Fertő/Neusiedler See bike trip

Just a week ago I was still on the way to becoming a Landscape ambassador in Hungary. Now all I have left is a diploma, lots of pleasant memories and a little bit of sadness in my heart. On Sunday (2. 6. 2012) we had a free day and a few optional programs we could take. I’ve decided to take the cycling trip around lake Fertő. When all was said and done, some agreed it was one of the best days of our life. I’ll try to back that statement up with some photos, but the smells and feelings cannot be reproduced over the internet. You just had to be there.

Lake Neusiedl (German: Neusiedler See) or Fertő (Hungarian: Fertő tó; Croatian: Nežidersko jezero, Niuzaljsko jezero; Slovene:Nežidersko jezero) is the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe, straddling the AustrianHungarian border. The lake covers 315 km², of which 240 km² is on the Austrian side and 75 km² on the Hungarian side. The lake’s drainage basin has an area of about 1,120 km². From north to south, the lake is about 36 km long, and it is between 6 km and 12 km wide from east to west. On average, the lake’s surface is 115.45 m above the Adriatic Sea and the lake is no more than 1.8 m deep. Source: wiki.

After walking to the bike shop from the hotel, renting bikes and a short time on the main road, we arrived to the cycle trail. One of our first sights was this landscape, bathing in the sun:

Abandoned vineyards.

Our first stop was the site of Pan-European picnic.

A monument on the picnic site.

After a short ride through a patch of forest, a great view opened up in front of us.

Members of our cycling group looking at the great view.

Great view of the lake from the hillside.

After resting and taking in the view for a little bit, we descended into Mörbisch am See, from where we took the boat to the other side of the lake.

Descending into Mörbisch am See.

Group photo at the docks.

The (in)famous reed belt. More info here.

After disembarking from the boat in Illmitz, we cycled through the area of the Austrian national park. Again, we noticed lots of pretty sights, and morale was sky-high.

Could there be a better place for resting in the shade?

Watchtower, overlooking the lake.

All of this cycling and sightseeing made us hungry, so we stopped in Podersdorf am See for some ice cream. And of course, to relax our minds, bodies and feet :)

Eating some ice cream. It was expensive, but delicious :) .

Oh you know, just chilling on the beach :) .

Podersdorf am See was our nothern-most stop. We rested for a little bit too long, so we had to hurry back to Illmitz. We were in a hurry, but that didn’t stop us from taking some more pictures. I think this one is great:

A cow walking in one of the salt lakes around lake Fertő.

In Illmitz, me and Hanna took a quick swim in the Lake. The temperature was just right. The ferry had to wait for us and the other were really nervous (except for our always-cool host Pal), but it was totally worth it (well, at least for us :) ).

Tired, but happy on the ferry back to Mörbisch.

A storm was brewing.

When we landed, there was already heavy rain. We found a refugé under the roof of a small well.

Even the rain couldn’t spoil our moods :) .

This was the last picture I took. After this stop (when the weather cleared up a little bit) we went back to Sopron. We also saw a green lizard, which is endemic in this area.

We finished the night by drinking some beers on the hotel roof with some great company. It truly was the perfect day.

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