Posts Tagged With: Rest day

Day 25: Rest day in Cologne (27 June)

We had breakfast at the hotel, then the next step was the ongoing need to get laundry done.

When we got into the lift after breakfast, Gergo (the tour leader) jumped in and started having a chat to us about going the wrong way yesterday morning. Ezster (his wife) who was the sweep had caught up to us, and she must have mentioned it to him. Gergo spoke to us like we were about 12 years old so I walked off while he was talking.

Next thing we get an email from him, copied to Miles in the head office in TDA, telling us again why we were wrong and telling us how to navigate! Very frustrating as it’s the first time Gergo has spoken to me since the day I arrived, and it’s to tell me off! And he was totally oblivious that actually the flagging was wrong, and at least half the riders had made the same two wrong turns as us. After awhile I decided to just ignore it.  As in the words of Henry Gold, founder/owner of TDA, “getting lost is half the fun”.

After doing the laundry we had a couple of pizza pieces for lunch. Brett was not feeling very well, upset stomach, so he had a nap and I caught up on a couple of days with the blog.

Later the afternoon we went for walk and were amused to see a statue in square with her arm and hand open, holding a bottle of beer.

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Statue in the Old Market

Then we went to see the Cologne Cathedral which is Roman Catholic and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. The height of the building is 157.4 meters, which makes it the 4th highest church building in the world. It covers 8,000 square meters and can hold over 20,000 people. The two massive towers were completed in 1880c.

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Cologne Cathedral

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Cologne Cathedral

The cornerstone of the present day Gothic cathedral was laid at the Feast of Assumption of Mary, 15 August 1248. The previous building was deemed not impressive enough to hold the bones of the three wise men (Magi) and were brought to Cologne in 1164 by Archbishop Rainald of Dassel from Milan, after the latter city was conquered in 1164. In 1,200 these remains were placed in a golden Shrine. Because of these remains, the Cathedral is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Europe.

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Cologne Cathedral

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Cologne Cathedral

Outside the cathedral there were a number of beggars, I gave one a few euros and every time she saw me in the square after that she blew me a kiss. There was a man busking with an amazing voice singing opera, that we listened to for awhile also.

There were a number of cruise ships at the docks including the Ms Emily Bronte (from yesterday) and the Viking Vidar. The Viking Vidar goes from Budapest to Amsterdam.

We had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant called Beirut, with John W. We got a set menu and we could not believe it – we got about 20 starters (hummus, meatballs, rice, salad, chicken etc)  but thankfully only a platter of main, and a small honey pastry dessert.

Afterwards we decided to go to the hotel bar. Um 3 drinks later, I may regret this in the morning.

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Riverside

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Day 21: Rest day in Heidelberg (23 June)

I enjoyed lying in, feeling a bit tender after yesterday’s ride, so am very pleased to have a rest day to recover.

At breakfast we were told that Graham is ok, but has a broken bone in his face and will most likely not be able to continue riding. Graham is going to be discharged from hospital later today. Caught up with Yvonne, and she is feeling much better.

After breakfast we looked at getting the hotel to do the laundry, but it really is only an option for people who just want a couple of items done. I worked out to get mine done it would have cost €70! So off we walked to the laundromat. To do both of ours at the laundromat it cost us €18 combined. I always take my iPad and do a bit of of catching up with the blog.

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Rest Day chores

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Laundry price list from the hotel

This morning before breakfast, I had a messenger call with my 11 month grandson Jasper, and daughter Tracey. Jasper was very excited to see me, and kept trying to get into the iPad where I was. The day after I get home is Jasper’s first birthday celebration.

Walking through the city I noticed the number of apartments that have trees and shrubs on their balcony.

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Shrubs on apartment balconies

I have also noticed the increased rate of smoking, the cigarettes on display, cigarette advertising, and also there are a number of cigarette machines on the street in the villages and cities. I was a bit surprised as was thinking children could use these, but apparently you have to put ID with proof of age in before you can purchase.

