This morning we rode out of the city of Linz under a cool and overcast sky. The lack of sunshine had obviously sent all the nudists running for clothes and warmth as there was not a solitary sun worshipper in sight as we bade farewell to this spot. Fortunately the conditions were conducive to good riding and we made steady progress until John suffered a puncture, resulting in a stop by the side of the bike path and a long chat with a bunch of pommy riders that we have met up with several times over the past few days.
Mid way through the anmorning we reached the town of Mauthaussen, most well known for being the home of one of the largest concentration camps in Austria. Over 130,000 people were murdered in this hell hole of torture and depravity. The site of the camp is still largely intact a couple of km from the town itself. It can be reached by a very steep 14% climb which soon had hearts pumping and granny gears crunching.
There is now a large museum and research centre attached to the camp where relatives can research the fate of their ancestors that perished here. Although this was my second visit to this spot I could not help but feel an overwhelming meloncholy at how low men can reach in the depths of cruelty to their fellow human beings. At least the Austrians have not tried to hide the truth behind this infamous place.
Around this time I received an SMS from Australia telling me that arrangements for our night’ s accommodation had been altered. We were now going to be shifted to an alternate resort in the mountains high above Grein. When we reached Grein we were instructed to wait for a mini bus and trailer to transport us all up to the resort. We were wondering just how this feat was going to be achieved but, thanks to Austrian efficiency, we need not have worried. I am now sitting in the dining room with the sounds of Austrian music wafting through from the next room.
Another magic day – full of surprise and lost of wonderful cycling. Believe me when I say that the old Warburton trail will just not seem the same again.