An excellent days cycling . Mainly on gravel paths along the bank of The Danube , the days highlights including a pendulum ferry across to Eining, a ride on a motorised punt through the amazing Jura limestone gorge at Weltenburg and for something totally different listening to a group of guys singing Schubert in Weltenburg Abbey.
I left after another excellent breakfast & determined to stay on the river banks today, so I started by ignoring all the bike signs and headed for the river – where I ended carrying the bike down the steps 🙁 but once on the gravel path it’s so much better than zig zagging along streets. I bumped into my German friends again, as they were having a banana break. I stayed with them and with their help found the ferry at Eining to get as across to the right bank.
Lunch, with the best brown beer ever, was at the splendid Weltenburg Abbey, I shudder to imagine at the money the monks are making with the restaurant franchise, The abbey itself is totally OTT and I loved that the designer Cosmas Damian has an effigy of himself peering from the dome, a fun guy. A really moving experience was listening to the group of men singing Schubert in the perfect acoustics of the building.
My German friends had found out we could rent our own punt to take us through the gorge rather than the monster boat. (the first large powered boat on The Danube) A great deal too. at €6 each. Still marvelling at the free climbers going up the vertical limestone cliffs.
At Kelheim it was time for a sad farewell to the Germans as they headed back up the Rhein-Donau canal whilst I continued down the Danube. I made it to Regensburg in good time but the two hotels I found I went in didn’t gel with me so I continued on to Tegernheim and the Gasthouse Goetzfried and yet another bizarre internet login system. for a pathetically slow connection.
The GPS says 58.8 miles done today. I switched of Strava in Regensburg, once again it failed to pick up the heart monitor or the cadence stuff.
The pictures are here
With great difficulty I left my bed at 8am to enjoy the breakfast. The Schloss Kaltneck in Schwenningen is probably the best bargain of all time, when I left the final bill was €60,60 including €6.38 of taxes. That was for b&b, two course sumptuous dinner and a litre of beer. You don’t get that on the South West Coastpath.
The route today had 3 pretty tough climbs plus a lot of it was alongside roads away from The Danube so not very pleasant. Outside Neuberg there was yet another umleitung, how councils world wide love digging up streets & putting in cobbles, slabs etc . I glanced at the Open Street Map in the Gaia app and noticed a path through the woods to the river 🙂 so much better negotiating branches & rocks than street pavements. So thank you Steve Coast for creating Open Street Map an amazing achievement.
I met up with the two German couples from Nuremberg (if you are reading this then please leave a comment) for quite a while, through them I learnt that two beer gardens were shut so we ended up in the carpark at EDEKA an excellent food supermarket.
Tonight It’s the Hotel Anker in the centre of the town, I collapsed on the bed only to be woken by a loud hailer from some guy ranting in front of the NPD bandwagon.
Today was 55 miles at a sub 10mph speed, so I am tired!) Making it a total of 1,312 since leaving home.
Here is the Strava:
Today was a late starter after a late night on the computer and a totally yummy breakfast at the Leo Mar Hotel. I decided to experiment returning my PET bottle, all you do is put the bottle in a machine that scans & if it is PET crushes it and gives you a 25cent printout against your next purchase. This makes the cost of 1.5litre of fizzy water for £0.16 🙂
The ride took me through the cathedral square and then along The Danube now a fully fledged wide flowing river, although the only lock I saw could only take UK style narrow boats. I started to flag so popped into a beer garden in an orchard. A bit like The Orchard except for beer barrel German men knocking back pints at 11am.
I had a mega green salad for lunch which I couldn’t get through 🙁 in yet another beer garden.
Interestingly the distance to the mouth has started to be shown on big board every few hundred meters, first one I saw said 2561.2km to go…
Then as I was cycling up a small hill at 14.07 in a park outside Dillingen disaster struck!! The jockey wheel assembly on the rear derailleur snapped off and embedded itself in the spokes making me stop abruptly and only just unclipping my pedal in time. Inspection revealed it was damaged beyond repair plus it had broken two spokes.
What to do next? First thing is to form a conference with anyone passing! I was told there was a repairer in Dillingen. So out came the tools to remove the damaged bits and cut the broken spokes off. I walked into town in 10 minutes to find the excellent but very busy Top Bike Brachem shop who told me to get a coffee and come back in an hour. So amazingly at 15.48 I was back on the road! in my new cycling shorts. I asked the owners if they knew anywhere local to stay.
They recommended the Schloss Kaltneck in Schwenningen and awesome it is too 🙂 the dinner tonight was excellent and my room is great.
So all in all a very lucky day. Mileage today is 49.8 but that includes walking around Dillingen. With a total since leaving Cambridge of 1257 miles (2011km)
The photos are here
Strava is here:
I slept incredibly well & long at the Landgasthof Bahnhof -with no WiFi to detract me 🙂 and left quite early after a good breakfast, Total bill for full board including beers at €51.86 who says Germany is expensive?
This morning had a real chill in the air. After reaching Sigmaringen I was pleased I had stayed at Gutenstein as I didn’t take to the place especially after been hounded of the riverside pathway by The Gartenschau gestapo, apparently it’s all closed off for 5 months. My personal hate, public spaces closed for paying functions.
Disappointingly after reading my twitters first thing, Vodafone decided that was enough data for the day until late afternoon Tomorrow I’m going to have to pay the £5 a day that Three charge for unlimited data. It is truly amazing that all the mobile companies only offer PAYG 200MB yet say they have LTE at 7MB per second. That is you are allowed 1 second per day on the internet 🙁 I spent the day pondering why Apple just doesn’t buy it and make a real internet company out of it. I see Vodafone market capitalisation is £100bn which means Apple could buy it for cash! better investment than what they are currently doing with it!
The ride is very zig zaggy and you have to keep your eye open for the signs. Otherwise it is really quite beautiful, especially now that the river has some volume & speed, I passed several of the hydroelectric schemes like the Swiss ones. The other thing I notice is the amazing number of sewage plants you end up navigating around, perhaps Jim or Burack should organise some works tours 🙂
The passing tourers are getting friendly, why I even spoke to one today. plus many nods and hellos. Although the racers just look as if they will mow you down.
I eventually arrived in Ulm and AroundMe found the excellent value Leo Mar Hotel boasting of it’s 100MB connection, ideally situated next to a pizza place & Aldi with an Ikea across the street.
The ride was 76 miles today which means I’ve now done 208km of the Danube trail. Total mileage since leaving Cambridge one month ago is now 1207
and pictures here