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Old 28.06.2011, 23:46
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Cycle routes for less ambitious EFers (Outside CH)

Seems a pity not to put a link to our Danube Bike Trip.
It's not too far to get to the start and reasonably flat for the not-so/no-longer-so/not-yet-so fit.

Donau Cycling Tour – Donaueschingen to Ulm
The paths are well marked and mostly follow tarred roads and ‚solid’ tracks. They are not really suitable for ‘racing bikes’.

We booked the whole trip with bed and breakfast and luggage transport from the one hotel to the next, travel documents with map etc. were provided. We took one mountain bike with us and rented a Flyer e-bike. We could leave our car parked for the week at the first hotel for 20 Euro. The friendliness in the hotels compensated for the cooler weather and the odd shower of rain, otherwise the weather would have been slightly disappointing after the two or three weeks of sunshine we had had in Switzerland before we left.

Donaueschingen to Mülheim – 48 km.
The Flyer was ready at the hotel with saddle bags containing a spare inner tube, spanners etc. and the charger for the battery. The luggage has to be put ready to be collected at 9 o’clock in the morning so no chance of a sleep in!

As the sections are only around 45 km there is plenty of time for looking at castles, stork nests, old buildings in general and were fascinated by the dry section of the river. When only little water is flowing in the river, it all seeps through the lime rocks, reappears 17 kms away and flows into Lake Constance!

Mülheim to Sigmaringen - 52 km

A wonderful sunny morning for the stretch which is reputed to be the most attractive section of the whole trip. The river cuts through the faces of the rocks and it is reminiscent of the Jura here. The track is firm and good riding.

Sigmaringen to Riedlingen – 37 km
We had only a short trip before us, so we had a guided tour of Sigmaringen Castle before we left the town. Interesting indeed as it gave us a little more insight into the life of the ‘nobility’ of that time.

In Hundersingen we took a detour (uphill!) to look around the new Celtic Museum in Heuneburg. From there, we continued to the Open Air Museum where we looked round the buildings This part too, is being extended.

From Riedlingen to Ehingen. - 51 km
The ‚innkeeper’ didn’t seem too delighted when we arrived too early for our breakfast but to compensate, the weather showed itself from the better side. We were surprised by horses and riders until we saw that a competition of some sort was taking place just outside the village.
In Obermachtal there was some sort of special celebration at the church and we slipped inside where the singing in four parts reminded me of the choir singing in the gothic churches in England. In many of the villages there seemed to be a ‘Trade Tree’ (see the picture) but we didn’t find out why, or if this is a temporary thing. The town had several surprises for us, including the fountains and the crooked house.

Ehingen to Ulm – 42 km
Here, we left the Danube, preferring to take the detour via the Blautal to Blaubeuren and to Ulm from there. The village is really worth seeing although there are certainly more tourists there than on the greater part of the route. The blue water of the Blautopf and the old houses are particularly impressive.
We added an extra day to our trip to give us time to go round Ulm – the Fisher area and the cathedral were worth the extra day.
We returned by train to Donaueschingen with the one bicycle, leaving the e-bike in Ulm.

Getting together as much information as possible beforehand enabled us to see more and the Garmins we both had on the bikes meant that we could more easily keep a check on our route. The Donau Route is very well marked but at the same time, when the rider is also enjoying the scenery it is easy to miss a signpost from time to time. The Garmin gets you back on track in no time at all.
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Last edited by Longbyt; 28.06.2011 at 23:57.
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Old 29.06.2011, 00:02
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Re: Cycle routes for less ambitious EFers (Outside CH)

Thank you very much for the information. I know parts of the trip, it really is a lovely country, I expect the food was super. You used a tour company, is it possible to know the name?
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Old 29.06.2011, 15:36
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Re: Cycle routes for less ambitious EFers (Outside CH)

We booked through www.eurobike.at but the tour is actually organised by www.radweg-reisen.com.
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Old 13.05.2012, 22:49
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Re: Cycle routes for less ambitious EFers (Outside CH)

Having enjoyed our Danube biking trip from Donaueschingen to Ulm last year (hotels booked and luggage transport from hotel to hotel arranged) we decided to take on the next stretch. This time the trip was from Ulm to Passau

