Friday, 19 August 2016

Euro Tour: The Austrian bit. Not the Australian bit as autocorrect likes to think


I’m grouping my ride through Austria together because it was my favourite and if you do it, you should do this whole bit. I can’t recommend cycling this leg highly enough. From Passau to Vienna it is roughly 200 miles and I can honestly say it was the sweetest ride of my life (so far).

I broke it up into three stages because I didn’t want to rush, I wanted to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Also, the sun was fierce so I didn’t want to get burnt by being out in the sun for too long. I took three days and went from Passau to Linz, then Linz to Melk then from Melk to Vienna. 

This is how I imagined cycling down the Danube. I’d really like it if I could start saying ‘cycling down the Danube’ without doing an Australian accent. Is it just me? And yes, I did mean ‘Australian’ not ‘Austrian’. Autocorrect loves to make me look geographically challenged. Autocorrect is an idiot.

You are riverside almost the whole time, if you have to go on roads they have cycle paths and everyone is really considerate. This leg of the Danube is commonly known as the Donauradweg path and it is very flat and easy to navigate. There were lots of older cyclists and families with children nailing the route like pros. 
Waiting for the bike boat

About 15 miles downstream from Passau you have to cross the river into Austria. There is an adorable bike boat that takes you over for a few Euros.
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So one thing about the Donauradweg is there are hardly any restroom facilities. The path is really open with hardly any shade and it’s not exactly deserted enough for you to chance it. I guess if you were cycling with a pal you could cover each other but as I was alone I just had to be thankful for being really good at holding it.


Linz is a beautiful town full of a mixture of old architecture and modern art, but in my opinion, not great at night. It was Sunday (I think) so that might be why I couldn’t find a supermarket or shop selling any kind of food. There were fast food stalls but I just couldn’t. It felt a bit sketchy but I was staying slightly out and I was tired so luckily I had emergency supplies (of chocolate).

From Linz I decided to head to Melk because I like saying ‘Melk’.

Bike museum

I stumbled across the Fahrrad Museum a charmingly low budget bicycle museum. Check it out, it costs €4 entry and you can tune up your bike outside.


From Melk to Vienna you ride through the beautiful vineyards of Wachau Valley. Locals leave pallets of peaches and apples for you to buy, it’s all very idyllic and wholesome.

Somewhere in the Wachau Valley

Just before reaching Vienna there were lots of MAMILs who obviously head out of town after work to get a ride in before dinner. 

The bridge to Vienna. That rain cloud caught me

I was trying to get to Vienna before this massive rain cloud. I didn’t. I arrived at the hostel drenched and had to let my trainers dry for two days.

Vienna is made for cycling and it’s probably a little too vast to cover by foot. 

Before you lock up outside a museum or wherever you are visiting, go into the courtyard of the building as there are usually empty bike stands once you go inside.

There is so much to do in Vienna but here is my top five:

1. Eat Powidltascherl (plum jam dumplings)

2. Go to the Belvedere and look at some Klimt in the flesh because photos and replicas don’t do the metallics justice. 

3. Because I can't seem to stay away from water I headed for the canal. Cycle or walk along the Donaukanal and check out the graffiti. 
My 'cool bike' beside the Donaukanal

4. Go to the globe museum (dressing on brand optional).

5. I was there for the Vienna Film Festival and they were screening operas on a large screen at the Rathaus every night. You should go then. 

Thighs Matters Euro Tour stages:
Ulm to Ingolstadt// Bonking and trying on dresses 
Ingolstadt to Regensburg// Bike drying my hair and putting bikes on boats
10 Regensburg to Wörth an der Donau: Pimping my ride and hunting down chocolate
11 Wörth an der Donau to Passau// My last day in Germany and probably the sunburniest 
12 The Austrian bit. Not the Australian bit as autocorrect likes to think
13 Vienna to Bratislava// Five things to do that are not 'go on a stag do'
14 Bratislava to Gyor // Not checking my feast days

15 Gyor to Esztergom// Being scared of dogs and referring to my bike and I as 'we'

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