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Street cigarette machine

After doing the laundry we had a drink at an outside cafe with John W, and then decided what do to for lunch. John wanted pasta, and Brett and and I decided on a picnic. We had a lovely lunch with a baguette roll, blue cheese, brie, small cake of dark chocolate, and a Bordeaux wine (we actually wanted a rosé, but there was no chilled wine to be had, so settled on the red). It was very relaxing to just sit and do nothing for awhile. Then back onto catching up with emails and the blog.

At 6 pm we went down to the hotel bar for a beer, while we waited for a couple of Brett’s friends from a previous tour, who we were going out for a meal with. As we were having a beer, Graham turned up looking bruised and battered. Graham has no memory of what happened, but there was no car involved. Graham suspects he hit the curb the wrong way.

He remembers coming to and having two locals helping him up. They asked him if he knew where he was and he said no. They then said “You’re in Germany, doing a bike ride from Athens to Amsterdam” (They got this off his riders plate on his bike), and he said “Don’t be stupid, why would I be doing something like that?”.

Graham is not sure what he will do as he has broken a cheek bone around the sinus, and is not allowed back on a bike for a couple of weeks. While a group of us were talking to Graham, Janice came in and I took a photo of him and her “The concussion twins”.

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Graham and Janice – the concussion twins

Also in the bar were Tim and Judy, also from Wellington NZ.

Just then Brett’s friends arrived. They met on the Aussie section of 2014 Trans-Oceania. Lydia is originally from Townsville, Queensland but is now living with Joachim in Germany. Joachim is German. Lydia is working as a Librarian and Joachim works in IT. They are both keen marathon runners and triathletes. John W also did this ride, and came for dinner. We went to a really nice Thai place, I didn’t get the name. I had tom yum soup – it was nice and spicy, and green curry which was very nice.

Then back to the hotel to pack and get ready for another 3 day stretch.

Introducing

Janice is from Townsville Queensland and this is her first TDA ride. She is retired, she worked as a student advisor counsellor at the University. Janice’s partner was going to come on the ride, but couldn’t get a health clearance to do it, so is doing the pilgrims work in Spain instead.

Tim and Judy are from Wellington NZ, they have 3 children and a labradoodle and a poodle. This is their second TDA ride. Tim is an actuary and Judy is a mother. They are heading off to Cuba for another two week ride after this trip.

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Tim and Judy

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Day 17: Rest day in Munich (19 June)

During the night I got lost in the bathroom! I went in and closed the door, and the light was on the outside! As I was half asleep I was disorientated, and it took a few moments to realise that if I could feel the toilet, then the door must be right in front of me.

The room, whilst it had no air con, it did have good black curtains, so I didn’t wake up till about 7am.

I went and had breakfast and spoke to a few of the riders who were leaving, and then caught up on some emails, the news, and the blog. As we had only be riding two days and the next segment is only 3 days, we decided not to do any laundry as we have enough clothes to last.

Then I headed off with Brett (we were joined later by Graham) to the Hofbräuhaus House, for a steins and sausages. The litre stein is so big it took two hands to pick it up and drink.

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Hofbräuhaus Brewery

There was a walking tour, that most of the TDA riders seemed to be on, filing past us making comments about NZers and Aussies and beer. The hall was huge – it seats 3,500 people! There was a traditional band playing, luckily only in short intervals as they were very loud.

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Hofbräuhaus Brewery

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Outside Hofbräuhaus Brewery

Then it was time to go back to the hotel and have a nap to wear off the effects of the beer. I am finding it really hard to remember to watch out for the bike paths that are half of most of the pavements. The bikers ride really fast, and you could be seriously hurt if you were knocked into by one.

On the way back we stopped near the hotel at a handmade ice cream shop called “True and 12” and tried the ice cream. It was ok but I didn’t think it was as good as the ice cream you can get in NZ. This was the only time we came past when there wasn’t a long queue. Last night when we were riding into Munich, there were about 35 people queued along the street.

