I drank a beer in Austria. That may not seem like a big deal but I don’t like the taste of beer and I NEVER DRINK BEER. It all started when we got a little bit off the prescribed biking route today. We were seeing some amazing Austrian scenery on our detour but we wondered if maybe we had added an extra twenty or more kilometers to our day. Then we saw this couple having a beer on an outdoor patio beside the bike path. We asked them if we were on the right road to Rorschach where our hotel for the night was located. “We live in Rorschach,” the man said. “And this path will take you right there. It is the best path. The most scenic one.” He also told us we had only gone about 5 kilometers out of our way. We were so happy to hear this we decided to celebrate by having a beer too. I never drink beer but Dave said he would order me a Raedler which is a grapefruity kind of beer and to make him happy I should try to drink it. I did and thought it was surprisingly good.
The sun came out in the early afternoon but it had rained all morning and in my mind I was thanking the young saleswoman at Source for Sports who had encouraged me to spend a little more to get a waterproof jacket rather than just a water resistant one. It kept me completely dry. We passed a gurgling brook and it made me think of my friend Gabe who always reminds me to add sensory details to my writing when I share pieces of mine with our writing group. I decided that I would try to keep track of all the sounds I heard during the day. Here are the ones I remember. I heard church bells ringing, cows bellowing, birds tweeting, warbling, chirping and cawing, dogs barking, corn stalks rustling, raindrops pinging on my bike helmet, my bike tires rumpity bumping over the cobblestones, waves washing up on the shore of the lake, people saying Guten Morgen or Guten Tag, the wind rushing in my ears as my bike swooped down a hill, trains whizzing by, cars honking, a lady briskly shaking a rug out her window, my bike bell binging to warn pedestrians I was coming, goats bleating and a small tractor chugging through an apple orchard. We passed these school children building rafts in the rain. They were going to take them sailing on Lake Constance. The Alps were in view for a time on our journey. Since we were in Austria Dave thought my sister should sing a couple songs from The Sound of Music because she had the starring role of Maria in that musical when she was in high school. This very tall corn reminded me of a song from Oklahoma, the musical in which I had the lead role in high school. The song was O What A Beautiful Morning and the line was ‘the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.’
We biked 56 kilometers again yesterday and spent the night at the quaint Mozart Hotel in Switzerland, crossing the border from Austria near the end of our biking day.