At this stage things started to get serious in terms of kilometres… and elevation.
Leaving Linz on the northern side of the Danube, the path follows an elevated bank surrounded by playgrounds and grass fields, which I can imagine full of people during the summer. This is a very quite area and I guess local can make the best of it!
Although the idea is to cycle along the Danube, sometimes it is worth take a detour. As a matter of fact the northern side gives more than one possibility. The first is to the Mauthausen memorial, in the area where the infamous concentration camp was built during WWII. However it is on a hill and the 4-km climb is not suitable for a fully loaded bicycle like mine. Guess I’ll go there another time on foot.
Mauthausen itself (just along the river) is however a wonderful little village with picturesque houses. I got really envious on how Austrians are so creative with the façade of their homes, again I hope all the houses in world were so colourful!
The detour brought me in the nice medieval village of Mitterkirchen after which the climb started to be harsh, even because I was pedantically following the signs without noticing that they were related to the hiking path instead of the cycling one. Conclusion: I ended up pushing the bike up the trail in the middle of the forest. But it was worth it: I ended up on the top of the hill at the Clam castle a perfectly preserved castle dating back to the 12th century.
After about 6 km of downholl (finally) I reached my final destination of Grein, with its wonderful residential palace (16th century) and the oldest bourgeois theater in Austria (1791).
Day 03 – Tour de Danube 2016: Linz – Grein
Trip distance: 65 km
Total trip time: 6 h 10 min