Biking along the Danube in Bavaria.
We travelled to Ulm by rail and collected our rented bikes, cleaned and serviced from the hotel garage. Again, I chose a Flyer with motor support up to 25 kph. We booked half-board at the hotels which meant we didn’t have to go out looking for somewhere good to eat in the evenings. All hotels served an excellent breakfast buffet. We planned an extra day in Regensburg – firstly to give us a break and secondly to enable us to look round the town properly. Travelling without a ‘group’ meant that we could stop and look at things which interested us, as opposed to things which ought to interest us so we could pack in quite a bit of sight-seeing.
The bike paths are well marked and in good condition. The hard surfaced routes, sometimes running parallel to the ‘main’ road, are practically free of traffic at this time of year and the ‘natural surfaces’ were solid, few holes for the unwary. We had the opinion that the German drivers in this area are used to cyclists who are not too sure of the way. Although we heard them hooting at each other occasionally, they seemed very patient with cyclists. An arm held out signalling a left turn means that no-one attempts to overtake, even if the turn is well ahead. . (The signposts en route are frequent but the arrows showing the direction to be taken are not very large, so one has to slow down to be able to see them).

Ulm > Dillingham - Distance 56.39 km
GPS maps and photos
The last few days before we left Zürich were cold and damp and we packed the appropriate thicker clothing in addition to our ‘normal’ bike kit. However, during the train trip the weather improved rapidly which allowed Mr L to enjoy his view from the top of the tower of Ulm Minster (760 Steps) before dinner. A window spot in the Panorama restaurant of the Hotel Maritim gave me a chance to enjoy a similar view with less effort! The first biking morning dawned cool but sunny and we enjoyed the peace of the countryside plus views round the ‘old towns’ of the communities we passed through. In many larger places, the façade of the houses and shops in the ‘main street’ are quite different in form from the slope of the roofs behind them.

Dillingham > Donauwörth – Distance 38.4 km
GPS maps and photos
Dillingham is one of the very few towns which wasn’t damaged in the Second World War. ‘Kneipp’ – cold water treatment against various ills - was practiced by Sebastian Kneipp in the Danube in Dillingen.
For those to whom ‘Blenheim’ means something, the Museum at Höchstädt has an exhibition showing the warring factions, the course of the battle and tells of the catastrophic results of such.

Donauwörth > Ingolstadt – Distance 61 km
GPS maps and photos
This stretch had a few more slight hills. Most impressive however, were the markers (see photo) showing the depth of the flooding at Whitsun 1999. Looking at the level fields on both sides of the river, it is unbelievable to see how high the water was over the whole region. The Hunting Lodge, Schloss Grünau, would make a very good ‘second residence’ in a lovely setting. In addition to lapwings, squirrels and storks, we saw the work done to the trees by beavers. (see Photo). We enjoyed wandering round the old town in the evening.
To be continued...
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Old 16.05.2012, 22:28
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Re: Cycle routes for less ambitious EFers (Outside CH)

Ingolstadt > Bad Gögging –Distance 40 km
GPS Maps and photos
Breakfast was a culture shock – up till then we had more or less had the dining rooms to ourselves – here a coach-load of tourists was already attacking the buffet when we came down.
Our ‘cycling’ day started with a visit to the Audi Museum. Interesting to see car ‘shapes’ which I remembered from my youth and also the predecessor of the e-bike! (see first picture). The whole place is well set out and well worth the very slight detour to pop in for a couple of hours.
On track again, the contrasting sight of idyllic scenery and industry is quite staggering. Each pair of photos shown in the link was taken from exactly the same spot, just turning to the opposite direction. We didn’t even need photoshop!
Bad Gögging is a ‘Kurort’ with a ‘Convalescent Home’ near the hotel. Perhaps not an ideal spot for youngsters but the typical Bavarian music played in Bavarian dress and the Oldtimer parked in the forecourt ready to take off the couple celebrating something or other was quite interesting to see. The hotel Eisvogel was extra class. Evening meal on the patio rounded off the day nicely.

Bad Gögging > Regensburg – Distance 54 km
GPS Maps and photos
We greeted the day with this view from our hotel room.
This section is made up of two bike parts and a boat trip between them.
Bad Gögging to Weltenburg we went along a ‘bone’shaker path. Another route goes via Eining.
The boat section took us through the ‘Donaudurchbruch’. The river ‘squeezes’ through narrows – ca. 80m broad. The rock formations on both sides are varied and each has a story attached to it, explained over the loudspeaker on the boat. We had made a point of being at the landing stage early, as children travelled free on that particular day and we imagined crowds later. Perhaps there is sometimes a problem with bikes too - there is not very much room for them on the boats.
The autobahn bridge near Regensburg reminded us that civilisation was not far away.

