Cycling along the Danube – Passau to Linz: the S-bend

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We’re staying at Gasthof Dexler in Niederranna on the Danube close to the S-bend between Linz in Austria and Passau in Germany so are able to start directly from our hotel. It turns out to be one of the highlights of our trip.

The bike path in front of Gasthof Dexler

The bike path in front of Gasthof Dexler

The sky is blue and it’s 22°C when we leave at 9.30 after saying goodbye to the Aussie cyclists. We come to the end of our shady cycle path at Au and take a little ferry across to Schlogen.

The first ferry crossing from Au

The first ferry crossing from Au

We cycle towards the second bend at Inzoll and take a rest stop at Gasthof Steindl and watch the river traffic.

Coffee break on the Danube at Inzoll

Coffee break on the Danube at Gasthof Steindl in Inzell

We continue on until we are opposite Untermühl. It’s wonderfully quiet and peaceful with no cars. However, by now I’m severely bitten by mosquitos because I’ve stupidly forgotten to use spray and although the little waterfalls along the way might be cute they’re a great breeding ground.

A little waterwall along the bike path between Inzell and Obermühl

A little waterwall along the bike path between Inzell and Obermühl

We locate the ferry opposite Untermühl, but there is no sign of a ferryman so I go to a nearby gasthof where I am told in German with appropriate handsigns that I have to press the button on the intercom near the ferry.

The intercom at the second ferry crossing opposite Untermühl

The intercom at the second ferry crossing opposite Untermühl

Fortunately a young German couple who speak English have arrived by then and are able to interpret the message that the ferryman will be there in 10 minutes. He soon turns up on his little tractor, jumps into the ferry and takes us across while Jean Michel studies the next part of the trip.

Studying up the route on the second ferry

Studying up the route on the second ferry

From Untermühl, we cycle back to Obermühl crossing a couple of rivers on the way and have the most delicious wiener schnitzel and a very cold glass of riesling on a shady terrace overlooking the Danube. By the time we get there, it’s 2.45. I just love the way they serve meals all day in Germany and Austria!

Lunch in the shade with a view of the Danube

Lunch in the shade with a view of the Danube

With renewed courage, we continue on to Steinbruch where we are to take another ferry which is already halfway across the Danube.

The third ferry coming back to get us

The third ferry coming back to get us

An Austrian couple waiting to go in the other direction (Aschach) tells us in English to call the ferryman on the intercom so he can come back and get us. I ask the man if he would mind doing it for us as I am afraid of not being understood.

Our mini-cruise along the Danube

Our mini-cruise along the Danube

This time, the ferry is bigger and our trip back up the river takes about 20 minutes – a little mini-cruise in the middle of the Danube.

From our ferry on the Danube

Looking back towards Au

We get out at Au and cycle back to our hotel, a total of 59 kilometers and a cycling time of 3 ½ hours. My knees are feeling a little wobbly!

Map taken from our travel diary showing Niederramma on the left where we began and Untermuhl where we began the return journey

Map taken from our travel diary showing Niederranna on the left where we began and Untermuhl where we began the return journey

It’s only 4.30 so Jean Michel suggests we go up to a blick (lookout) near Schlogen and get a bird’s eye view of the loop we have just ridden. We park the car and walk through the forest for about a quart of an hour before we reach the blick. The view is absolutely stunning.

The S-bend from the Schlogen blick

The S-bend from the Schlogen blick

When we get back to the car the sky is threatening and we can only spend a few minutes on the terrace before the rain starts. I have the brilliant idea of taking the table and chairs into the room so we enjoy our apéritif watching the rain and reminiscing over our truly exceptional day.

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10 Responses to Cycling along the Danube – Passau to Linz: the S-bend

  1. Jane's cousins friend says:

    hi Rosemary, I have been enjoying your holiday so much, thank you for sharing it. I’m really enjoying my bike riding, I have lots of friends who love to cycle, so have done some lovely rides. 2o kilometres seems to be pretty comfortable now and I still have 13 months until the holiday so should be OK. Lyn

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      Hi, Lyn. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying our holiday. I’m so sad it’s finished! If 20 kilometers is comfortable now, you’ll be more than proficient in 13 months’ time. How are you doing with those hills? What sort of bike did you finally get?

  2. Andrea says:

    Looks like a cool place. I love the last photo of the s-bend.

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      There is a similar photo in our inspirational book so we were determined to reproduce it ourselves!

  3. Carina says:

    I’m impressed with how much cycling you’ve been doing! Like Andrea, I love that last photo of the S-bend – fantastic.

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