top of page

to the Danube, near Vienna, Austria

Picking up the Danube at Passau, for the first of three days along the river. We journey into Austria and camp a few clicks short of Vienna - a route I cycled with an Austrian family when I was eleven years old.

Away just before 08h00, I didn’t sleep as well as the previous night. Not quite as damp as the Black Forest (dew), the gear was still wet when we packed up camp.

A long day in the saddle today...eight and a half hours with temperatures above 30 from midday (34 at the hottest)...

It’s fine when you’re on the open road, though sat in traffic, or waiting to overtake the many lorries, it’s pretty gruesome.

We were detoured twenty or thirty miles on the planned route which added a good 30-45 minutes; plus we had a couple of 30 minute stops to consume litres of water to stay hydrated.

Detours happened before we reached Passau, the German section was fast, great roads and rolling landscapes. At the border with Austria, crossing the bridge, you’re blown away by the quintessentially picturesque town, rising up above the river.

Hugging the Danube for around 15 miles, we paused by the river...PP having a short paddle...meeting some friendly cyclists from Passau, out for the day. An amazingly brutalist coal station at Linz, the industrialism is wvident when you pass by the enourmous locks along the river (sorry - no pics - we were travelling at speed, with no obvious places to stop!).

Moving inland, we then took in the surrounding Austrian countryside...the roads are not as good as in Germany, though pretty scenery nonetheless. This is the point at which the heat starting taking it’s toll, the last 50 miles, alongside the river again, I was counting down the kilometres left.

The campsite is lovely, clean and well ordered. Less options for tents, we are a little way from the waters edge; a great breeze in which to dry the gear and tents, before dinner. fantastic view across the river to Durnstein, with the ruins above the riverside town.

Tomorrow, as well as the next two, promise to be hot and long again...can’t knock the scenery though and the people we meet along the way all say hello with a smile.

bottom of page