Long time no see! I guess I’ve already used this sentence something like three years ago: it seems I’m updating my blog only when I do cycling tours, but well, this is also liberty of speech after all.
Today I’ve started a short tour that will bring me from Passau, in Germany at the border with Austria, all the way to Vienna.
The Danube, well, is a river, a very long one, some consider it the longest in Europe (2860 km), starting in the German Black Forest and streching over 10 countries before emptying into the Black Sea. I’ve actually been once at the source of the river, but that was many years ago, well in 1999:
Back then I was by motorbike, now I’m by bicycle, and I have skipped a few kilometres from there. Well, the whole Germany.
My current trip started in the German small city of Passau (50.000 inhabitants), also know as the “city of three rivers”, as there the Danube is joined by the Inn (yes, the one that goes through Innsbruck) and the Ilz. Placed near the Austrian and Czech border, Passau old city with its picturesque narrow streets forms like a peninsula at the crossing of the three rivers. It is highly influenced by the Italian baroque style of the XVII century, also because it was fully and majestically rebuilt after the great fire of 1662.
The main highlights of the city are its monuments, first of all St. Stephen Cathedral and the “Veste Oberhaus” fortress, nowadays museum and youth hostel. Secondly its vivid river life, with lots of boats and cruise ships sailing back and forth along the Danube.
Leaving Passau on the right bank (south side) of the Danube, the path leading to Vienna is well marked and follows the old railway that leads to Austria, and the border is just a few kilometers away. As a matter of fact, the border is marked by both river Inn and Danube, but a small part south from them belong to Passau and therefore to Germany. However once entered into Austria, the border goes along the Danube for another few kilometres before diverging towards north to the Czech Republic.
The route is mostly a quiet paved cycle path going along the countryside and surrounded by high forrest hills, whose colour is just interrupted every now and then by small villages or massive construction on the top of the hills, like Burg Vichtenstein castle, dating back to the XII century and built at a hight of over 500 metres.
Before reaching Engelhartszell, last destination of this first stage, I detoured on the Jocherstein power station just to take a picture of this stylish dam.
And a last picture of Engelhartszellbefore going to sleep. Actually all you can see is its church, but still…
Day 01 – Tour de Danube 2016: Passau – Engelhartszell
Trip distance: 31 km
Total trip time: 3 h 20 min