|Date||Sunday 13 November 2005|
|Distance stage||37,0 km|
|Distance acum.||2046,0 km|
|Quality of signs||Good|
|Quality of the hike||D (not so good): straight along the river, and through the city|
Today is the second day of my three-day hiking trip. I leave Eckartsau in time, as today is going to be special. After the milestone of yesterday (2000-kilometer mark) I finalize the Austrian section of the E8 (including the descriptions in Gert Tregos guidebook) and I will arrive in Slovakia, a coutry where I have never been before.
But, first I walk for hours through the fog over the dam, along the river Donau. In Hainburg I cross the river using the (extremely high!) bridge. The part of the stage between Hainburg and Wolfstal is not nice; wet grass, wet leaves, some annoying steep steps and unnecessary d-tours. In the gloomy Wolfstal the E8 and the E4, that have joined the way from Vienna to here, split again. The E4 continues southeast-bound through Hungary and Jugoslavia to Greece. Also in Wolfstal the guidebook of Gert Trego comes to an end.
From now on I am on my own, using the maps that I have collected and any signs on the streets and trees. Just outside Wolfstal is the Köningswarte hill, which is recorded as the most eastern “mountain” in Austria. I had in mind to climb this hill while passing it (takes approx. 25 minutes extra), but due to the very dense fog that allows only a view of 200 meters I skip the option. Along the busy street I walk towards the border. At the Austrian-Slovakian border no customs officer is interested in a guy that crosses the border on foot, same as with my previous border crossings. The cycling path that I use continues into Slovakia. First it follows in parallel the highway, later it crosses the suburbs of Bratislava. My stage ends at the national monument that is situated on a hill overlooking the city centre. Over here there is only 100 meter view.
I walk in 10 minutes from the monument to the central railway station, where I take a taxi to the hotel that I have selected beforehand on the internet. I have dinner in the chinese restaurant next to the hotel.