• 07-16 Ingolstadt – Straubing

     

    We decided to start early this morning, to avoid forecasted middle afternoon storms. Wake up 7h, Start riding 8h : a swiftness record !

     Step begining was in a wet and fresh atmosphere, near the Danube bank.

    Speedy were my two friends (on the picture they seem like penguins), they are beginning to take their pace.

    What’s new today ? Fourth meal at half past ten. Foods were salty bretzels, chocolate milk and white grape. Oh yes, I known, it’s amazing, but it’s what we wanted to eat.

    Quiet long step in bavarian countryside. We crossed West-East with a straight line a plateau between two steps.

     We saw potatoes fields, wheat fields, hop fields, asparagus fields, beetroots fields, as farer as we could see.

    We crossed many little villages without typical except a mural painting with a deer.

     No elevation, well ride until a dozain of kilometer before Staubing. There, we we were riding near a regular road – for cars- and the distance to Straubing, on the signs, was 9 km, and 12 on the bike path signs. So we choosed to ride on the regular road. At a very simple crossroad, path for bike was very complicated, imossible to understand well, we should ride in the other way, at all to turn at the firt right exit (in Europe, to turn right is like to turn left in England : noting more simple).

      I must admit that I was a little bit angry, and I considered that for that day I was driving a car and not riding a bicycle, to the great depleasure of bavarian drivers. For them, roads are strictly reserved for car (BMW and Audi manufacturies are in the region), and bike pathes for bicycles (but someone are still using bike pathes with cars).

     Finaly we arrived with a sensation of cool freshness at a very friendly campground that was on a Danube island. What happened after was very regular, in no particular order : shower, cooking, shopping, writing the blog and sleeping.

     The dinner : melon with tyroller ham, burgers with « hunter sauce » and onions, whole wheat pasta with cream and shredded mozzarella (never see before), fruit yogurt.

     

     

     

     

     

    07/17 Straubing - Passau

     

     

    We were a little bit late thi s morning. He must be said that he campsite was very cool and we were less eager to leave it than the day before.

    Navigation to leave the city was a little bit hasardous, but finaly but are riding on THE true official bike path. Ok ! Just following it to the end ! Well riding, smooth asphalt, but at one time the EV6 becomes a very bad roughly path over a dam, with left a very beautiful car road, with nobody on it.

    We leave quicly the bad way for the beautiful road, and we did so all the time during the step.

     

    Landscape is also flat with cabbage or potatoes fields.

     

    Mountains, that we could see in the far are now nearer, and Danube is surrounded by hills. It’s more beautiful when landscape is hilly.

     

    At Vilshofen, we stopped to lunch, and recover a few force, and we rode again on the Danube bank.

    Passau, it’s in the same time Danube, with its great tourist houseboats, Inn that is a very large river, on the Danube right shore, with a very high flow, and Ilz, that is a little left shore river. At the bank of it is the campground, just for tents with a very cool atmosphere.

    104 kilometer today. Not so bad… Bertrand begin to ride as fast as in Canada.

    We met a couple of people from Grenoble and we talked with them, and we founded that we have common friends near Grenoble. We met a joung lady too, who we saw sometimes since 4 or 5 days : she ride the same way like us, but sometimes she takes the train.

    No Germans , no Austrians, they manly ride in the other way, except an Austrian who comes back home, and whom we see two times in the last campsites. We don’t ride the same distance every day. Curiously there are no many campgrounds on this EV6, whereas there are many people travelling on it.

    At the end of the afternoon, we went shopping by foot, me and Bert. When we came back, there was a very strong wind hit, that was during 5 minuts, no more. Just the time for tents flying and bikes falling down.

    The dinner is : chicken breast with black pepper and cream. Impossible to find green pepper here ! And pilaf rice with onions.

    When we were eating, we were invaded by ducks from the river. Panic on board, everybody hides food and cooking staff that were everiwhere on the ground. Not very fat, the ducks.

    What a pity...

     

     

     

    07/18 Passau - Linz

     

    Me and Bert have been ride many travels together : 42 steps to cross the Canada, 15 to cross Scottland, a few in France near the Ventoux Mountain, so 80 at all.

    He says that today step is the most beautiful he ever rode, after IceField Parkway, between Jasper and Banf in Alberta, but before Highlands in Scottland. I’m used to sea european landscape, and I would choose other British Columbia steps, in Coasts Mountain, but I have to admit that the landscape was very picturesque : Danube is now a large river, with great barges and snakes into a hilly topography, no car roads, and the bike path is sometimes on the right bank, sometimes on the left one. And ferries to cross the river. Each kilometer, a new perspective of that valley that turns in any directions.

     This morning everybody was early ready (or allmost ready, as you can see on the picture, Bernard is packing his tent).

     We leave Passau without any problem, and after crossing the Austria border we passed thousend of kilometer since Besançon. Short stop to immortalize the event…

     ...and we rode again on the Danube banks, that began slowly to be higher, most wooded.

     Left bank path is over. A small wooden ferry enables us to complete our travel.

    After Aschach, Danube founded again the plain. One more ferry to join the left bank, and finish at Linz.

     Very big city, that we crossed in the N-S way to join Pichlingersee Campsite.

     

     

    07/19 Linz- Shönbuhel

    When I began to write my blog yesterday, my two gentle penguins went to shopping. Wi-Fi was efficient, then people were coming back to the campsite, connect them on the web, and nothing could be sent after that. Impossible to sent the least picture.

    So this morning, I woke up at 6, I tried again and by the happiest miracle, all was working well…

    My friends woke up very quickly too, and à 8H10 we were ridind our bicycles.

     

    Little roads in the countryside to begin the travel, before joining Danube, a track on the dam during any kilometers and a first ferry to go left bank, at Mathausen.

    Little strong uphill at Grein gave me the pleasure to take a picture of my two penguins (also called because of their waddle when they are pushing their bike)

    Danube is crossing amazing flat landscapes, and more hilly ones, but our route is always flat, with no elevation. So that we can ride long distances, thanks to the friendly tailwind and good pavements

    (110 km today).

     

     Unlike nearby Germany Bavaria where are many cars factory (BMW, Audi, etc), Austria is fited with amazing effective bicycle structures.

    All bike pathes are in a very good condition, with very smooth pavement, and when we are riding on the regular road – like says Bernard to me- we feel save, because Austrians drivers take care to the cyclists.

    E.g. that duckboard over the river to avoid that cyclists must ride on the small road...

    Crossing Danube just before Melk, with upride on the bridge by that three turns spiral ramp. Just for the fun, I did it two times...

    Then Melk and its castle. As I asked to Bernard how he could describe it, he aswered that if this castle was a cake, its would be indigestible. Excellent way to descibe it. Next days, we fear worse, in the style « meringue-whipped cream »

    Melk sould be our step, but the campsite war to near a touristic important point : whole busses that were pouring tourists flow into very large tour boats and vice versa, and on the car parks, in addition to busses, there were many trucks with trailers carrying bikes.

    So, not very cool.

    Because it was early, we decided to ride a bit more, to the Schönbuhel campsite. Cool, with a restaurant, with view on a very beautiful castle. I believe, this evening, we will eat austrian meal...

     

    07/20  Schönbuhel – Klosterneuburg

    Do you realize, Bernard ? We are in hollidays ?

    Bertrand’s « Cri du coeur », after 1298 km and 13 days riding. Just a little tired, the penguins. Me too.

    Yesterday, they wanted change their status, from penguin to apostle. We took a walk (You know, Karen : « to bring a step ») after dinner (Goulash for me and Bernard, Schnitzel for Bert, followed by an home made ice cream), and our walk led us to a monastery over the Shönbuhel castle.

    So that, this morning, they were not ready to ride… (It’s a recurrent joke, to take a picture with not ready guys, but I only have a cam…)

     

    We began with a beautiful uphill to pass the right bank hill where was built the castle, then we followed Danube, with its touring boats, its barges, its perched castles.

    First vineyards in Wachau region.

     

    Overflows may be terrible here, because of the architecture of little houses that were built downwards the dam, and water proof doors that close the houses area surrounded by dams.

     

    Because I stopped to take a picture, I lost my friends in a first time, then I was lost in a second time, and we spend half an hour to meeting. Long live the phone !

    Nothing else. Steps that are following each other and look the same, so much time in fact that following the EV6 until Constanza seems doubtful.

     

     

    07-21 Rest day in Vienna

    We took a train, then a subway to go to Swendenplatz, center of Vienna city. Then we went by foot to Hundertwasser neighbourhood, by taking streets with colossal buildings on the sides of it.

    So, I don’t like very much « Haussmann style » in Paris, but here it’s too much for my liking. And about colors, to stay in the food area, it was melon – pistachio ice cream.

    We arrived at the Hundertwasser buiding. Hundertwasser was impacted by Gaudi (Wiki dixit).

    The building was built before he transformed it, contrarily to Barcelone Gaudi’s building, that were build from nothing.

    What doesn’t remove anything to the crazy look of the building, with trees in facade, facade recesses, bulge columns, and flashy colors, unfortunately by pollution blackened.

     

    In any event it was so different from amphatic and rigourous style buildings we have seen since.

    Then we went to Stephandom Cathedral. All we could see was in the same style, heavyweight.

    I hope I didn’t see the nice Vienna neighbourhoods. Because I was just desapointed by our walk.

     

    Hundertwasser visit was my wish. For Bernard, it’s Mumok modern art museum. Bertrand is following, he just tries to avoid to loose us. An european capital city, for a canadian guy like he, with not perpendicular and straight streets, it’s worse than a maze...

     

    We took the subway at Stephandom station, (beautiful gothic cathedral), but too much surrounded by buildings just arround it. (Difficult to take a picture because nowhere you can have enough distance to get both the base and the top of the cathedral).

    Volkstheater neighbourhood is very different : new style, lots of room between buildings, where people are taking walks, like young and less young people that were dressed as their preferate movies heroes.

    Heroic fantasy characters, some Wald Disney’s ones, and many manga’s ones. Bernard, who has culture, blows my mind that it’s a « cos’play » meeting.

    We came into the Mumok, that looks like a great bunker, with the part over the ground (4 floors) is so high than the part under the ground.

    Me and Bert were not very enthusiastic, but finally we were seduced by eclectism, originality, and collection development intelligence.

    As many rooms as there are themes, like Austria current history through movies, pictures and papers articles, and like artistic aspects, be they graphic, cinematographic or musical, of Austria in general and Vienna in particular.

    Nicely done, very informative, and allows to understand what is austrian identity.

    I took any pictures with my smartphone (it was allowed). But to insert it into the blog, it’s not easy. Next time…

    Lunch when we went out into a very friendly coffee shop.

    Weather (and not time, as previous french President Sarkozy would have said) war turning to storm, so that we took subways and train in the other way to go back to the campsite.

    After that: less well. Continous rain. No problem today, because we can use a room with a roof, tables and chairs.

    Less fun tomorrow to pack tents before starting, maybe under the rain...

     

     

     

     

    07 - 22 Kleusterneuburg - Dunakiliti

     

    Rain last night, rain this morning. It stopped raining at 6 o’clock. We packed our staff, the wet tent the last, and we started riding after breakfast under the camping site roof. We just rode one kilometer, when Bertrand signalled to us a bad noise of his bike.

     

    Maybe loose front wheel spokes. So we tighted each one with a quarter rotation, and made care of keeping a true wheel. But the noise is always here : Krouik, krouik. (each rotation).

     

    Impossible to ride with this noise, one krouik per kilometer, so 60 000 krouiks just for the step of the day. We tryed oil,.. Krouik, krouik, maybe a little bit lower. And I had the genious idea (in all humility) : replace the wheel in the other way. Just a little noise after thet, but 60 kilometers farer, thanks to the bad pavement the noise was stopped. We didn’t dare to replace the wheel in the original way…

     

    Vienna is built on te right bank of Danube, and because the EV6 is on the other side, we didn’t see anything from our bikes.

     

    Sometimes our small bike path crossed very big road interchanges . A bike path well used sunday morning by race bike cyclists. Because we were on the left bank, we had to cross the river with a small ferry that leaves us on a pebbles shore, without pontoon, without path, nothing. Amazing sensation...

     

    We founded a small muddy path, then a paved road on wich we couldn’t ride faster than a pedestrian if we didn’t want to brake everything on our bikes, then we climbed a sloping road.

     

    Then, we leaved Danube shores and rode in the austrian countryside. A lot of windturbines, tens, hundreds, maybe one miller ? We never saw that before in a single area.

     

    We passed by a triple border between Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. A flat countryside, with a very long straight track without any house, but with hares every 200 meters.

     

    In the middle of nowhere, a small hut with 2 young austrian custom officers, vvery happy to have seen soneone today. Of course, they made a sign to pass. No custom officers on the other side of the borderline, anyway we didn’t know if we were in Slovakia or in Hungary…

     

    A few kilometer fare, we saw in the other way a Lada Niva 4x4 with an hungarian number plate. When we arrived in Rajka, first hungarian village, after crossing that

     

    Nous sommes passés par un point triple no man’s land road, all seemed be different : cars, first :

     

    Even we saw some high price cars, many people drive little low coast cars.

     

    After a few kilometers we founded the campground/restaurant that we planned to reach. A small friendly green spot, and immediatly in a other atmosphere :

     

    People sitting since a long time, according with the number of empty bottles on the tables, and relaxed attitude of the owners of the campsite. We took two half liter beers and an half liter apple juice for 3,66 euros !!!

     

    So that, after the shower, we didn’t think a quarter of second to cook ourself !

     

    We took grilled meat with potatoes fries and a kind of pickles/cucumbers. Me and Bernard drunk a other beer, and the final bill was 28 euros, for three, beverage included !

     

     

     

    07-23 Dunakiliti - Komarom

    Today amazing day, that should stay in our memories ! Wake up at 7h. Bert was ready the first...
    Rain was waiting that we went out of our tents to start falling. A small thin rain, but that deep wets. We choose to ride, because we thought the rain will not fall all the day. In fact, the sun began to appear, I put my wet clothing to dry it on the luggage carrier. The bike track was quiet in well statement, sometime crossed by roots that prevent to ride fast.
    At Györ, I put all my staff into the bags, because it wasn’t a thin rain, but a true deluge. Beautiful town, Györ…
    We get
     some troubles to leave it and to find the road to Kormarom, because if signs to prohibit bicycle use are wery ofen, there are no information for bike riding elsewhere. But thanks to the Bernard’s magic smartphone software, and thanks to GoogleMaps, we have succeeded in finding a road, that leaded to the right way, and bicycle authorized.
    … and on the end of the road : nothing ! Just a bike forbidden road and a kind of track, in very bad statement that goes right but not really in the good direction. After a few kilometers zigzaging to avoid to fall into big hole in the asphalt (when it was), we took left and joined teh EV6 !
    In a small village, when we were searching our way, a very old man on a rusty bicycle shouted something in hungrarish langage, with a large arm gesture to show us the good way. A few later, we were ready to pass him when suddenly, he raised his left hand , and from the righ side of the road he crossed before us to left, without showing if someone came behind him. We were, Bernard and me, so surprised that we had a laughing fit thaat was during half a kilometer...
    Then, because it was straight right, we rode straight right. After leprosy tar, it was gravels, and after a few kilometers, only two parallel single tracks made by 4x4 cars
    No other option, so we continued and we arrived to a wood, where we began to ride mountain bike with our loaded bikes : muddy ground, little lateral slipery, avoiding big water full holes and finally crossing big water puddles. Very fun !
    Bertrand began to get bored, and what was more, he had doubts about the way : impV6 cannot pass in that wood, we definitely took a wrong turn !
    And, at the end of the wood track, we saw a EV6 sign ! That was the true way !
    Later, and the campground, all the cyclists we met did that wrong track, by following the official paper printed travel guide.
    The campsite : Unaffected by the passing of time, a part of an old resort with hostel, last century thermal complex, washroom with two rows of lavatories and showers, very old but in good statement and an incredible hot water pressure.
    Meeting two old ladies (70-75 each one), that are travelling with their bike from Angers, in France, to Constanza in Romania. They are riding very heavy loaded bicycles, they are sleeping under the tent, are coocking their food, like us. But with 15 years more than us… They rode 3000 km in 2 monthes.
    This evening, we coocked half a kilo pasta, then we went to the office, where we can sit on comfortable armchairs. It’s more easy to write...

     


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