Passau-Linz(Austria) 106kms

A 30 euro night (reduced by bartering!) saved me from the wrath of the weather front that had laid waste much of Serbia, and how else do you start the next day, but with a plain, simple breakfast…


….and to justify it, I decided to join the popular flow of riders along the Danube cycleway, some doing short stretches for a week or two, some going the ‘whole 9 yards’, meaning of course, the 3000kms from source to the estuary that flows into the Black Sea. Like Uwe below


who had taken early retirement because of a heart condition, and simply decided to load up his daily run-around bike and ride off over the horizon. It doesn’t take much really…. Over a coffee, we chatted extensively about the UK’s attitude to the EU, and why we haven’t converted to driving on the right….. Ah, we had fun making light of so many things.


The Danube cycleway is a superb way of crossing the continent. No hills of course, no traffic, an excellent surface, and occasionally you have to change sides using simple hop-on ferries. I was the sole passenger on this one


…. but a minor downside for me personally is the potential monotony of always being on the flat, and the feeling of ‘sameness’ you get when you follow a river or canal. And of course, rivers never go in a straight line, do they? A 10km stretch can easily become 20kms, following the twists and bends.


And why photograph a snail, you might ask. It has rained so persistently that I have, sadly, sent hundreds of these to ‘snail heaven’ in the last few days. This one I didn’t…..


When I caught up with this gentleman, I marveled at the huge amount of kit he was carrying. He told me he was going to the Black Sea, and asked me: “How many kms do you make a day?” When I told him, he said in surprise. “Oh, you must be professional”. I really wanted to tell him he was carrying too much kit, but then I didn’t have the heart to burst his bubble.


And finally, what do I do when my blood sugar drops? Well, in the UK, I would ‘abuse’ a handful of jelly babies. In Austria, I find myself doing much the same to baby pandas. A cyclist’s cruelty knows no bounds!


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on May 19, 2014, in Kimbolton to Istanbul 4000kms: a crusader's route and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I like the look of the baby pandas! I love my sweeties too.
    I can see why riding along the Danube would become monotonous for you. You have tasted such a wide variety of riding situations.

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