A Lienz Interlude for the Lionhearted

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Lionheart 2019 is Underway!

Di and Doug await the Caravan

For people new to the blog, an explanation for why we didn’t start in Venice with the rest of the crew might be in order. (We are the sort of people who like the idea of doing a complete journey.) The reason is that we are picking up where we left off last year. This previous post will shed light on why we we abandoned the tour here for Di, and in Zell am See for me (it’s a long post, so you might want to skip to the heading “Riding On” for the short version.)

While the two of us were hanging out in the delightful town of Lienz and getting over jet lag with some short, flat rides in the area …

Rolling along a minor road near Lienz
How is this for a bike path?
Making friends on the way to Greifenburg

The rest of the group has ridden for four days and about 400 kilometres up into the Dolomites – including cycling the stunning Sella Ronda – through Cortina and Dobbiaco before arriving in this beautiful small city.

A rough approximation of the Lionheart route from Venice to Lienz

We meet at last

It was great to finally connect with the rest of the group over a few glasses of Prosecco in the lobby of our lovely tour accommodation here in Lienz. Some of the riders we’ve already been on tour with, and it will be great riding with them again.

The Hotel Traube …

The Hotel Traube

… is right in the middle of the central plaza of Lienz and will have provided a nice two-day pamper for those who’ve ridden over all those tough passes over the past few days.

After we met the rest of the group Sam gave us a bit of a history lesson about life in the Middle Ages around the time of Richard the Lionheart …

Sam Wood, Bike Odyssey owner, backed by guides Francesca and Enrico

Post history lesson we shuttled to a recommended restaurant serving authentic Austrian cuisine out in the ‘burbs where we dined al fresco …

Al fresco dining at an authentic Austrian restaurant

Rest Day: Massages, A Medieval Castle and Arguntum

A number of people booked massages to ease the kinks out of tired legs. This took them to the height of luxury in the GrandHotel Lienz.  Others made the short trip to Bruck Castle, which was completed between 1252 and 1277. (It’s interesting to note that  Richard the Lionheart passed through here almost 100 years before construction commenced on the castle, which suggests that this would have been a pretty rough neighbourhood at the time.)

Bruck castle

Dianne and I decided to wander out the bike path …

… to Aguntum , which was an important Roman garrison dating back to the first century B.C. Here is an image showing a section of excavation at the site …

… and some relics from inside the museum …

Reconstructed statue

It was a terrific visit (and I’m not that big on museums) especially with the App that gave us GPS-referenced descriptions as we wandered through the site.

On the way back the weather started to look quite threatening …

… but once again nothing has come of the thunderstorms that have been forecast over the past four days.

After our 13.5 kilometre excursion we were a bit peckish when we arrived back in downtown Lienz so we decided to make lunch our main meal …

And that’s about it for this post, except to say that we are really looking forward to riding with the rest of the group and getting to know those with whom we haven’t already been on tour.