to add stickers to his panniers; I helped by adding the one from our bananas

We packed our bikes while our friends loaded up their car. We were all ready to leave together and closed the door to the Hobbit Hole for the last time. It had been such a fun, relaxed time with Sarah and Petra; it was sad to have to say good bye again. Perhaps we shall meet again next September, continuing our annual vacation schedule together!

It was barely raining when we left Cortina, but the overnight rains had dampened the roads and the clouds were still hanging low in the mountains. I knew that I’d be soaked by the time I got home, but I really wanted to delay the onset of the wet bum as long as possible.

Fueling up before leaving town

Cloudy mountain roads

Oh well – I knew what it looked like behind those layers of clouds

The trip out of Italy wasn’t much to write about. It rained, the mountains were out of view, we found some toll booths, we stopped to by the Austrian highway vignette, we crossed into Austria. It continued to rain in Austria, too.

Austrian countryside

Rain! Ruins! Dan!

Dan and I had been riding for a few hours when we decided to stop for lunch. We were on the Austrian motorway so the easiest thing to do was to just pop into one of the roadside pull-offs where there would be gas, toilets and food. Not necessarily in that order.

Lunch break view

Post-lunch sunshine

The rest of the ride was uneventful. The skies slowly cleared up as we got closer to home. It was good to be back in Switzerland. It really is amazing how there are subtle changes from country to country and upon returning home, those changes finally feel “right”.

Home

The Bodensee

Ok, not completely blue skies

We had traveled for more than two weeks and covered over 3,600 kilometers. We had seen five countries, met some wonderful people, ate some great food and experienced an array of weather conditions. It was what I had been aching for for the last five year – and now I can’t wait to do it again.

The End