The Journey – Day 76

I had a leisurely breakfast, shaved and made the best of myself, organised camera equipment etc. and set off for the Hilton, in the certain knowledge I would not be going anywhere today, boat or no.

Even with the laid back morning I had taken, I arrived in the hotel before the conferences started and I decided to film background shots of the many suites of conference rooms.  People started to arrive for their day and I got some shots of them without showing faces etc. which showed the hotel in use.  One woman came out of a lift as I was filming the foyer.  I took the shot again as she had walked right across the shot.

I moved around filming from various angles the open spaces, bars, restaurants and waterfront lounges.  The same woman managed to walk into shot five times.  The last time I very politely said this must be some sort of record and would she like to sign a waiver form?  She said she was looking for a computer part but could not find one?  I still am not sure what she was about.

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The Journey – Day 75

I left the motorhome having tidied up the gathering piles of tangled wires and plugs for charging various bits of equipment, and went to use the internet in the Hilton.  The very nature of hotel life prohibits personal contact, so I only took the hand held selfie camera for personal shots and abandoned temporally the idea of the voyages main interest; meeting people on or around the river route.  I spent most of the day working on the desk in the computer lounge.

Very comfortable but as my budget does not include hotel service I returned occasionally to the motorhome for coffee and sandwiches, also keeping an eye on the quay to see if any ships had tied up there.

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The Journey – Day 74

Up early and off to the UN building to meet up with their representative for media and publicity.  I explored further around the suburbs for so long I lost track of time, and had lunch in a Turkish grill.  I could not finish the 25cm diameter burger, costing five euros.  I filmed the cosmopolitan life around a large church and grounds and made my way to the underground station.

At the UN building I met one of the heavily armed security guards who directed me to the security control at the main entrance where I passed through an airport style baggage check.  I went through to a foyer with some shops and a coffee machine.

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The Journey – Day 73

No ships in sight on the quay.  The river was still high, and the water was running swiftly making the small boats on the other bank look as though they were moving.  Ducks that landed on the surface of the river floated past at about 7km/h; a fast walking pace.  I finished my leisurely breakfast and formulated a plan for the day.  I would infiltrate the Hilton and see if I could get permission to film inside.  The approach would have to be carefully planned and I dressed for the occasion; my smartest casual shirt and trousers far too warm for the weather.

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The Journey – Day 71

I had set my alarm for 6.45.  when it went off I felt I had only just gone off to sleep.  I found another bakery near the bridge and didn’t buy their small croissants at 1.60 each.  As I crossed over the bridge a saw a pusher tug taking two barges side by side into the lock. I drove as quickly as I could though slow-motion traffic and stopped inside the lock next to where the chief lockkeeper was standing. He greeted me as though he has expecting me to arrive exactly at that moment; he indicated that when the ship was tied up he would go and negotiate a tow.

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The Journey – Day 65 – 70

June 4th

I moved the motorhome to the parking on the rive gauche near the centre of Linz which was only a 10-minute walk over the bridge.  I arranged all my equipment and made the journey on foot to the tourist office.  I had arranged to have some space in the reception area, to use the sockets to power my new disc drives.  Having set up all the various things that needed charging I set to work loading the very large files, which had filed my computer, onto the hard drives.  I freed up half the storage on the computer, some files taking 15 minutes to load.

I worked on the blog and tried to catch up with notes etc. with some success; the interruptions were many and the events going on outside were a temptation for me to go out and film.  I made a few excursions to film university students climbing up a rope ladder hoisted 50m in the air by a huge extending crane.

The Red Cross were giving a demonstration of their arts and there were preparations underway for a rock concert for later on in the evening.  A group of people, dressed in traditional costumes were holding an event displaying very intricate hats of a somewhat odd design; laced with gold filaments or completely black.  The event merited an Austrian brass band and a group of young people with guitars and choir waiting to perform.  I had to go back and keep an eye on the progress of the file transfers.

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The Journey – Day 60 ’till 65

Three days travel on the Herbert brought me to Linz. I had a stopover at Obermuhl, a truly beautiful village at the confluence of a small river that comes down through the Austrian mountains to join the Danube.  The small marina, centre of the tiny village is surrounded by wooded hills cut by the Danube as it twists its way through the rock formations forming loops than almost form islands.  The village is located at the end of the most famous loop called Schlogener Schlinge.

There is a quay where the Herbert was able to tie up and spend the night.  I organised the delivery of the motorhome as set about organising my evening.  I spoke to the owners of the hotel and bar, explained what I was doing by showing the website.  They saw photos of me playing guitar and invited me to play a few songs on the terrace.  During the evening I joined a group of bikers who were saying at the hotel.  The evening ended in a cloud of schnapps.

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The Journey – Day 56 – May 26th

Yesterday I spent the afternoon wandering around the town of Straubing after sorting the Banana out and stopping blood coming out of my finger.  I caught up on some sleep and did a bit of tourism and some filming of the town.  There is a huge car park, free to all which is also used for the towns festivals.  I decided not to park there for the night as the local hot rods use it as a race track, driving around without an exhaust to attract young women who are not interested in idols posing in a resprayed banger with Abba blasting from open windows.

Although here it is more like Porches that are making the racket with real engines one board.  I found a quiet car park near a holiday park and had a good night’s sleep for a change.

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The Journey – Day 55 – May 25th

The day started about four hours too early this morning.  I was awake most of the night listening and surveying the idiots who got out of the rain to practice laughing at nothing at all, running around throwing beer at each other and attempting to grow a hangover.  I went down the bank to the Banana and found it in good order.  There were two main things to do.  One launch it, the other get it around the pillar of the bridge which came down almost directly into the lock wall.

The ‘hydrofoil’ was hooked on the stones and partly on a step , so it could not easily be pushed out into the lock.  This was a good plan which worked well, except I needed to push it into the lock and take it to the waiting ship.  Surprisingly my idea to leaver it into the water with the paddles I have worked first time, no problem at all.  I pulled the Banana around towards the bank and towed it along towards the bridge.

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