Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Days 16 & 17: Vacation in Vienna

Sunday 29 Mai saw us arriving into Wien (Vienna) and brought up our 1000km. We found a great campground just out of Vienna and went straight in to the Schönbrunn Palace grounds to get this first picture of some of Vienna from on high.

The second photo is of the Gloriette viewing terrace which is where we took the first photo from.

The tip we got from the man on Day 15 was to get "standing room only" tickets for the Opera and so we did!!! We got tickets for approx NZ$7 to see the L'Elisir D'Amore by Donizetti last night. The whole experience was fantastic - the third photo is outside the Opera House at intermission.

Today we've been to the amazing Lipizzaner Museum and Spanish Riding School (not allowed to take photos sorry) and below is a photo of one of the pedestrian malls and also the ferris wheel that gives a great view of the city. What a wonderful city!!!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Some other photos of Interest (from day 13)

Hey! here are some more photos which we missed the other day.

The first is our bike on the wee ferry that took us across the river.
The second is a sample of the numbers of cyclists that were out on the Danube on the Public Holiday. This is only a small sample!!
The third is unique - this is a new type of male sport . . . . .
The last is a Radstationen - this is on the cycle trail exclusively for cyclists. Has refreshments and toiletten and tinking wasser, along with lots of info.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Days 13-15: En Route to Wien

As we said, we had to leave Germany but had a fabulous first day in Austria. It was a Public Holiday so there were people on bikes everywhere, which added to the atmosphere! A little judicious tooting on our horn (yes - the Wellington Waterfront Xmas present) didn't go amiss when our freight train was rolling through . . . . We had a 100km day into Linz on nice flat, easy terrain, including a meander in the Danube and a wee trip on a wee ferry to get across the river.

Day 14 took us into Grein, a lovely little town on the edge of the Danube. The town centre is pictured below, as is the town from the other side of the river. We had a very nice campground to stay at here. You'll notice the lovely blue sky - we have been having temps of late 20-early 30 all week.

The third photo is a Baroque church St Donatus which was too high on the hill for us to climb up to on a searing hot day!!!

On our 15th day we rode 120km to Zwentendorf through some lovely forest along the Danube and we saw this amazing Monastery in the town of Melk. We didn't have time to stop but we could see it for quite some time. We camped in a tiny wee camp ground that promised to be peaceful (Sat night) until the locals arrived for an old time dance at the restaurant centre next door . . . . But we did meet a nice chap who gave us a great tip for our time in Wien, as you will discover on the next segment. Needless to say, we are having a fabulous time. We are in good health and enjoying great riding.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Day 12: Pausing in Passau

It's our last day in Germany so we are making the most of it and getting some culture in the lovely city of Passau. Passau has the confluence of the Donaü, the River Inn and the smaller river Ilz - the Donaü is muddy brown and Inn is more green/blue but at the confluence the Donaü wins out and the rest of the river is brown. You will see this in the second photo below.

We have enjoyed a lovely campsite by the river (Ilz) - there are more tents there but we didn't capture them!!

We visited the excellent Fortress Veste Oberhaus (up high - this is where the photos of Passau city and the rivers were taken) which is an excellent museum of local history. At midday we enjoyed a concert in St Steven's Cathedral which has the largest cathedral organ in the world. For Sandy's Uncle Rob - 17,974 organ pipes, 233 stops and 4 carillons!!

We also visited the Glass Museum which has 30,000 exhibits and embraces 250 years of Bohemian glass history. If it sounds like a tourist brochure it's because it is!!!! The last photo is of a street in the old part of Passau.

Tomorrow we are off to Linz and will be in Austria for the first time. We are looking forward to a new country but we will miss Germany.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Days 10 & 11: Regensburg to Passau

We've been back on the bike Monday 60km to Bogen and then 90km today to Passau. Just out of Regensburg we came upon Walhalla which is a greek style building containing the busts of Europe's famous Sons and Daughters (seemed like a really odd place to find this, on a hill over looking the Donau in the middle of nowhere). And then today we lunched with a view of the Town of Vilshofen (both Walhalla and Vilshofen are pictured below). We're going to spend the day in Passau tomorrow as there is lots to see and do - will report!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Day 9: Sunday in München

We had an awesome day trip to Munich. There is lots to do and see there! Following are some photos of the start of the pedestrian mall (Karlplatz), the exterior of the Hofbräuhs (famous beer hall), and Sandy in front of her favourite fountain. We also went out to the Olympic village and Nymphenburg Palace.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Days 4 to 8 Danube to Altmühltal to Danube (plus a side trip to München)