Regensburg(more info here)
GPS Maps and photos
Here we took a day off which gave us time to look around the town properly and take another short boat-trip. Our hotel was in the very middle of the old town with the ‘restaurant’ enclosed in a square of old buildings. The bikes were deposited in a vaulted ‘cavern’ probably part of the foundations of the minster. A change from the usual modern garage! A carillon played to us as we ate and the minster bells reminded us that it was ‘knocking-off time’ in the evening. I think they must have them ‘mute’ overnight as we were not disturbed by them in our room.
The stone bridge was a reminder of past days and the importance of Danube crossing places. Another bridge was ‘decorated’ along its whole length but padlocks with the names of pairs of lovers on. (see also above link)
Having been fascinated by locks on the Thames and also in the Midlands of England, we hung around to see a ship enter and leave the lock in Regensburg. Now this is one lock! 190m!
We would have liked to have looked at the Ship Transport Museum but in spite of us finding the door open, we were told (as we had already seen in the advertising material, hence our tentative approach) that it was actually closed. Pity. We ate another ice-cream as consolation.
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Old 16.05.2012, 22:28
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Re: Cycle routes for less ambitious EFers (Outside CH)

Regensburg > Straubing – Distance 62.5 km
Map and photos

On May 1st we had a slightly longer stretch ahead. A visit to Walhalla was also planned en route.
The no-biking day in Regensburg had done us good and we were ready to set off again enjoying the fantastic weather. The weather forecast for Bavaria had been promising rain or thunderstorms – but each day had ‘postponed’ them again.
Walhalla, our first stop – the idea taken from the Parthenon in Athens – was built by King Ludwig I. I was surprised how many of the names of the people whose busts were displayed I had heard of and, as the ‘ruling’ is not ‘of German nationality’ but ‘of German tongue’, Austrians, Dutch and Niklaus von Flüe get a look in too. As in so many places, restoration work is going on, but the admission fee was reduced to compensate for the inconvenience. The view from the steps outside is really magnificent and was worth our while walking up to see it.
Later we had wanted to have a look at the Nepal Himalaya Pavillion in Wiesent, but it wasn’t open and, lucky us, some overheated cyclists who had also been up to look and could tell us so. Saved us a wasted journey.

Planning the trip we used the Bike Tour books from Bikeline and the Bikingmaps from Publicpress.de. For navigating purposes we used Bike GPS (Edge 800), which showed us the way we had planned to take and also recorded our actual path, including any detours we had made. Maps were from openmtbmap.org.
The Bikeline books are good, but cafes in Wiesent and Sossau were not shown. Perhaps commercial advertising was behind it.
Another excellent day with a good meal to round it off.

Straubing > Deggendorf – Distance 53 km
Map and photos

The Gäubodenmuseum in Straubing has a very interesting collection of finds from Roman times. As the Museum doesn’t open until 10 a.m. we looked round the church of St.Peter first. Surprising after seeing so many Baroque churches, the simplicity of the interior of St. Peter’s was a refreshing change. In spite of the unexpected variety of metal crosses and gravestones, the walled cemetery surrounding the church reminded us of English country graveyards with their age-old weathered stones – such contrast to the neat rows of ‘temporary’ graves in Switzerland.
Once again we crossed the Danube by ferry to reach the village of Loh. We had the ferry to ourselves on the way over. On returning, we thought we had missed the boat (literally) as it had just started moving away from the side. However, the ferryman saw us, stopped, came back and let us join the two cars already aboard. I cannot see that happening at Meilen or Horgen – the Zürichsee ferries are, of course, slightly larger!

Deggendorf > Passau - Distance 65 km
Map and photos

This was one of the longer sections. However, as we had a following wind and the run was flat, we made good time which gave us the chance to look round the town and also go on the boat trip around the ‘three rivers’ in Passau – Inn, Donau and the Inz. We opted not to wait for the modern ferry at Niederalteich. We cycled on and went over by the next ferry in Sandbach. The friendly ferry-lady saw us before we rang the bell and broke off her gardening session to see us across.
On our boat trip we saw the Hotel Schlafender Mensch ‘Sleeping person’ and there seems to be plenty of chances for travelling from Passau to Vienna on board ship.
When, shortly after 2 p.m. we arrived at our hotel in Passau, we saw the transport van from Radweg-Reisen.com. Our cases had just arrived and we could give up our rented bikes straight away. Very convenient!
We went to the station and bought our tickets via München fort he following day. The journey takes about 8 hours. Via Friedrichtshafen it would have taken over 9 hours.
Although the food in the Altstadt- Hotel wasn’t perhaps quite up to the standard we had become used to, we were more than happy with the arrangements. The ‘Beer Garden Weather’ had been a big plug and had given us the feeling of being much nearer the Mediterranean.
No surprise that we are already thinking of the next section from Passau to Vienna.
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Last edited by Longbyt; 20.05.2012 at 18:55.
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