19.04. - 25.04.2012, 347 km  




April 19th we left Germany near Passau and continued our journey in Austria always along the Danube. What there is to say about Austria in summary: the cycle paths along the Danube are all very well developed, paved, flat and accurately signposted. The Austrians are very nice and helpful people who always gave us water for free.

On the first day we repeatedly met two tandem riders, a couple from Lübeck, who are on their way to the Black Sea as well. We overtook each other several times, almost like a relay race, when one of us stopped to make a break. It was fun to see familiar faces again and again on the track. For the first night we set up our camp near Linz just next to the Danube behind a dike, unknowingly right next to a geocache point (= scavenger hunt using GPS). While preparing our tent, two young men armed with GPS ran around a tree right across from our camp. We joined their search and after a short while Sonja detected the bright green treasure with the zoom of our camera far up the tree, which then one of the two guys had to reach in a daring climbing action.


Then Olli proudly made his first campfire from collected driftwood and immediately burned a hole into our plastic tarp on which we were sitting next to the extremely smoky fire. What a smasher!

The next morning we cycled into cloudy Linz, latched into a hotspot at McDonald's, ordered fries and coffee and tinkered a little with our homepage. Since it looked like heavy rain and also the weather forecast had reported rain, we decided to head for a campsite for the night. The one we found was very nice but unfortunately quite expensive (17 €). It only rained a little bit during the night so that wouldn't have been necessary. On the other hand we could have a hot shower as long as we wanted .. hehe! Here we met a nice couple from Ingolstadt and we immediately felt a bit closer to home (our best wishes to them both, if they are reading this!).

Our third night we again spent right next to the Danube outside of Persenbeug (means bad bend, according to native, as the Danube here makes a very tight loop) with a romantic view of the opposite town Ybbs, nightly illuminated. The weather was really "schiach" (as the locals say) the next morning , the sky was dark gray, it was  windy and it was slightly raining again and again. We therefore used the day to rest and rejuvenate.

After this break we went to the beautiful Wachau (greetings to the sporty jogger Michael from Marbach). We just loved this region. Far and wide only vineyards and fruit trees, the paradise of fruit brandies, liqueurs, jams and wine, even with a self-service liquor tasting booth right next to the bike path. And now we know where the Venus of Willendorf comes from.

After arriving in Krems, we inquired in a bike shop for the best way to Czech Republic, since we wanted to make a little trip to our friend Iva. The nice gentleman in the shop proposed different routes and we were given a cycling map of the area for free. We finally chose the Kamp-Thaya-March route which led us steeply uphill through the vineyards. Here we encountered several gophers (?) which scampered across our path. Our route led us further along the rivers Kamp and Pulkau. In Gars/Kamp we met a very friendly guy, Michael, working with his scarifier who provided us with fuel for our stove (thanks again). And when we stopped for a snack right next to a vineyard in Alberndorf hospitable winegrower Leopold invited us to several glasses of very delicous Gruener Veltliner. We really enjoyed spending time and drinking with him  but afterwards it was impossible for us to cycle straight with another bottle of wine as gift in our luggage :) We spent the night in a nearby field but it was quite fitful with mating pheasants and scuttling rabbits all over the place.

In Laa/Thaya we finally left Austria to explore Czech Republic. Pfiats Eich, Bussi and Baba!


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