Sunday 22 July 2012

Waltzing Down the Danube

We prepared ourselves for France as best we could over a busy year, listening to French language CDs and reading travel guide books and all went well, despite the small “lost in translation” moment during Mike’s visit to the doctor.

First foray into Germany - this is the main square at
Stein am Rhine.

Blue dome day in Tuttlingen.

Rhinefalls in flood.
Opps… I forgot to prepare myself for Germany. Some words came back to me that my father had taught me, but I was ill-prepared in many ways. Out came the Kindle e-reader and a study of Lonely Planet Germany, Frommer’s Guide to Germany, a basic language guide but in the end, the German people sorted us out. Mostly they were only too happy to speak English and to help, and they wanted to know about our cycle travels.
Ulm Munster - the highest spire
in Germany and a Gothic marvel.

What do cyclists do when darkness approaches, water's running low and there's
no campground? In desperation we asked this farming family for somewhere to
pitch our tent. They agreed and even gave us mineral water and hot showers.
The next morning we added berries from their orchard to our cereal. They were a
lovely family and we were extremely grateful for their help.
The old towns on the river Rhine and some truly lovely scenery along the Danube between Tuttlingen and Sigmaringen, Wettenburg to Regensburg, the towns of Ulm, Regensburg and Passau have been the highlights of Germany for me. Along with the most wonderful camping weekend in Regensburg with Maria and Jan (who met each other in NZ and are now engaged) and met Mike on his cycle travels in 2009/10. Maria and Jan live in Selb (150 km north) and we all explored Regensburg together.

The upper reaches of the Danube at Tuttlingen.
Our last town in Germany was Passau – a real blockbuster. It’s a beautiful old city where we took the opportunity to hear the world’s largest church organ in a short concert in the over-the-top baroque cathedral of Dom St Stephens. It was moving, especially given the surroundings and we were able to sit and listen and enjoy the grandeur around us.
Campsite at Riedheim (near Leipheim). It had a small "lake"-
in NZ we would call it a farmer's dam, stick up a maimai and
shoot any of the ducks silly enough to come within range. Judy
swam in it with her head above water.

Boarding a ferry from Weltenburg to
Kelheim, through a gorge of the Danube.
It was one of several stretches where
cycle tourers take to the water.

Part of the organ in Dom St Stephens Catherdral
in Passau. The organ is said to be the largest church
organ in the world.


  1. Absolutely love it guys - so nice to get such a hit of blogs - I have been missing it! Looks beautiful...only 8 weeks till Greece...I hear you are pedalling your hardest to meet me there...fingers crossed!! xx

  2. Gidday Mike and Judy:

    This is our second attempt to make contact - after an initial faulty note from (you know what place-droppers we are!) Switzerland's Lauterbrunnen valley...... where we sheltered in the rain in our [semi] flash apartment (with snappy Citroen outside), imagining we were some on some sort of adventure - when Avis, in an idle moment, decided to track down your blog. We had been led to it after meeting (fleetingly) the kids at Paul and Jenny's wedding. And great kids they are.
    So now we know what real "mature" adventurers are, though there must be easier ways of getting sore arses. Good for you two - how brave for a couple of old bastards! Fantastic!
    We had five weeks or so on the Continental roads while you were meandering through France and huddling in your tent.... and then a week down Dorset way. For old time's sakes, we got to the Shave Cross Inn (tell Judy about that, Mike), but it was sad to learn that it seems to be ending its 600-year-old reign. The publican told us she (and her hubby) had days where they didn't even sell a pint.... as the locals stayed in front of the telly with cheap Tesco's lager. Progress, eh?
    Anyway you two, we regret we didn't give you a call to wish you well before you left Auckland town. But we will follow your progress via the blog...... and secretly wish that we had the je ne c'est quoi to tackle such a mapless challenge.
    Go well, and best wishes,
    Bruce and Avis


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