5 km/h

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This post is about a 20km walk from Ybbs an der Donau to Hößgang. I measure my walking speed and meet Manuela and Wolfgang.

When I got back on the road I felt well-rested. And I felt smart. I had been planning to spend one day of rest in a hotel in Ybbs. But then the weather forecast started talking about a 50% possibility of rain on the following day. Also the breakfast buffet in the hotel was really, really good.

your speed

So I decided to stay two days, and rightly so. As it turned out, the 50% chance of rain was actually a massive thunderstorm that swept past outside my window. Being inside had never been more comfortable.

And so I felt well-rested and smart as I was leaving the hotel. Then i noticed the speed display on the road. YOUR SPEED it said next to a digital counter. If a vehicle’s speed stayed under 30 km/h there was a smile, if it was over 30 then there was a frown.

I had seen displays like this one all the way from China until here, and I had always wished for them to display my walking speed and give me a smile or something. Turns out this one did.

psych ward

I walked past a psychiatric hospital on my way out of Ybbs. The building was beautiful, and when I looked it up online, I noticed that the Wikipedia entry and the official website said two different things.

On Wikipedia it said that in the 1930s, patients were sent off to another location and euthanized, in line with the nazi ideology of “eugenics”. On the website it merely stated that “the institution wasn’t spared the effects of World War II”, and that some patients were sent to another location.

where to camp

The bike path merged with a regular road after this. There wasn’t much traffic, but for some reason many of the drivers seemed to think that they had to go very fast on this road. I cursed them, but my heart wasn’t in it. I had been spoiled by the bike path for too long.

When I arrived at a lake where I saw some men who were fishing, I asked them for suggestions as to where I could camp. They told me to go to another lake further down the road.

Something wasn’t right about that lake, though. It looked like it might rain again, in which case the ground would turn into a mud pit. There was a swan couple with a bunch of cygnets whom I didn’t want to bother. Also, I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t actually a nature preserve.


I was still standing around, scratching my head and pondering my options, when Wolfgang appeared with his dog Lilly. He suggested to go to the other side of the lake and ask at Manuelas Radstation, a roadside restaurant catering to cycling tourists. Maybe the owner would let me camp there.

Turns out she did. Manuela, a woman from Romania, had opened her business 18 years ago. When she saw me, she told me to follow her and she showed me to the garage. Just in case it might rain again.

“Good?” she asked.

Perfect, I said.


the walk from Ybbs an der Donau to Hößgang:

  • Steffi J.

    Was lesen wir bloß, wenn deine Wanderung vorbei ist …?
    Mein letzter Eintrag ist leider nicht erschienen ;(
    Wie erfahren wir , wenn du dein Ziel erreicht hast, denn wenn ich das hier schreibe, bist du ja schon ein ganzes Stück weiter ?! Fragen über Fragen. Liebe Grüße aus Dresden von Steffi


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