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SWMBO marvels that over 9000 km have been put on our new van…

Loading the bikes on the van...

Loading the bikes on the van…

Now that the bikes are loaded, let me put on Venice's mood ring and check the colour...

Now that the bikes are loaded, let me put on Venice’s mood ring and check the colour…

We had a long drive from Bonn, Germany to Schwanenstadt, Austria.  We left at noon and got in around 9:30 pm.  Of course we did spend some time at the Haribo outlet…

Need "wellness liquorice" made with stevia?  Come to Haribo

Need “wellness liquorice” made with stevia? Come to Haribo.

Need a shopping cart full of candy?  Come to Haribo.

Need a shopping cart full of candy? Come to Haribo.

Need a candy lasso?  Come to Haribo.

Need a candy lasso? Come to Haribo.

The Haribo outlet was the size of a regular grocery store, the parking lot was full and shoppers inside were loading up, and I do mean loading up, on CANDY!

Then we undertook the long and uneventful trip to Austria.  The most eventful thing was when we wanted to buy gas and of course we had to go way off the highway to save $ so we had a bit of cross country trek there.  We saw beautiful scenery and a few nice villages.

Just before the Austrian border we stopped at a highway gas station to buy the dreaded “Vignette”.  The vignette is basically a toll that you pay to get a sticker to stick on your windshield to drive in Austria.  You have to get one before you enter because you HAVE TO have one to drive on the highways in Austria.  At the gas station, it was 70 euro cents to pee (!!!) but they had this weird hole carved out of wood for little kids to get in for free (by-passing the turnstiles).  I had to laugh when I saw this ridiculous contraption and saw that all my kids, big and small, were already on the other side.  They all had to go and they knew there was no way in hell they were each getting over $1 from me!  Of course I ducked in as well (it keeps me fit…) but Fahbio looked at me and said, “This is where I draw the line.”  Fair enough.  I don’t begrudge him the moolah at all.

When we arrived at our friend’s house, we were greeted with a homemade chicken broth which was just what we needed after a day in the car.  The next day, we convinced our friend to go for a spin on the Omafiet.  She was sceptical at first but after 5 minutes she was proclaiming what a great ride it was, after 15 minutes she was asking how much it cost, after 20 minutes she was shocked at how cheap it was and after 30 minutes she had determined to get one for herself!  I think I have a new import business in mind when I get back home…

Tomorrow we say good-bye for now (back in September) and head on to eastern Austria.  Happy (slightly late) Solstice!