Thursday, July 22, 2010

Salzburg to Passau: Riding the Taurenradweg, Days 1-2

July 15th. It is a day well marked on my calendar as the start of my bike tour to Budapest, over to Croatia, along the coast to Athens, across to Turkey, and down to Turkey. More than a lot of miles and less than a hundred days to do it in. I had planned to do it solo, but a friend might join me in Turkey and another in Jordan. I am sure it will be great to have some company by then.

An inlet to the Salzach River.

For my first day, I had no definitive idea about what I was doing or where I was going. I shook off my hesitation, loaded up my bike fully for the first time, made a list of stuff I still needed, and set out. The river route was great for a while, but I had heard too many people talk about Salzburg's lake district so I eventually just hooked it right, climbed my first giant hill, and kept going until I found the closest lakes. I have a hunch the best ones are farther in, but I just wanted a short detour. However, I should have taken a bigger detour. This was the best part of my day. The Austrian country side is where its at. I guess I was in that along the river, but it was river on one side and bushes on the other, not too much variety.

A typical scene on the bike route I was following.

After my trip to the lake district, I made my best decision of the day. I broke up my 100km day by taking a big old nap and eating in the middle. After that, I just put my head down and went for it. I wanted to make sure I was ahead on miles instead of behind. 100km was the maximum that Brian and I did in Tasmania so it seemed like a good stopping point. When I rolled into Obernberg am Inn, it was listed as having a campsite so I tracked it down and set up camp with plenty of time to have some chai and watch the sunset dip under the wheat fields.

Sunset over Obernberg am Inn.

Downtown Obernberg am Inn.

Day two started out like day one, but without the hesitation. I was in the middle of no where and had to get somewhere else. That is one of the beauties of bike touring. You don't have to think as much. You just go. You can stick to your route or think about it and head somewhere else. My map was in German, so I was probably just as likely to head one way as the other anyway. I chose to set out for Germany, my first border crossing. Before I got to Passau though, I took a wrong turn and ended up in Germany too soon. I pulled a U-turn and followed the river the rest of the way to Passau.

The Inn river.

Looking across the Inn river at Germany from Austria.

On the way, I almost ran down a 7" lizard. I saw hares/rabbits that were as big as some medium sized dogs. I would guess they were 30 lbs. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I swear it. I saw other ones later that were only big enough to give a chihuahua a beat down. Pulling that U-turn to approach Passau on the south bank instead of the north bank was a stroke of good luck. Approaching it from the south gave a great view of the old city walls and all the great architecture. Since I left from the north side, I am not sure I would have seen it otherwise.

I thought I had biked too fast and already made it to Cairo, but this pyramid came up a little short . . . hahaha.......ugh terrible...laugh with, maybe at me.

Passau, Germany

Passau is another medievil town. They have small streets. Lots of cobblestones and tons of quaint buildings. I love it, but the the cobblestones were a bit much with my bike fully loaded. I found a farmer's market to grab some fruit and then set to exploring. My favorite part was found on a lark just as I was about to leave. I realized there was a park where the two rivers met and was hoping for a repeat of my first day's nap. I didn't get the nap, but I did get the mixing of the Danube and Inn rivers. It was so drastic to see them beside each other. However, going into an 'internet cafe' with no computers where they hand you a laptop to use came in a close second. After spending half a day in Passau, I started my journey east on the Danube River Trail.

The mixing of the clearer Danube and milky Inn rivers.

1 comment:

  1. i keep seeing this PBS show by some guy named Wolfe...where he takes people on the danube river cruise and they have a ball. nothing you'd like since it mostly involves wine, fancy food, and the tourist trapped areas...

    i like your views better, though i'm less inclined to bike such far distances to catch the views.