Day 04 – Tour de Danube 2016: Grein – Krems

This new day started immediately with a river crossing: as you can see from the picture, I wasn’t really the only cyclist leaving Grein. Once on the other side, however, the road became soon quiet: we were going at different speeds so we didn’t really turned out to be a storm cyclists.

A bicycle-crowded boat

A bicycle-crowded boat

It seemed the weather wasn’t going to be on the warmest side today either: but then again, you wouldn’t like to cycle under the sun with 30 degrees either. That is to say, there’s always a positive side in everything.

From Grein the best cycling route is on the south bank of the Danube: as a matter of fact I started to notice that the main road is always on the northern side, so if you want to cycle in peace, better to stay on the southern side. Especially after Grein, jus surrounded by the countryside.

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The first town along the road after grain is Ybbs, before which you have a nice power-station dam on top of which you can cycle on the other side, where the twin town Persenbeug is. Although the plan was to stay on the southern side, I couldn’t help crossing the river back and forth to see the nice locks, just when a boat was transiting.

Locks (one open, one closed) of Ybbs-Persenbeug hydroelectric power station

Locks (one open, one closed) of Ybbs-Persenbeug hydroelectric power station

Nice villages along the way today. Here is Pöchlarn, with its nice colourful houses:

Couloured houses in Pöchlarn

Couloured houses in Pöchlarn

I stopped in the village for lunch, and a soon as I had left, some water decided to come down from the sky. Actually a lot of water, but once you decided to leave, nothing can stop you. Especially because there wasn’t really any proper shelter along the way. Fortunately it just lasted half an hour, so I had the time to dry up on the bike before reaching Melk, known for its gorgeous Benedictine abbey, great example of baroque style.

Benedictine abbey of Melk

Benedictine abbey of Melk

A long day full of culture and history: after Melk I opted for the northern side of the river, since the main attractions are over there. First of all the tiny village of Willendorf, where in 1908 a tiny statue (11 cm tall) was found in the ice-age loess. The Venus of Willendorf is one of the best preserved relic of the Palaeolithic times. It is nowadays in the museum of the village, not too far away from where it was found.

Monument (much bigger than the original) placed where the Willendorf Venus was found

Monument (much bigger than the original) placed where the Willendorf Venus was found

The tour continues towards Dürstein, where the romantic ruins of its castle reminds of the old times. The castle was abandoned since the 30-year war, and it was the one where the English King Richard the Lionhearted was held for ransom in the 12th century. Although the castle is just ruins (it’s possible to hike over there), the village is very well kept with wonderful alleys and old buildings, which bring you directly back to the Middle Ages.

The wonderful allays of Dürnstein

The wonderful allays of Dürnstein

Worth remembering the this area is also known for the wine: with incredible hills covered by vineyard , the variety of wines made here is very wide: Güner Vetliner, Müller Thurgau, Neuburger and the widely famous Rheinriesling.

Vineyards in the Wachau valley

Vineyards in the Wachau valley

The day ended (just before it started raining again) in the city of Krems after almost 100 km of cycling, the longest leg of this short tour.

Day 04 – Tour de Danube 2016: Grein – Krems
Trip distance: 98,5 km
Total trip time: 9 h 10 min

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