Whilst getting about 50 to 60km closer to Vienna each day, I learnt bit by bit what fascinates others so much about cycling. It is the freedom to cycle so fast or slow as you want. Or to take a detour that goes through the fields or the forest or along the water’s edge. Since the route is mainly flat and in very good condition, it is really fun to then take the bike through some slightly rougher terrain. A deep green colour and lots of trees accompanied me along almost the whole length of the route between Passau and Vienna. Upper Austria, lower Austria and Vienna - each of these regions that I cycled through had its own special charm.
Right at the point where the Danube makes its well-known 180 degree turn due to the granite rock, I took a break even with a quick snooze built in. This really enabled the nature to work its wonders. The Schlögener Schlinge (loop) is even more impressive in reality than in the pictures on the internet. I took some deep breaths, dipped my toes into the cold water and looked forward to the next stages of the tour that were ahead of me – who would have thought that my first cycle tour holiday would have had such a meditative effect upon me.
The picturesque little towns along the route look like they have been painted at times. Schärding, Passau, Ybbs, Spitz, Dürnstein or Krems – they all give you that feeling of well-being, both physically and mentally. Every day on the tour, I got to discover new amazing areas along the Danube. These idyllic places are just perfect to escape the hustle and bustle in cities but whilst doing so they allow you to enjoy the culture and cuisine. My personal cultural highlights from the trip were my visit to Melk’s monastery along with its magnificent view across the Danube valley as well as Grein’s boat museum and the oldest still-used Greinburg town theatre.