Today I got to know about another bike adventure. Such an inspiration! Kasia and Andrzej just got into the plane to Melbourne, where they are planning to start their bike trip back to Poland. I have to admit – I like it! Even more than very much! I’ve read their whole blog (short one so far), got inspired, noted a few things to my personal notebook. And now I just want to share it with you – in order for you to know abou such amazing things people do! Just check it out here.
But before Kasia and Andrzej decieed for this tripe, they’ve been in another one. And there was this sentence, like an enlightment for me, that had explained everything I couldn’t understand before that. The sentence was (my translation): “In Singar we were doing everything, what cyclicts do in their free day – we were eating and sleeping”.
This is how my free time usually looks like, especially since I lefe Modling. I really wanted to see Ternitz, but I wasn’t (physically) able to do so (simply too tired). I gave myself two days for Hartberg – and I managed 1,5 hours walk. Luckily that’s kind of enough for the 6,5-thousand inhabitants city to see all its attractions.
But it still seemed kind of weird for me – how can I all the time be so sleepy? And here came the answer – maybe when you spend 10 hours on a bicycle, it’s not so weird to be in a need of rest and you are even allowed to play “Eat-Sleep-Repeat” game the following day?
Anyway! That sentence helped me understand that I am not the only one feeling so, but it looks like it’s a part of the cyclist’s life. S0 maybe taking into consideration the fact that I’ve spent 131 hours and 15 minutes in the saddle already (I will soon reach one full week!), I have the right to sleep the same number of them?
In Hartberg I stayed with Uli. It was not easy to find his place – although Hartberg is a tiny city, the numeration of the houses is more than complicated. But thank’s to the help of the people I met (and approached in German!), we managed to find it!
It quickly turned out that I made a mistake – I put in my calendar three nights at Uli’s place but I’ve sent him a CouchSurfing request for 2 night only! Luckily Uli was extremely flexible and told me that that it’s not a problem at all for him that I stay one more night. Such a relief!
But that was not the only thing that makes Uli so great. Although he didn’t have too much time, he spent as much of it with me as he only could. I met his two sons – Tristan and Tician and his daughter Florentine. We talked with Uli a lot about the refugees and about sharing – and that it is possible to find space for everyone, we just need to be willing to do so. We also talked a lot about sports (hello dad!) because Uli is training triathlon and takes part in the competitions few times a year. One of his sons is already joining him, competing in the kids category. Uli says that all the couchsurfers he had hosted so far were cyclists – and it confirms another rule of cyclist’s life – you visit places which you would have probably not visited if not on a bike.
We talked a lot with Uli about raising kids and he shared with me his experiences as a father. Thanks to Uli I’ve learnt how the Austrian law works with kids when parents separate. And that now it’s obligatory for each of the parents to spend every second weekend with kids (it was optional beforehand). Uli’s story reminded me also about the story of another friend of mine living in Austria, who told me that only since she had moved in here, she gained a perspective of getting the alimony from her child’s father who hadn’t paid a single penny since his daughter was born. It’s good to know that there is the country in this world, where the courts work sensibly. Or at least more sensibly than in Poland.
Uli gave me a lot of space in his huge and beautiful house and I thanked him many times for doing that for me. Although he kept answering that it’s nothing, it’s a contrary – in my opinion – I’ve learnt already, how it tastes when a person can feel safe and comfortable and what a huge priviledge it is. This is how I felt at Uli’s place.
Uli! Thanks again! For welcoming me, hosting me, for the space and trust and sharing with me everything that you have! All the best to you, Sabine, Tristan, Tician and little Florentine! ❤
Days 69-70 (22-23 November 2015)
Hartberg, 23 November 2015