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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    403

    kind of freaking out

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    So, I leave for Austria in under two days... the bike is packed. I'm going for a conference for work then a three day tour on the Danube River Trail all by myself and ... I don't speak German... none! I think I'll probably be lost in Austria for three days, but my goal is to ride from Lenz to Vienna (about 160 miles) over three days. It seems very doable, but the trail seems like it's tough to follow. The guidebook says things like, "go through the cobblestone square and take a right at the white farmhouse" - what if they painted the farmhouse? I don't know that I have ever had such mixed emotions! The good news is, I'm not very social and conferences usually freak me out, but I have hardly given a thought to the conference I'll post picures when I get home (provided I get home...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    What an adventure!! A smile and a friendly question will probably do the trick. Maybe take a phrase book, just in case?

    Would love to read the report/see pictures

    CA
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    When I was toodling around Europe a few years ago, I discovered to my deep chagrin that dang near everyone spoke great English. Me, I barely speak decent English...

    Anyway, getting around was not a problem because I'd lead off with my phrase-book German and the person I was attempting to talk to would immediately pick up on the fact that I was a monoglot Yankee, and switch to English.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981

    Austria-Germany cycling guides

    I showed my honey, who is German-Canadian and can read /write basic German.

    He has cycled on several different trips in Germany and just returned from Europe this spring.

    He recommends if you possibly can to get these guides: http://www.esterbauer.com/ I got this website off the back of a real book guide in series for the Rhine Valley area where he did go riding.

    He knows someone who cycled by herself from Germany to Denmark, using one of these guides. A great help since she could not read German signs nor spoke the language, etc.

    I'm sure our good TE European members will respond here. But most likely you WILL encounter some people who can speak some English. In fact, probably maybe even many touring cyclists on the path at this time of year.

    Tell us about your journey soon!
    Last edited by shootingstar; 08-21-2008 at 07:45 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    Don't worry.

    Older folks might not have learned a lot but most young people speak enough to get you around.
    And yeah, we do tend to cater to the monoglottality (I made that up) among our Northern American visitors, even if they try (a laudable effort).
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

    2008 Roy Hinnen O2 - Selle SMP Glider
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    I have been on part of that trail; it's packed with cyclists at this time of year. I would say more than half will be able to help you with directions. If I remember, the trails are all numbered, too, so that helps. We were on a supported tour, but riding back to the hotel alone on a 98 degree day. I was about to lose it from the heat, when we somehow got off the correct trail, but with not a lot of work, we were able to find our way back to the right place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    682
    You'll do fine! I toured Europe on my own many years ago with only English and French under my belt. The one country I spent almost no time in was France. Go figure. But having no language skills in German didn't cause any problems--I'd pull out my Berlitz guide and just point at the words (because I couldn't even begin to pronounce some of them) and either we'd go back and forth with pointing and gestures and occasional words, or the person would break into fluent English.

    Have fun!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    403
    thanks for the votes of confidence I really am SO excited I can hardly sit here at work today. I have some phrases xeroxed off and I hope to point and smile and hope someone will take pity on my poor language education. I really don't think it helps that my last name is Schmit and everyone expects me to speak German. Heck, when I lived in Florida, a German friend used to call me Frau Schmit all the time and then giggle because I couldn't reply at all... I will post picts and reports when I get home... AND, I'm coming home to a LHT (YEA!!!)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    271
    Wow, how exciting! You are going to have a great time! I wish I could do fun trips like that. Be sure and take a lot of pictures, and have fun!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    125

    Österreichischer Camping Club

    Hi! When I was in Vienna two years ago I thought about doing the route and visited the Österreichischer Camping Club shop. It's just outside the inner city, off the Schubertring (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.012231&z=16). They had a guide book in English for the Danube route. Could be the same one you have, but it might be worth a look if you have the time to check it out. They might have some other resources as well.

    Have fun! It's a beautiful area.

 

 

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