Lederhosen Dance Parties and Homemade Bread in Hollabrunn

"After a few Austrian beers this bizarro-world ended up being just the right scene to shake the memories of my treacherous journey into town." 
Hollabrunn, Austria
Annual Summer Carnival

Story & Media: Ben Rubin

While riding through Austria last month on my trusty river bike, I ended up stopping for a night in Hollabrunn - a small town between Prague and Vienna.  I had contacted a guy there through couchsurfing who happened to be outta town, but he had this friend who he had traveled with that could put me up for a night.

After some dead ends and delays, I end up biking in the rain - in the dark - on the side of this highway for a few hours...basically sharing the road with 18 wheelers and counting the kilometers until Hollabrunn.  Bad idea.  Finally, I get there, lock up my caravan and meet up with Kilian, his sister, and her friend who are heading to some local carnival that happens every summer in town.

Kilian told me about how he just had finished university - fresh out the gate - and he's planning this badass solo bike trip through the Baltic countries.  It turns out he comes from a whole clan of bike folk - living with his parents and sisters and a garage full of bikes in the countryside on the edge of town.  He's aiming to leave on his trip in a few weeks - the maiden voyage of his new recumbent bike - which has some space-age design and looks like a pretty awesome way to travel.

The carnival was crazy - full of these americana themed rides that seemed even more strange surrounded by flocks of wasted lederhosen-clad Austrians dancing on tables.

Lucky for me, after a few Austrian beers this bizarro-world ended up being just the right scene to shake my memories of my treacherous journey into town.

After a family breakfast with fresh goods right from their garden, Kilian and his sister gave me some maps for my journey to Vienna and advice about the bike paths.  I was ready to hit the road again in high spirits, but not before I finished making Kilian a sketchbook for his upcoming adventure.  Cheers to the Schenk family and the full buffet of Austrian experiences during my 12 hours in Hollabrunn!  For more picture and videos from Hollabrunn and the carnival, check out the media album here.

Almost a month down the road, I just got a message from Kilian that he is on his trip and made a blog for his travels.  Looks great, and he has some amazing adventures ahead - check it out and follow his journey!

Blog Von Kilian