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Pots and Pans Reindeer (Editor’s note: This is all the information I have about this picture)

For dinner, we went to an Afghanistan restaurant called “Chopan – am Gasteig” which was close by. The dish I had was “Qabili Palau” which is the national dish, it was fantastic, very nicely spiced.

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At Chopan – am Gasteig

We had a bottle of Rose with it that was very drinkable, plus two bottles of sparkling water.

Then back to the hotel to get ready for another hot night, even with the window open, and another’s day riding tomorrow.

Introducing 3 TDA staff:

Caitlin from Canada is the bike mechanic for the trip, plus rides sweep or does flags
Balaz is from Hungary, his background is IT and economics. He is usually on the lunch truck but sometimes is sweep
Ozgur from Turkey, his background is an engineer, who does the either flags or sweeps, and occasionally does the lunch truck.

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From left: Caitlin, Balaz, Ozgur

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At Hofbräuhaus Brewery

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Day 14: Rest day in Innsbruck (16 June)

It was nice to wake up today and not have to pull on the Lycra and head off on the bike. The biggest challenge today was trying to work out amongst the many selections which was black tea.

My arm and wrist was very sore when I woke up this morning, but I think this is most likely because of all the braking, especially on the downhill yesterday.

After breakfast the first job was laundry, followed by the continuing hunt for conditioner. On the way to the laundry we went past a shop selling shampoo etc so stopped in there on the way back. Success! I now have conditioner called Pfledge -Spulung, moisturiser, more sunscreen, plasters and a new toothbrush 👍.

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Golden Roof

Back to the hotel for a couple of hours to catch up on emails, blog and the news, then we went for a wander around before lunch in the old town.

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Inns River and Old Town

There were a number of street performers, a lady all dressed in silver with her dog with a hat and a plaster on his paw. Real or not, it evoked sympathy and cash, followed by the Headless man and Charlie Chapman.

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The Silver Lady

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With the Headless Man and Charlie Chapman

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Where’s the Silver Lady gone?!

There were a number of stores selling souvenirs, but nothing of enough interest to try and fit in my bag for the next three weeks.

We had lunch at a restaurant called the Golden Adler.  I had fish fettuccine which was with a fish called Bio Char. It was nice, not creamy like the fettuccine I am used to though. Brett had braised leg of lamb with cremolata, garlic sauce, polenta and vegetables.  We had a bottle of red wine: Kaiser Josef Blauer Zweigeit classic 2015 winery Philip Grass from the lower Austria region. This is the most common red wine grape in Austria.

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Lunch at Golden Adler

While we were eating a nun with twins turned up and settled them both into high chairs. One of the twin boys was very friendly, and kept engaging me in smiling and chatting. The mum said they were 12 months old but were born 12 weeks early. One of the boys was smaller at birth and is still smaller, he was not as friendly but I did get him smiling a few times with peek a boo, hiding my face behind a serviette. I felt quite honoured when the mum asked if she could leave the friendly twin with me while she took the other one off to change him.

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Gran “baby sitting” while mum changes other twin.

At the back of the restaurant outside the hotel, there was a wall list of names going back to the 1494 Kaifeng Maximilian the first century, two of note: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1773 and Albert Chamus who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952.

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The wall

After lunch we wandered around for a bit more, and saw a pretty pink bike with flowers and a basket – I thought if my daughter Kelly rode a bike, I think it would look like this. Then it was back to the hotel for a nap and a couple of messenger calls with two of my children Kelly (blog editor) and Tracey.

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Found a bike for Kelly 🙂

We caught up with Janice (who had fallen off her bike yesterday) and she had been and had a CT scan, and thankfully nothing ominous was found.

We had dinner at a restaurant called Ottoburg. It was really nice being able to sit outside and eat without having to worry about the gusts of Wellington wind. I had a really nice rack of lamb for dinner.

