The stretch of the Danube between Passau and Vienna is the most cycled section of the 2850km river, and it’s easy to see why. Over a long, hot weekend we joined lots of other cyclists (mainly on e-bikes) to meander through the lush valley, small villages and vineyards. Beer gardens and cake shops selling strudel around every corner mean you never need to think about going hungry.
Small ferries let you switch from one side of the river to the other. Most people we spoke to had a plan for exactly when they would switch sides. This depended on their preference of a shorter distance, better road surface, cycling in the shade, or local attractions. We had no plan, and decided to take one ferry just for fun! This approach did however mean we sometimes saw very impressive things on the other bank with no way to get over. Melk, we later found out is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Austria (we however, were satisfied with the industrial estate on our side of the river).
We were happy to pick up the back of a road bike peloton for a few hours and enjoy the thrill of being whizzed along at 37km/hr.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though. For the first time I used the small piece of blue plastic that I have for years carried with me without any thought (EHIC). A small stone was stuck in my eye and wouldn’t budge. Unfortunately the local doctor couldn’t get it out so we ended up having to take the train 27km to Linz Hospital.