Well the tripping continues (8 days straight of cycling) so we´re taking a day off today and have taken a train from Redensberg to München for the the day. The weather has both fined up and warmed up considerably. Since Ulm we´ve had hot sunny days of awesome cycling to Donauwörth (on the Danube) from where we went cross country to the Altmühltal river (slightly north of the Danube) and then followed this river and it´s rather quaint Bavarian villages to it´s confluence with the Danube. Cool stuff! - we saw a fox (wild one) stick it´s head out of the forrest to watch us cycle by, and we were regularly accompanied by the sound of Cuckoo´s doing their cuckoo thing! We also happened across a medieval festival in the wee town of Reidenburg, so lots of chainmail, swords, tents, parades etc...
We´ve had a great day in München - far too much to see and do for one day!
Photos below are of, Donauwörth (lovely Bavaria town), a typical bike path we are following, us in Nueberg, the village of Stetten (across the arable fields), and the Church in Dietfurt (turn your head sorry).

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Days 3 to Munderkingen and 4 to Ulm

Yesterday we had a rather cool, but dry 62km to Munderkingen (we stopped riding when the rain started). Today turned out lovely and warmed up a lot. Points of interest today were the town of Blaubeuren (first photo is us outside one of the old buildings at Blaubeuren). And then our destination of Ulm (60km from Munderkingen). Ulm Münster has the highest spire on the world (161m) or 768 steps (all of which we walked) to the viewing platform. Next photo is of the Münster (turn your head 'cos I can't work out how to rotate), third is looking at where I took the photo of the münster, and finally this is the direction we're heading tomorrow following the Danube.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Day Two: Tuttlingen to Sigmaringen

We are easing ourselves into the riding, day two was a pretty cruisy 58km. This section of the Danube is through some fairly tight valleys with limestone cliffs. The day started out a bit wet, and the track was a mixture of surfaces (some pretty muddy). As the day wore on the weather cleared, but remained cool. We met a really nice family who were touring with their kids, and we bumped into them on numerous occasions. It is a long weekend, and also the start of a two week school holiday, so there are lots of groups cycling the weg! Photos below are of Beuron a small town we passed through, then Sigmaringen township (in the distance), and finally Carl cooking our first camp dinner (pasta - yum!)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

On our way

Yesterday we caught a train south from Frankfurt for about 3 hrs to Donaueschingen, which is the source of the Donau (Danube) and biked our first fantastic 40km along the river valley and small villages. We stayed the night in Tuttlingen. We have had some light showers but nothing major. We have already met lots of nice and helpful people along our way.
Photo's below are of our bike and trailer on the train to Donaueschingen, and then Sandy at the source (spring) of the Donau.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Frankfurt and getting ready

We enjoyed a few days in Frankfurt looking around and then prepared our bike and trailer for the journey. All our gear arrived undamaged and we were able to leave our bags at the hotel until our return.
We found a great bike shop to purchase the gear that we needed. Frankfurt is a great place for cyclists - even the CBD has cycle lanes and plenty of places to lock your bike up. There is a cool Call-a-bike service where there are bikes all round the city - you ring a number and get supplied a code to unlock the bike - then you use it and once finished, just lock it up wherever you like for the next person who comes along.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Singapore, How we got on with our all our luggage!

Well we had 73kg of luggage and 40kg is the limit really, BUT we got 5kg each complimentary and then Carl got 10kg for Qantas Club, and they waived another 3kg for good measure. So we only had to pay for 10k excess, which is FANTASTIC. And for good measure we were allocated exit row seats on the SYD-SING flight at the front of the plane. AND then tonight at SING we only had to pay for 10kg excess (again) and we get a seat between us on the flight. These are lovely treats for us when we are flying 12 hours. So the last time we took our bike to Europe we shipped our trailer and lots of camping gear separately and it cost us $500, this time we took it with us for the same price!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Three days to go! Lesson one: How to fit everything on to a plane?

So we've got our bike and trailer all packed!! About 50kgs of biking stuff and about another 20kgs of luggage(not pictured)! It'll be "interesting" to see how the airline reacts?!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Central Europe/ Mediterranean Cycling Tour 2005

This tour will be starting 9 May 2005, so be sure to check this site often after that date. The route we are proposing is something like this, starting and stopping in Frankfurt.