Afterwards it was back to the hotel to pack, and get ready for tomorrow.

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Central Plazas

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Day 9: Rest day in Trieste (11 June)

It was very nice not to have to be up at 6am with breakfast at 7am, and then out on the road. Instead I made it to the dining room at a leisurely 9am. English breakfast tea in a tea pot! Bliss.

After breakfast we set off to the laundromat or Lavanderia (as they call in in Italy), we caught up with Janice and Gregg, and Yvonne and Scott there.

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Janice and Gregg (left) and Yvonne and Scott (right)

There was also a good looking Italian woman who was very frustrated as the second dryer was not working, as someone had put the wrong coins in. Of course all the men set about trying to sort it for her. Brett went back to the hotel and got the tweezers out of his bike tool kit, and came back and removed the two coins. She was very grateful and told Brett he was just like MacGyver.

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MacGyver saving the day 

After the laundromat I went back to the room to catch up with the blog.

Then off for lunch, we decided to go back to Eataly for the 2nd course we hadn’t tried on the blackboard menu.

We had white wine: Movia Sauvignon Blanc, and we shared two different courses – Filetto di orata gratinato ai pistachio gamberi e zucchini (a very nice fillet of fish with a nice coating and cheese)  and Frito misto croccante (fried squid and prawn rings).

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Lunch at Eataly, day 2

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Wine in a bucket with slushy ice pellets

We then wandered around for awhile, then had an afternoon siesta.

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Super yachts on waterfront berths

Later on the way to dinner, we could not help noticing the number of motor bikes and scooters parked at each curb.

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For dinner we had a wine – Bastianich Vespa Rosso, and Brett had fillet of beef which was was very nice, I had slow roasted pork which was tough because it was overdone.

Then back to the hotel to get organised for tomorrow.  We have 120 km to ride, but only 650 meters climbing.

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Goodnight Trieste, riding again tomorrow

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Day 4: Rest day in Split

I slept off and on, there was a full-on party on the promenade most of the night. When this fizzled out the street cleaners took over.

My arm is pretty sore, it’s not too bad holding it straight, but as soon as I try to rotate it, ouch! Luckily this trip has a number of doctors: there are 3 ED doctors Kathy, John H, and Peter M, plus Tony the cardiologist. So when I went down to breakfast I pretty much picked the first doctor I saw, which was Peter M, and got a consult. Sure beats spending hours waiting around at medical clinics.

The consensus of Peter and John was there is no break at the wrist, and possibly a small crack in the radial head (which wouldn’t be plastered anyway) and badly sprained. Approx time to come right is about 10 days. Riding won’t make it any worse, and whether I can ride will depend how sore it is. Thankfully today is a rest day as I don’t think I would be able to ride with it today. Fingers crossed it is improved tomorrow.

Breakfast was an experience trying to do everything with my left hand. Amazing how difficult it is to use a spoon or butter toast with your non-dominant hand.

After breakfast Brett and I headed off to get the laundry, and then to a small supermarket. I have been trying to get some hair conditioner since I got to Bosnia but neither country appears to sell it. My hair is looking seriously messy! Back at the hotel I spent some time catching up with the blog (thankfully typing doesn’t require me to rotate my arm).

Then off to explore, we looked around for a while and then we went to a place called Chop for lunch. I chose the Angus Beef Burger and had major food envy as Brett chose Lamb chops and they looked amazing. Luckily Brett gave me one of the chops. Have a look at the photo, you will see what I mean. We had a very nice red Korlat Syrah.

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Next we went for a walk around in the old town, very interesting, lots of small alleys with the buildings very close together. Just about every alley had a few tables with sometimes the restaurants just inside, and sometimes a couple of streets away. You would see waiters weaving their way through the streets with food or empty plate.

