Thank heaven this rainy day wasn’t a big riding day

It’s been nice to have another two-night stay somewhere. We’ve spent the weekend in Linz in a self-catering hotel room, but we’ve tried not to overbook by trying to do too much. It’s been nice to be able to cook for ourselves despite the challenges of just having two burners, a microwave, one small sauté pan and a medium sized pot. The meals haven’t been our most elegant offerings, but they’ve been comfy and filling.
We haven’t really done much else really. This morning we spent some time cleaning and lubricating the bikes, only to have to take them out in the rain to go and visit the Ars Electronica Center, which is a major landmark of the city. Actually, we managed to avoid riding in the worst of the downpours, but the bikes still got wet and the brakes squeaky thanks to the wet paths. The center is only about two miles from our hotel, in a modern looking building that is across the river from the older part of Linz. We found the center quite interesting but a tad overwhelming. Although there were many overview explanations of things in English, it wasn’t always clear to a non-German reader how to use many of the exhibits of this very interactive place. The idea of the museum is to combine experimentation, technology, art and science. There are several different sections, including temporary exhibits, plus an audiovisual presentation that is offered in English once a day I think. Part of that focused on using technology to preserve or record artifacts and art as they are undermined by technology, the environment, and other factors. One example cited was the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban in 2001. The presenter stressed the importance of using different types of technology to store information about things so they are not completely lost to posterity, which is interesting to us, given all the great works and buildings we’ve already seen on this trip. Another example, and probably my favorite part, was a discussion of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Using technology now available, the presenter was able to blow the picture up to an astonishing level of detail. He talked about the deterioration of the work due in part to the way in which it was created (on dry plaster instead of on wet plaster as would be the case for a traditional fresco) and in part due to the humidity of the setting. We went to look at other parts of the center after watching this, but I think we were pretty stewed by then, especially since some of the show was in 3D, which tends to make me dizzy at the very least. If it hadn’t been raining, we might have ridden over to see the old city (since we’ve only seen a half dozen or so medieval or baroque cities so far on this trip), but instead, we decided to come back, enjoy some quiet time together, and resolve some more details of the next legs of the trip, including bookings for Vienna and Prague. As Angie noted in one of her blogs, if we had less time, and more money, we would be more than happy to have someone else making all these arrangements for us.
Tomorrow, we head for Wallsee as we continue our ride towards Vienna.

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