We made it to Austria fairly easily, although unusually I found it very difficult to get comfortable in the car to sleep. We stopped over in Heidelberg on Tuesday night and had dinner with one of Mr Tuna's friends at an amazing vegetarian organic cafe, where everything was marked to show whether or not it contained gluten.
On Wednesday we proceeded to Austria and Zell am See. The plan was to keep going until we got to Zell and then have a swim in the lake (Tuesday had been a rest day), but as we came through Ellmau, I remembered my favourite pool EVER! The Kaiserbad! The day was overcast and it was only about 18C so we were met with incredulity when we asked if the outdoor pool was open, but it was. There is a very warm indoor pool, where you can swim through to an outdoor lazy river, and then you can hop out, down a slide into the lido. The lido was pretty chilly, fine for me acclimitised, but a bit cool for Mr Tuna. We had it to ourselves, so I swam a km (approx) before we went back into to ride on the flumes. When we had warmed up a bit, we went back outside to the Bio-Pond for a bit of lake swimming, before some more flume rides. It was absolutely AMAZING!
Yesterday, we took the bikes out for a brief spin - Mr Tuna's is sounding a bit wonky so hopefully we can get that fixed. Cycling through Zell am See on the wrong side of the road surrounded by Austrian traffic was frankly terrifying. It's been a while since I cried on the bike, but I did yesterday. My knees were knocking when I got off. On the plus side, the roads will at least be closed for the race on Sunday. I had to go for a swim to calm down, but apparently the weather was too bad for the lakeside bathing place to be open. I did what every self respecting swimmer in need of a swim does, and just hopped in off a jetty designed for motorboats. Didn't swim for long but rather enjoyed it - the water was about 19C and perfectly pleasant. After a shower, we drove as much of the bike course as we could (nearly all of it) - it's two loops, so about 28 miles each - and it seemed a very long way. However, compared to the rides I've been doing in the UK, it seemed pretty flat. There's only one hill, and a couple of long inclines and a few shorter ones. Nothing like around the Cotswolds!
We then had a lovely afternoon/evening in Salzburg. If I'm honest that was a bit too much after the morning exertions but it was lovely to walk through the Mirabell Gardens and go to see the Marionette Theatre production of the Sound of Music! We also had a nice dinner before driving back to Zell.
This morning we were up early to go and see the swim course - the buoys were out already. It was very casually arranged to my surprise, no safety cover, so I had to swim round with Mr Tuna. The
Austrians were all complaining about the water temperature (19C); I tried
not to overheat in my wetsuit and told someone that we were swimming in
11C at the start of the season in England! I have decided on the advice of Dan Bullock to wear my wetsuit, because it will make me a bit faster. Also, if there is a lot of hanging around at the start (and the weather forecast isn't that great...) then it will keep me warm. It was so beautiful!
Mr Tuna has now gone off to cycle a bit of the bike course, I'm resting in bed but actually starting to feel pretty twitchy. This afternoon we will go to the Expo, and to register, and then chill out in the hotel spa. Tomorrow is the race briefing, I have the Irongirl race, and then we need to rack our bikes and drop off our transition bags.
In other news, it's been a while since I've mentioned my sponsorship page on here - I've now raised £1457 for Mind, which is nearly 3/4 of my target! The address of the fundraising page is www.virginmoneygiving.com/verityjdo