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Old town

A huge underground shopping area, plus in the Diocletian’s palace in the vestibule were Dalmatian singers, stopping in between each song to hawk off their CD.

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The Vestibule at southern end of the Peristil

I bought some sandals with slip resistant soles (something I should have done before I left NZ). I also bought a couple of presents for the grand babies, a plug, and could not resist a quick visit into the lolly shop.

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Cathedral tower rising above the Peristil

After this we went back out onto the promenade and a pirate looking ship caught my eye. My granddaughter Lucy likes dressing up as a pirate, and pirate stories, so I decided to have a look at the ship and take a photo. When we got up to it we were asked if we wanted to go on an hour and half cruise. We asked when it was sailing and “Now” was the response, so we hopped on board.

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We headed out along the coast for about 35 minutes, it was really nice being in the sun and the breeze. Then they stopped and said anyone who wants to go swimming now is your chance. I had no togs (or swimmers as they are called in Aussie) but with the beating sun and inviting looking clear blue water, it was an easy choice: off with the sunnies, hat, and shoes, and over the side.

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It was amazing warm water, we spent about 15 minutes swimming. It was a bit of mission to get back in the boat, as I had to go up a ladder which started at the water line. This required hauling up my body weight, but not being able to use one arm. Thankfully Brett went up first and gave me a helpful pull.

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Heading back to the waterfront

Once we got back to shore we wandered around the old city some more. Whilst walking up on alley we noticed a sign “wine tasting”, so we stopped at Diocletian’s Wine House to try 3 Croatian wines.

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First was a white Kujundzusa, unfortunately I can’t make out the rest of the name on the photo. We tasted this with shrimp and feta
Second was a red Dingac Nikolica, we tasted this with prosciutto and cheese
Third was also a red, Bedalov Zinfandel. We tasted this with cheese and honey.

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This grape wine Zinfandel got a disease and was dying out in Croatia, there were only 25 vines left. Some of the wine makers took some of the surviving plants to other countries so the type of vine would have a chance to survive. 20 years ago the vine was bought successfully back from America and now this wine is made again Croatia.

While we were there, we asked about the sign that said they prepared traditional Dalmatian food. They prepare a dish called Peka, which is a famous Dalmatian dish prepared with meat or octopus and vegetables. The ingredients are placed in a covered pan and cooked in the embers of the fire. This type of cooking is often referred to as cripnja (under the bell) as the pans often have a bell shaped lid. As this is the only rest day in Croatia we booked in for this at 8pm.

We wandered around a bit more, then back to the hotel to tidy up and get ready for the next day.

At 8 pm on the dot we arrived back at Diocletian’s restaurant, ready for a new food experience. The Peka was good, it was very rich as the liquid content had reduced due to the long slow cooking. I thought it was just over onto the slight overdone side, but still enjoyed it. This was followed by a panna cotta with berries, also very nice but much thicker / denser than any panna cotta I have had before.

Then it was time to return to the hotel, another day riding tomorrow. Pretty noisy outside, but am pretty tired after last night so hopefully will sleep ok.

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Diocletian’s Palace

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Day 2 in Sarajevo, Bosnia

I woke up this morning feeling much better. After breakfast I spent some time sorting out my bags and catching up with the blog.

At 10am was a compulsory new riders meeting. A bit painful when you have done a number of rides already. Then it was bike checks to ensure all our bikes are in good working order. After that we had the rest of the day to ourselves.

I was interested in getting to understand a bit more of the history of Sarajevo, especially the siege that lasted from April 1992 to February 1996. Plus I wanted to go and see the tunnel. We booked a tour to go and see the tunnel, meeting in town at 2pm. While we were waiting we had a look around the old town and had some lunch.

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Sarajevo Old Town

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Sarajevo

Background info:
There are a number of complex reasons and background history to the war, but in summary the war started because the Serbs and the Croats living in Bosnia wanted to divide it amongst themselves. The Bosnian population is predominantly made up of Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims).
The overall death toll on all sides of the war was 10,000.
There were atrocities on all sides, including genocide and the Srebrenica massacre where 8,500 men and boys were slaughtered.

