Arrival Day: totally relaxed
The journey there is easy. We plan everything so that our little one sleeps through most of the car journey. In Lienz we move into our family room in Hotel Sonne, very centrally located and in the immediate vicinity of the pedestrian zone. We enjoy dinner in the Adlerstüberl, a partner restaurant of the hotel and toast our forthcoming family cycle holiday with a beer, a ‚Hugo‘ and apple juice.
Bikes loaded, child trailer attached – let’s go! We ride at walking pace to Lienz train station, which is currently being renovated. But that is no problem, because there is a ramp for cyclists that leads under the rails and directly to the bike-train to Dobbiaco. If you take a closer look than we do, you will immediately spot the yellow signs for cyclists!
After about 50 very entertaining minutes by train – it is Timo’s first consciously experienced train journey – we reach San Candido in Italy. We notice Italian words all around us. David is also happy to practice his Italian, when a couple needs help with the bikes. As it turns out after David’s first words, they are Germans.
We cycle on the well-developed Drau cycle path, always more or less parallel to the railway, through beautful scenery with a view of the Three Peaks. At Timo’s request we take our first break just a few kilometres after the Austrian border, in ‚Sillian’s Wichtelpark‘ – ideal for letting off steam and recharging for both young and adult cyclists.
We continue, past Heinfels castle and even past the ‚Loacker World of Pleasure‘! Photos and videos are literally taken while riding past, because our little one has fallen asleep and we use the time to get ahead. We quietly enjoy the ride through the impressive Puster-valley and marvel at the rugged rocks of the Lienz Dolomites. The cycle path leads directly past the ‚Dolomitenbad‘-leisure pool. However we cycle onto Lienz and buy David a replacement for his sunglasses, which I ran over and crushed with my bike this morning, which David did not take very well. After dinner we discover the hidden alleyways of the sunny city of Lienz during a short walk.
Today’s tour is a very short one at only 35 km. We start comfortably around 9am and leave Lienz along the river Drau in a drizzle, which is steadily getting heavier. And yet one can imaging how beautiful this route must be in beautiful weather conditions. There are also some places for children which are ideal for a break: the adventure pools in Oberdrauburg or Dellach, a Kneipp-facility or even a trip to the Pirknerklamm-ravine. However we ride straight past all these highlights, since the rain just will not stop. The good thing about the Drau cycle path: the nearest train station is never far away.
We check Timo’s mood and the water level in the children’s trailer – everything is dry and cuddly, the mood is great – and we decide to cycle the final kilometres as well. We cannot get more soaked. We enjoy the comfort of the Waldpension Putz all the more in the afternoon, swim in the in-house indoor pool and also have a really good time in the evening. At 10pm Timo is sipping his cocoa with relish on the hotel terrace. This is what a holiday is all about!
After such a great breakfast one could easily forget about cycling. Re-energised we make our way to Spittal. Our path meanders idyllically through the forest on a narrow, almost unused road and we enjoy exactly what David and I love about cycling: meditative pedaling in an incredibly idyllic landscape in which the eyes can hardly get enough of the many different colours. In the afternoon we reach our hotel in Spittal. We explore the town and on the final evening of our short holiday we toast our first real family cycle holiday.
In terms of landscape, the Drau cycle path is incredibly attractive, with original scenery amidst the Dolomites, and yet through flat terrain. The leisure program for children is also impressive, because great adventures await all little cyclists in every town. A real alternative to the well-known Danube cycle path and a clear tip for all families who are looking for a varied river cycle path!