Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen

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A total of 110 km, but it actually took two days. We’ve definitively adopted the train-in-one-direction system which means we can see more and not have to cycle up all those hills again on the way back. Jean Michel thought we should start with the source in Donau-Eshingen so we began day 2 by driving an hour to Tuttlingen and getting the train to Donau-Eshingen.

Donau-Eschingen, where the Danube begins

Donau-Eschingen, where the Danube begins

Although it was as sunny and hot as the day before (over 30°C in the afternoon), it was not nearly as pretty. Our first disappointment was that the source is undergoing renovation so is not open to the public. So after having lunch in Donau-Eshingen, we set out for Tuttlingen.

One of the canals along the Danube

One of the canals along the Danube

The cycle route doesn’t always run along the Danube and we often rode through hay fields interspersed with flowers, which did, of course, have the advantage of mostly being flat. There were lots of irrigation canals, water irises, storks and covered bridges, but I missed the wonderful surprises of the day before. We didn’t see a single rococco church.

One of the many wooden bridges over the Danube

One of the many covewooden bridges over the Danube

On the way home from Tuttlingen, whose main attraction is its modern covered bridges, Jean Michel suggested we go to the lookout at Knopfmacherfelsen which is about 750 metres above the Danube.

View of Beuron Monastery from Knopfmacherfelsen

View of Beuron Monastery from Knopfmacherfelsen

The view is absolutely breathtaking with the monastery in Beuron in the distance.  We then drove down to Beuron to see the monastery up close. Access was through a covered bridge. It was a truly wonderful way to finish off the day.

Riedlingen

Riedlingen

Fortunately, day 3 was not as hot (only 23° at 9 am), because was lucky because it was VERY hilly (and also an intermittent fast day). We drove to nearby Riedlingen and parked at the train station since we intended taking the train back from Ehingen. It’s a pretty little town, with lots of colourful half-timbered houses and painted façades.

Balcony in the church in Alstein

Balcony in the church in Alstein

Before cycling along the Danube, we looped back to Altheim which our Gasthof owner had told us about.  We found another beautiful rococco church with a painted balcony featuring bas-relief musical instruments.  There was also a stunning vase of peonies which are very prevalent here and grow taller than they do in the Loire Valley.

A stork in a field

A stork in a field

Back on the Danube we crossed a couple more wooden bridges and stopped for coffee in Riedlingen. We then passed several fields full of storks which obviously explains why there are so many shop signs and sculptures of storks in the villages.

Obermarchtal Abbey Church from the Danube

Obermarchtal Abbey Church from the Danube

Our next stop was the Monastery Cathedral of Obermarchtel with more wonderful rococco and a balcony, but not as rich as Zwiefalter. As we came out, it was starting to spit which was a bit annoying as I had taken the rain capes out of the paniers. Fortunately, there were a few rumbles of thunder and nothing more.

The balcony at Obermarchtal Abbey Church

The balcony at Obermarchtal Abbey Church

More hills and dales before we stopped at Munderkingen for a surprisingly good coffee. The sky was not looking very encouraging and we feared the worse. By the time we got to Rottenacker, about 7 or 8 K from our destination of Ehingen, fat drops were started to fall. We got a bit wet, but  not soaked, and just made the train station in time.

Obermarchtal Abbey Church from the outside

Obermarchtal Abbey Church from the outside

When we got back to Andelfingen, where we’re not staying at Gasthof Sonne (that’s the next one!) but at Gasthof Swanen, Frau Smidt told us they had had golf-ball size hailstones! That was a lucky miss. Tomorrow I’m putting the rain capes back in the paniers.

And just for the record, despite our fast day (500 calories for me, 600 for Jean Michel), we cycled 61 kilometers  including lots of hills. Tomorrow, we can have ice-cream and riesling again.

OTHER POSTS ABOUT CYCLING IN GERMANY

Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks
Cycling in Germany #1 – Kobern-Gondorf on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #2 – Rhine from Saint Goar to Lorch
Cycling in Germany #3 – Cochem to Zell on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #4 – Koblenz where the Moselle meets the Rhine
Cycling in Germany #5 – Bad Schaugen to Pirna along the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #6 – Bastei Rocks, Honigen and over the border to Czech Republic 
Cycling in Germany #7 – Dresden: accommodation & car trouble and Baroque Treasure  
Cycling in Germany #8 – Dresden Neustadt: Kunsthof Passage, Pfund’s Molkerei, a broom shop & trompe l’oeil
Cycling in Germany #9 – Country roads around Niderlommatzsch on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #10 – Meissen on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #12 – Martin Luther Country: Wittenberg on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #13 – Wörlitz Gardens and the beginning of neo-classicism in Germany
Cycling in Germany #14 – Shades of Gaudi on the Elbe: Hundertwasser
Cycling in Germany – Turgermünde, the prettiest village on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #16 – Celle & Bremen
Cycling in Germany #17 – Windmills & Dykes
Cycling in Germany #18 – Painted façades from Hann. Münden to Höxter
Cycling in Germany #19 – Bernkastel on the Moselle: a hidden treasure
Cycling in Germany #20 – Trier & the Binoculars Scare
 
Cycling along the Danube – A Renaissance festival in Neuburg, Bavaria
Cycling along the Danube – Watch out for trains!
Cycling along the Danube – Regensburg & Altmuhle
Cycling along the Danube –  The Weltenburg Narrows
Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen
Cycling along the Danube – Ehingen to Ulm
Cycling along the Danube – Singmarigen to Beuron
Cycling along the Danube – Binzwangen to Mengen including  Zwiefalten
Eurovelo 6 – Cycling around Lake Constance
Eurovelo 6 – Moos to Stein am Rhein and Steckborn on Lake Constance
Heading home to France after a month’s cycling holiday
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