The panoramic view we paid dearly for
We've been biking now for two days and the scenery along the Danube
river has been amazing. Sometimes it's so nice that we don't quite
think straight. For example, after dipping our feet in the water in
Passau, we began biking down the Danube bike trail towards Austria.
After an hour or so we came to the German/Austrian border. Now, since
both countries are in the E.U., there are no passport checks, but there
is a small tower (unoccupied), a short bridge, and a sign proclaiming
you're entering Austria. Emma was so distracted by the scenery that she
didn't even realize she had crossed into a new country! I stopped to
appreciate the occasion, then raced to catch up and tell her she was
now in Austria.
We stayed our first night in a region named the 'Danube bend.
A beautiful abbey en route to Linz
' Here the
river, blocked by mountains, diverts its course back towards its source
for a short while before finding a route through the hills. This gives
it a kind of zig-zag shape. Our guesthouse was up on those hills and we
wanted to find a panoramic view before descending back down to the
river path for the today's ride. So we set off through empty Austrian
roads, barely marked on our map, searching for a lookout. After an hour
or so of random searching, we did find a nice scenic spot with great
views over the Danube bend.
Now we were faced with the task of getting back down to the river. As
one can easily imagine, the scenic lookout was perched atop a steep
cliff. Our options were to retrace our steps and start again from our
guesthouse or take our bikes down a 1-hour long hiking path.
A tower in Linz
We were in
no mood to double back so we started our bikes down the hiking path.
Unfortunately, the path quickly became quite narrow, steep, and rocky
in many spots and we had to carry the bikes down most of the way. In
the end, we spent about 3 hours on this diversion and didn't arrive
here in the city of Linz
until very late today. To top it off, our
hotel in Linz was on top of the highest hill in the city and we had to
push our bikes up it before we could relax.
Fortunately, Linz is a very nice city, with a cobblestoned medieval
city centre with some pretty buildings around the main square. We
descended into the centre for dinner, but soon yearned for some rest
after our long day. We headed back up the hill to our hotel and it
started to rain. We took shelter under the trees of a large park. The
park was so nice that, despite our tired muscles, we explored it for a
bit. We discovered a tiny chapel and a small tower hidden in there,
both of which were very cool in the night lights. There were also some
very nice views of the rest of the city from this point. We got a bit
lost in the woods, but eventually found our way back to our hotel,
where we were asleep in no time. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit