The Danube

The Donau, as it is called in German, stretches some 2860km from a small town in the Black Forest region of Germany to its delta in the Black Sea.  It is the second longest river in Europe and makes for spectacular riding.

We had taken the year off in 2008 to explore the Americas and revisit Europe and the Middle East.  As with most trips things form and possibilities arise when we allow ourselves to be open to new ideas.  One idea that was mooted by a German traveller in Chile was cycling the Danube River.  A beautiful river, bike paths the whole way and most attractively FLAT!!!  We were sold!  So after spending six months traipsing through Latin America we flew to the States, bought some bicycles, and then jumped on a plane to Germany.

Enjoying a quiet beer with Justin before the ride began.

Enjoying a quiet beer with Justin before the ride began.

Justin, Kirtstin and Marc introduced us to German food and beverages (mostly beverages) and generally treated us to an amazing time before farewelling us as we caught the train to Ulm to begin our Danube adventure.

Cycling along the Danube in the early morning was bliss

Cycling along the Danube in the early morning was bliss

The German traveller back in Santiago was more than right!  The ride was stunning!  Designated cycleways only interrupted to detour into quaint medieval villages, sausages and beer at every turn, peaceful campgrounds, wonderful vistas and so flat that hills became an interesting reprieve!  This was cycle touring at its finest, even the weather was mostly on our side.

Can a campground really get this good?

Can a campground really get this good?

Having a bicycle in Europe made us feel like locals.

Having a bicycle in Europe made us feel like locals.

We gave the bikes a rest for a day and enjoyed a lovely paddle

We gave the bikes a rest for a day and enjoyed a lovely paddle

I remember one Austrian we met summarising his day cycling as being ‘hot and boring.’  At 30 degrees celsius, early morning mist over the water, a bunch of Roman ruins, and beer and bratwurst for lunch our day had been anything but boring.

Enjoying life to the max with Paloma in Regensberg

Enjoying life to the max with Paloma in Regensberg

And to think this is privately owned and one family actually live here!

And to think this is privately owned and one family actually live here!

As we cycled the last of the 1500km into Budapest we both were left wondering what further adventures would await us if we were to continue all the way to the Black Sea… no doubt we will one day find out.

Why is there a truck on our bike path in Slovakia?

Why is there a truck on our bike path in Slovakia?

We made it to Budapest having enjoyed an amazing ride
We made it to Budapest having enjoyed an amazing ride

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