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Day 1, photo 1

Öjersbo - Landvetter airport
Distance: 25 km (16 miles),
Max speed: 41.5 km/h (25.8 mph)
1.28.19 hours of pedaling
Salzburg airport - Bischofshofen
Distance: 56 km (35 miles)
Max speed: 50.1 km/h (31.1 mph)
3.12.56 hours of pedaling

I woke up at 04.45 at home (in Sweden). My bike and bags were already prepared for departure so I had breakfast, checked my to-do-lists and left one hour later, heading for Landvetter airport outside Gothenburg. I had 25 kms to the airport and it was a beautiful morning; perfect weather for a mountain bike ride. I arrived 90 minutes later and it took me about 20 minutes to prepare my bike for the check-in. One of the airport assistants started arguing with me (in a very nice way though) and told me that I had to wrap my bike if I wanted to send it. But I knew that I didn't have to so I insisted. He made a couple of phone calls to Air Berlin to verify that I was right. The plane left 16 minutes later than planned but the transfer in Berlin was so fast and smooth (only five minutes) so I didn't have any problems at all. I got seat 1A on the flight from Berlin to Salzburg. I never had that before in my life, haha. The clouds scattered more the closer I got to Salzburg. The approach to Salzburg was gorgeous. I observed a small village on a sharp river bend of the Salzach: Laufen. And I knew immediately that I have to go there one day.

The plane landed one minute before schedule, at 14.14. I got my bike and bike bags first of all and 30 minutes later I had made my bike ready. It was 15.05 and my destination was Bischofshofen at the foot of the Austrian Alps. I knew that the fastest way to get there would to start along the Moosstrasse that would take me to the main road along the Salzach river. I asked at the information desk to save some time and got a prompt and detailed reply. So I set off and found my way immediately. It was a windy and warm afternoon (27C/81F). I had the wind in my back so it was a great start to say the least. I went through Hallein and at 17.15 I reached Kuchl which was an irresistible little village. I stopped there to buy some food and snack. Austrian grocery stores have really low prices compared to Italy and Switzerland. People were enjoying the sunny afternoon along the main street and I enjoyed observing them and their sweet village. Then I continued. After the beautiful Golling the landscape changed abruptly as the valley narrowed. I was heading for my first mountain pass: the Lueg Pass (553 m). It wasn't much of a pass, compared to what I had coming, but still a pass to conquer :) I sat down on a bench and enjoyed my snack and then I set off again.

After a while a surprise showed up in the distance - a castle on a hill, just like in a fairy tale. I had it in front of me for many minutes as I approached it and it became one of the highlights of this first day. The name of the castle is Hohenwerfen and it was built in 1078. It's situated on a hill, 113 meter above the main road and has a bell from 1568 that weighs 4.4 tons (!). Unfortunately I felt a bit stressed because it was already 19.20 so I didn't explore the castle from other viewpoints than this one, from the main road.

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