On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Viennese days

By Stuart Lowe on

The youth hostel I was staying at was on the large 'island' created by a split in the Danube. It was actually a few miles from most of the main tourist sites and seemed largely to be be visited by large school groups. As I sat on the floor in the reception area - the only place the wifi was available - an angry looking man came through the door. He gave me an evil looking stare as he went by. The hostel was huge so I reasoned that the chances of him being in the same room as me were small. A little later when I got back to the room I was pleased to find it empty. However, a few minutes later, he turned up. He was my room mate and he'd had a bit to drink. It turned out he'd missed his last train or bus home from Vienna. Thankfully he wasn't a beligerant drunk but he still made me nervous. I kept my important possessions (money, passport, phone) very close throughout the night. In the morning he left and I stayed in bed for a while.

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Graffitti near the youth hostel

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Graffitti near the Danube

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Danube with rising Moon

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Danubian sunset

I was in a major capital city full of sights but I really needed to do some laundry. The hostel, despite its size, didn't have any laundry facilities. They told me of a laundrette two miles away. Thankfully I had a bike so that wasn't a worry for me. I did my washing. It is nice to have fresh smelling clothes. I also visited the supermarket. I was really living it up in Vienna.

On Tuesday, I decided to visit the Vienna Wanderers' Bicycle Club as Stevens had done. The problem is that they don't exist any more and neither does the street they were on; Schwimmschulenstrasse. Marie O'Sullivan on Twitter managed to find out that it was near the station (grid reference F3 in an old map of Vienna) only Schwimmschulenstrasse between 1873-1919. It was now Lassallestrasse. Even though the bicycle club didn't exist, I visited anyway and rode the length of the street. Afterwards I stumbled across an impromptu solar system scale model in the street near the station that was organised by the Zeiss Planetarium Wien. I then wandered over to the big wheel and had a ride through the large park. I then cycled over to the main part of the city and whiled away the afternoon snoozing in the pleasant Rathausplatz park near the Rathaus (town hall).

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Jupiter

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Big wheel

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Biking in the park

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Vienna

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The Rathaus

Wednesday was my last full day in Vienna so I went to the MuseumsQuartier to visit _mumok_ - the museum of modern art. It had everything from David Hockney (pleased to see him labelled as "Bradford, Yorkshire") to Yoko Ono to videos of naked bodies having paint thrown at them. Outside the MuseumsQuartier was a vegan festival and I had a very nice vegan curry with lassi. As I left the festival I saw a young woman on a zebra-stripe bike adorned with roses. She told me it was some kind of pun as the German words for zebra and bike are similar.

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mumok

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zebra bike