So, we are now in Austria. We had to hurry a bit through Germany because of some technicality with Anjas health insurance. We would like to thank all the people for all the hospitality we recieved. Richard and Heika; sorry we didn't see more of you on this flying visit, Peter and Kirstin; it was a great few days with you in Switzerland and Matze and Gitta thanks for Everything
It was a stange feeling being on the road for so long and then passing through where we used to live and seeing so many friends. A great evening was spent in the 'Herzog Ulrik' with all Anjas former work colleages.
We also stayed a night with the Parents of a friend in Vohburg which was great after a wet couple of days.
The Danube begins officially in Donauechingen and flows 2844 or so kms to the Black sea. We intend to cycle all the way and sofar the path has been great. Beginning with deep limestone gorges and ognion domed Klosters as a young river it soon gathers strenght with every added tributary and by Ulm knows it is a powerfull and important river.
There was a fair bit of rain and alot of flooding. The water was thick with silt and tugging at the bridge foundations. Often we had to detour or wade through the flooded track.
In Donauworth the only Roman road over the Alps heads south to Lake Garda and from here on the route is called the Baroque way as all the towns have churches or Klosters, (monasterys I think) in this style. Simple lines on the outside and highly adorned within.
The river has chopped its way through thickly forrested hills near Kelheim shortly before Regensburg which I think is my favourite city yet. The buildings are uncomplicatedly solid and painted in earthy but colourful shades. The Cathederal though not so big as Ulm(the tallest in the world, 169m) is to me more appealing.
The Bayerischer Wald rises high to the north of the Danube before Passau and Austria.
The weather was sometimes hot and sometimes wet but it seems we have left the cold behind at last and we are thinking of sending home warm clothing and lightening our somehow ever increasing load. It is obvious that we are going along way and have met so many people because of this. One old cyclist was very encourageing ...'do it do it do it' was his advice 'you won't be able to when your dead'. He had a nice stripey shirt.
The people speak a particular dialect in Bayern and Austria and sometimes Anja has a problem understanding which is good training for the future when we won't speak the languages.
The click on my bike has developed into a worn out bottom bracket bearing which I will change very soon. 3 punctures so far, not to bad for 2600 or so kms.
We are on the worlds cycling superhighway and at weekends there are thousands of people out on bikes, day trippers to round the worlders, local pub cycling outings, children and pensioners. I like it and find it a shame we hurried through Germany.