The siege of Sarajevo lasted 3 and half years, the city had no power, was running out of food, and no heating with winters that reach up to minus 20 degree C.

3 of the 4 hillsides were held by enemy forces . The 4th hill side could only be gotten to by across the airport, which was controlled by the UN. Crossing there the snipers would shoot at anyone they saw.

There were 10,000 people, killed 1,400 of them children, in the siege of Sarajevo. The snipers on the hillside would shoot anything that moved in the city, and on average 300 shells were fired at the city daily. Over 20 years later there are shell holes in numerous buildings, and many ruined buildings still waiting destruction or repair. The main route through the city was known as sniper alley.

Coming into Sarajevo, still plenty of evidence of the siege (Photo credit: Brett’s Facebook page)

A tunnel was built under the airport to the hillside. This tunnel was also referred to as the tunnel of hope. It was constructed from March to June 1993. The tunnel was dug 24 hours a day, in shifts of 8 hours each. 2,800 square meters of dirt had to be disposed of in such a way that it was not noticed by the Serbs up on the hillside.

The tunnel was referred to as the Trojan horse of Bosnia. It allowed food, guns and medical supplies to be bought in. Also a pipeline of oil and electricity. There were over a million trips. Each journey took two hours, and the height of the tunnel meant the majority of people could not stand up straight in it.

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Sarajevo Tunnel House

The tour guide gave the history of the siege and the tunnel. Most of the tunnel is now collapsed, but we got to go in a 20 metre section that still exists. I had to stoop, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in it for two hours, laden down with stuff.

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Inside the Sarajevo Tunnel

After the tour Brett and I stopped and had a cold beer, and we shared a Bosnian sandwich, which is bread with a selection of meat, cheese, and coleslaw. It was very nice.

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Sarajevo beer o clock

Back at the hotel I was feeling very tired, so had a nap for a couple of hours. Then we walked to a couple of restaurants, but we had not realised Ramadan had finished and it was the start of 3 days feasting, so they were all booked. Instead we stopped at a small supermarket and bought some stuff for a picnic back at the hotel.

After packing the bag, it was time for an early night. I am feeling a bit intimidated by the thought of riding 135km, with 2000 meters climbing, tomorrow.

Links from Kaye about the Seige:

https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Siege-of-Sarajevo
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarajevo_Tunnel

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First day in Sarajevo (rest day for riders)

Having gone to bed about 7pm I was wide awake about 4am. Earlier in the night I woke up as I had heard some singing/ chanting which I wasn’t sure what it was. Later at breakfast one of the riders said it was related to Ramadan, and it was called “singing to welcome the new moon”.

As there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room I was downstairs at 7am, the moment the restaurant opened for breakfast, to get a cup of tea. I met four new riders from Sydney who were doing their first TDA ride and chatted to them for awhile. After an omelette and a few more cups of tea I headed back upstairs and fell asleep again.

I was woken by the phone just after midday to say Brett had arrived and was waiting down in reception.

We caught up on family news, Brett had a shower and then we headed out to have a look at the town. Unlike yesterday where the heat was stifling, today was not cold but not too hot either. We didn’t really do any site-seeing just milled around, and sat watching the crowds.

For dinner we went to a place called Apetit, which is rated number two for restaurants on TripAdvisor. It was only a five minute walk from the hotel, hence the decision to go there and not to the number one.

It was an interesting place, only seats 12 with no menu for food or wine. They cook and serve a selection of what they have got that day. It was a lovely evening, the staff were the chef and the wait person, who I think was also the owner.

We started with a salad and then had steak with vegetables and pepper sauce. Yum – no room left for dessert.

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Afterwards we had a wander around for a little while, stopped at an English pub complete with a red phone box and Laurel and Hardy outside. We went inside and had a drink. I had forgotten what it was like when people could smoke in pubs and restaurants yuk!

