The farewell in Vienna was not easy for me. The time relaxing time here I have enjoyed immensely. On the Euro Veloweg No. 9, I could comfortably drive to Wiener Neustadt. From there it was again westward in the direction of Semmering Pass (984 m above sea level). The descent through the Mürztal was extremely relaxing. In Bruck an der Mur I was able to drive along the well-known Murradweg. I especially liked Frohnleiten very well.

Shortly before Graz, I discovered a poster for the castle ruins Gösting. I did not miss the opportunity to spend the night up there. The castle ruins Gösting stands on a narrow ridge on a steep cliff above a former Roman road. The castle is located 200 meters above the city of Graz and is a popular destination because the location offers a wide view over the Grazer Becken and the eastern Styrian hill country.

Of course, after this extremely relaxing night I had to visit Graz. The drive up to the Schlossberg, which served as a fortress between 1125 and 1809, was tough but rewarded with a magnificent view. Actually I wanted to visit as many sights as possible. Pretty soon, however, I realized that I had seen enough castles, palaces and churches.

So I drove after a few hours again in the direction of southern Styria. In Deutschlandsberg I was allowed to stay overnight with Gudrun and Wolfgang. We had met at the campsite in Imst (Tyrol). With Wolfgang's help I was able to weigh my bike with my luggage for the first time: 72kg brings my tractor on the scales. Many thanks for the great hospitality!

After 1 month in Austria it was time for me to continue driving in the direction of Slovenia. The bike pass with 18% gradient formed the conclusion of my stay. I enjoyed the time here enormously and would like to thank all who have made my stay here so memorable.

So far, I knew Slovenia only from canoeing and was therefore extremely curious about the country and the people. From the beginning I realized that it is usually only up or down. However, on the side roads there is usually little traffic and the Slovenian drivers are very considerate. Slovenj Gradec was my first city I visited. I especially liked the parish church.

The weather was wonderful and so I could usually lay my sleeping bag somewhere and spend the night under the open sky. On 1 May 2004, Slovenia - along with nine other countries - joined the European Union. An anti-tank gun reminiscent of the 10-day war against Yugoslav troops in 1991 forced me to take a picture and set up camp right next door.

I had a great experience a day later. Towards evening a thunderstorm started. In Lasko (where the famous beer comes from) I found no shelter. A village further, in Marija Gradec, I found a tennis court with a small house. There I sat down to the tennis players. They immediately invited me to a beer and allowed me to sleep under the roof. When I was allowed to use the shower then I was overjoyed. Velomads only need small things to be happy!

After only 5 days I arrived at the Croatian border. I really enjoyed the short time in Slovenia. At the border crossing the Croatian official asked me where I am going. "To Africa," I answered. He laughed loudly, said "Good Luck" and let me go. If border crossings were always so easy!