I’ve been on me holliers with Christine. We flew to Vienna, spent a couple of days there, then cycled from Vienna to Budapest, via Bratislava, and had a few days extra in Budapest. We cycled 350k.

The cycle generally followed the route of the Danube but we didn’t see that much of the river. We rode on a mix of lovely flat tarmac cycle paths (Austria), rutted tracks, paths on the top of flood defence dams, sandy tracks beside fields, pot-holed roads and communist era concrete slabs. It was tough going some of the time. Tougher for Christine as she injured her back in Vienna but bravely cycled on through the pain barrier for the six day ride. It was very enjoyable though. Some lovely views, lots of peace and quiet, several pretty towns and villages, interesting eateries, a profusion of different languages, and interesting people. It was outdoors, warm, dry (apart from a thunderstorm one day) and active.

I didn’t manage to do something creative every single day. Some days were quite hard and I was too tired. But I kept a bit of a journal and did some sketches.

These first two are of sculptures in Donau Park in Vienna. (Donau = Danube)

A couple of years ago, on our last cycle trip, down the Neckar River in Germany, we visited Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s complex in Plochingen, so we had to see the Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna. Hundertwasser was interested in the influence of architecture on the quality of life and was not a fan of the straight line.

Here’s the house, and below is one of the mosaics on one of the walls.

Many church spires in central Europe are variations on a well-known theme. Here’s one in Austria from day one of our cycle.

One of the stand-out features of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, is its wrought iron fixtures. Here’s one found on a statue outside a church in the city.

We found a lovely little shop in Bratislava called Ethno Sumba. My type of shop with lots of hand-made goodies. It gave me some great ideas for future projects. Here are some of the motifs from the facade and signage of the shop.

Along much of the cycle path were grass verges or the edges of fields and these delicate chicory flowers were ubiquitous. This painting is not a good representation of them. The petals had serrated ends which were beyond my crude painting skills.

The first village we came to as we moved from Slovakia to Hungary was Rajka, and we found this memorial in a recess in a wall beside the church.

Budapest is a big sprawling city with elegantly proportioned but decaying buildings. It’s also full of domes and turrets. Here’s one of the domes. A bit wonky but I’m getting better at representing depth, I think.

There you go. Year two of my ‘do something creative every day’ resolution is off to a not quite flying, but better than stuttering, start.