Back to the hotel as jet lag was catching up with me.

a phone box

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Day 27: Sunday 11 Dec – Rest day two in Queenstown (last day of holiday)

I slept in this morning then headed down town for breakfast. Then a walk around the park and the wharf area. Then it was back to get the bikes boxed, packing done, then finished my book.

We had a fantastic dinner at the Botswana Butchery Restaurant. I had a delicious mexican cocktail –  tequila, raspberry liquor, line and ginger. Then for an entree we shared Tasmanian scallops and a whitebait fritter.

For my main I had ribeye on the bone with a mushroom sauce, duck fat potatoes, seasonal veges and cauliflower cheese. Totally delicious, with an also delicious bottle of Hunter Valley Tyrell’s Lunatiq  Heathcote Shiraz 2009.

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Cocktail and wine, best.

We finished with a Cheese Board: Tui Cheddar and blue brie, accompanied by a Penfolds Grandfather Port, again totally delicious.

The restaurant had fantastic service, a nice view of the lake, and a nice atmosphere and great acoustically due to all the soft furnishing. As well as the main dining room and the outside dining area with a big roaring fire, there are also a number of private dining rooms upstairs ranging from 2 people to 20 people in size.

After dinner it was back up the hill again to get ready for the taxi pick at 630 am tomorrow.

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Day 26: Rest Day One in Queenstown

I was awake at about 7am and read for a couple of hours, then packed up to move along the road to the Hurley Lodge. This was about 0.3 of a km away. We went along and checked at 930 am if we could leave our bags and bike boxes there until we could check in. The room we were allocated was already vacant so we were able to leave our stuff in there straight away. It took two trips: one for the bike boxes and the next to carry the bags.

We had arranged to meet with Michele and Tony at the Pig and Whistle for breakfast at 1030am. When we got there we found it did not open till 11am so we went to a cafe next door. It was nice food. Michele and Tony have a trip to the Milford Sounds today – a plane ride and and a cruise today – depending on the weather. We had a look around Queenstown, the wharf, and the markets, and found some tape and cable ties to get our bikes well secured in their boxes.

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Checking out the brunch menu at the Pig and Whistle

The plan was then to go back to the hotel to box the bikes properly, but instead we both read until it was time to meet Sue for a drink to celebrate her EFI, at 2 pm.

At 2pm we met Sue and went back into the town. We looked along the water front and stopped at an Irish Pub called Pog Mahones. We sat outside drinking a nice bottle of Daniel Le Brun with a antipasto platter, followed by a cold beer and bread and dips. We were a bit startled when the bread and dip came out: 2 freshly cooked loaves of bread (the size of the Sunday fresh loaves we used to get) with large containers of pesto, oil and balsamic, and a green dip – possibly cream cheese.

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Celebrating Sue’s EFI

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Congrats Sue! A well deserved bubbles after cycling EFI (every f*cking inch)

We stayed for quite a while, chatting and watching people walking along the wharf, and listening to the young busker playing the saxophone.

Then it was back to the hotel to read a bit more until it was time to meet for dinner. We met Tony, Michele, Phil, Anne and Graham at the Pig and Whistle for dinner. I had a lamb shank pie which was really nice. Everyone liked their meals but the service was not friendly. Snappy young ladies who banged the plates down on the table, with no smiles or friendly banter. Nothing like the Pig and Whistle in Rotorua where the staff were extremely friendly. After dinner it was time to say goodbye to Phil, Anne, and Graham.

Michele, Tony, Brett and I went back to Pog Mahones and listened to the Irish Band for a while. Due to the weather conditions Michele and Tony were not able to go on the trip to the Milford Sounds and an alternative was organised for 6am tomorrow morning.

After that it was back up the hill again to the hotel. Tomorrow is the last day of the holiday!

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I made a friend in Queenstown

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