Taking a dip in Passau
We're about to start an exciting new part of our trip. From Cologne, we took the train to the town of Passau
, in Eastern Bavaria. In this beautiful town three rivers converge: the Ilz, the Inn, and the Danube. For the next little while we will be following the Danube eastwards... on bikes! Our route soon crosses into Austria, where we bike through the Danube valley to Vienna. From there we continue east through Slovakia and Hungary to our final destination, Budapest. The trip is about 700 km and we plan to do it in two weeks. I have some experience biking from my adventures last fall in British Columbia, but Emma has confessed she is a bit nervous. I think we will be fine, except for some sore butts!
We arrived in Passau yesterday and found our way to our pension for the night.
View of Passau
Now that we're staying in more remote places, fewer and fewer people speak English and we are having a more difficult time. Fortunately, I spent a couple weeks in Wales secretly teaching myself some German from a book I found in the library; it has come in very, very handy. My book contained a lot of travel German so I'm an expert at saying things like 'when does the train leave?' or 'we are looking for a double room for tonight.' Not surprisingly, these phrases are very useful for travellers like us!
Yesterday we ate at an Italian restaurant and the waiter brought us a bill with several extra mystery items on it. I proceeded to argue with him in German until he corrected the bill. In the end (I think because he was so ashamed at the trick he tried to pull), he didn't charge us any tax and we ended up paying less for our meal than it truly cost. Today our bikes were delivered on the train. We've been cruising around on them in Passau to check out the sights. Our tour included a trip to a big cathedral, which contains the world's biggest church organ. Unfortunately we were too late for the organ concert and had to settle for organ tuning session instead.
Tomorrow we set off for Budapest by bike!