Heraklit: "We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not."
12.05.2011 - Munich
The plan was to cycle from Scuol to Budapest. The bikes were ready, everything packed and Seraina and I looking forward to our hols. The last few weeks were excellent: very warm and sunshine everyday. That of course changed on our first day of holidays... rain, cold, no cycle weather (at least not for us two "good-weather-athletes"). Three choices: change our holiday-plans and look for good weather somewhere else, wait at home until the sun is back or start by
train and shortcut the trip. The last option became our choice and Thursday morning we & our bicycles took the train to Munich. The night before we randomly booked over the internet a hotel in Munich which looked reasonably central . And indeed: Hotel Herzog close to Goetheplatz was what we needed: good beds, quiet, excellent shower and with 88EUR per room not too expensive. The first evening we had dinner at the "Gaststätte Fraunhofer" which turned out to be an excellent choice: typical bavarian food but as well as a lot of vegetarian dishes and of course great beer.
13.05.2011 - around Munich 53km / 2h
The weather was good for one day therefore time for our first "cycle-tour": english garden, olympia park, castle nymphenburg, Frühlingsfest @ Theresienwiesen. Munich is a great city! And it has one of the friendliest/most helpful owners of a bicycle shop. If you ever need something for your bike in Munich, visit Rolf von Ah at Häberlstrasse 23!
Still raining... we extended our hotel for another night and visited the concentration camp memorial in Dachau... the bad weather mirrored our emotions.
16.05.2011 - Munich-Passau
Finally... the weather is supposed to be good from tomorrow onwards. Therefore we check out of the hotel and take the train to Passau where we want to start our cycling trip now. In Passau we take the first hotel next to the train station: IBB Hotel - unfortunately not the best choice: they charge us extra to lock in our bicycles... on the room is a bottle of water, but not a gift from the hotel, 3 EUR they want for it. The room doors are not really sound-proof and the "free wifi" is somewhere, but not in our room. At least the bar-keeper is a friendly guy. In Passau Seraina's bike has the one and only breakdown for this trip: flat tire. We give it to a professional to fix and are happy with the result! Now we can start!
17.05.2011 - Passau-Linz - 98.79km - 4h 24min
09:50 we start and @ 17:00 we are in Linz. In between: only sunshine, two ferry trips to cross the danube, the "Schlögener Schlinge" and a nice Jause.... Linz than is fully booked so we had to take a more expensive hotel which turned out to be worth every Euro: Hotel am Domplatz , what a difference to the previous night... (and we even got a free room upgrade!).
We finish this first cycling day with a short "cultural hike" above the roofs of Linz: Höhenrausch.2 ... wonderful!
Another beautiful day. We start our trip at 9:32 and follow the danube on the south to Melk. As usual we have enough time for a rest in this historical town. In Mitterarnsdorf we stop at the Gasthof zur Wachau for a glass of local white wine and a nice, huge "Schnitzel". In Rossatzbach we take the ferry over to Dürnstein. A small town overlooked by the castle in which King Richard I Lionheart was held captive. On the north side we follow the danube to Krems where we find shortly after our arrival at 15:20 a room in the lovely Hotel Alte Post.
We probalby should have stayed at the hotel (pictures above) for dinner as well... the "Gozzoburg" which we went to only made points with the view over the town... Other than that it was another great day followed by deep sleep.
20.05.2011 - Krems-Klosterneuburg (Vienna) - 70.45km - 2h 59min We start to get used to it: no clouds, warm weather: beautiful.
At 9:37 we start our ride first on the northside and after Altenwörth on the southside of the danube. While the public & the government in Switzerland were discussing the future of nuclear powerplants we had lunch in front of the only such powerplant in Austria. Important to mention that it never operated.
We switch first again to the northside afterwards to the southside and arrive at 14:00 in Klosterneuburg where we get a cheap room at the Hotel Anker (nothing special, but all we needed for the night). The plan was to go to Vienna for dinner. But first we had to look at the lovely old centre of Klosterneuburg followed by an apero in a "Heurigen".
In the evening we take the train to Vienna (getting a train ticket took longer than the ride into town) and of course visit first the Prater. We listened to a DRS 2 - Atlas - podcast about Vienna and therefore went to the Margaretenplatz for dinner. The featured restaurant however does not seem to be an "Insidertip". No chance to get a table in the garden. However, the food & drink were excellent.
Switzerland, Germany, Austria. Time for a new country!
At 09:40 we start and shortly after our coffeebreak on the danube-island in Vienna we cycle on the "Marchfeld"-causeway. 30km straight.... the first time I would not have minded some clouds. At 15:09 we already arrived in Bratislava. 15years after I've been there the last time I was back. But wow... the city was not the same anymore. One memory I had was the canonball stuck in the church tower. Te last few years I spoke to several people who have been in Bratislave, some even who origined there. But nobody knew what I was talking about when I mentioned the "canonball in the churchtower". It was a good feeling when I saw it again myself. Knowing that my memories did not trick me the last 15years....
The original plan was to cycle to the tourism office and ask for a hotel room (it's not fun to look for a room by bike with all the luggage in a big city). The first difficulty was to find the tourism office (instead we found a "helpful" lady who told us that the tourism office closes at 3pm and who wanted to sell us a room in her house). At the end we stood in front of a hotel which didn't look that great and we thought that given the central location it looked affordable. I went in to check for available rooms and I found out that we actually did not stand "in front" of the hotel but "at the back". Inside (and from the front) the hotel (Art Hotel William) looked beautiful and we were not sure if we could afford it. The rates published at the hotel reception were as well higher than what we would have paid. But at the end we got a beautiful room for less than 100 Euros a night (including breakfast!) and our bikes got locked in a safe room for free. After a shower it was time to explore the city and for a drink. Sipping a coktail it suddenly started to hail. I loved it: sitting outside in hot temperature protected by a roof watching the tourist running for a shelter while enjoying my caipiroska... priceless. A good dinner (at least it was good when I good all the dishes... the waitress was not really "experianced" to phrase it nicely) followed by a deep sleep ended another beautiful day. 22.05.2011 - Bratislava
Time for a break! It's defenitely worth to take one day off from bike-riding to explore Bratislava!
We knew that the break eventually would be over. However, far to quick it was Monday and we were at 9:05 on the road again. The majority of the day we would follow the biggest channel built by human beings. This enormous water-power-plant was subject of political crises, oecological protests and international lawsuits. At 15:48 we arrived in the little town Komarno and found in the Penzion Penita a nice little room (35EUR incl breakfast) to spend the night.
24.05.2011 - Komarno-Esztergom - 59.09km - 2h 29min Most of our trip we followed "bicycle-only-roads" without any cars. That unfortunately changed now... either the roads were quite bad or with heavy traffic. We knew about that and therefore decided to cycle today only a short distance. We started at 10:0 and it did not take long until the road the first time disappeared for a few meters:
But nature again was great and all in all still a fund day! At 13:46 we arrive in Hungary, more precisely in Esztergom with it's beautiful basilica (in fact I don't care about the basilica... but the view from it's tower is just perfect!).