2013.06.24 Monday, Wallsee, Austria
A change in the weather. It has been warm and sunny, 36 degrees in Vienna last week. Last night a cold front arrived with wind and rain. The forecast high for today was 13 degrees. It rained all day, hard at times.
We did 74 km, happy we have wet weather gear. Many soaked cyclists went by making the best of it but not looking too happy. The river seems to be rising but the weather should improve as the week goes by; I hope there will not be more flooding.
The river and the towns are pretty. With the flooding, there is no commercial traffic on the river. The water is too high for large boats to go under the bridges. Normally the river would be busy with barges and ships moving all sorts of cargo, and cruise boats taking people along the Danube and beyond. Inge’s flight from Amsterdam to Vienna was full of tourists from the US booked on a cruise from Vienna to Amsterdam. They are probably seeing the Danube part by bus, or worse, sitting in Vienna watching the river rise as the rain comes down.
Almost everyone cycling the Danube travels downstream, from west to east. It isn’t because the grade is downhill, the grade is so slight the benefit is unnoticeable, it is because the prevailing wind is at your back. We are doing it the hard way because a friend decided to do a bike trip in Turkey in May and that sounded appealing to me. Inge and I have talked for ages about cycling some part of the Danube and here we are, doing it in the “wrong” direction.
2013.06.25 Tuesday, Aschach, Austria
Another cool, wet day with a headwind. About 80 km. Less rain than yesterday and tomorrow should have less again. We encountered one flooded section of the path but the detour didn’t add much distance.
Riding in rain isn’t as bad as you might think. We are warm and mostly dry, although the water sneaks in around your neck and sleeves. It isn’t fun in hilly country as you sweat inside your rain gear and end up wet, but on flat ground you find a comfortable speed and adjust the zips to let in enough air.
Cafés and hotels are accustomed to wet cyclists on the Danube. No one gives you a “look what the cat dragged in” look. Hotels have bike storage.
With days full of cycling, we are staying in smaller towns. They are easier than the cities; hotels and stores are all in a small area.
Little English spoken here. Most tourists are European. English is the working language for tourists who didn’t speak German, but no one from Canada or the US is here. A big group in the dining room spoke Italian, musical and lovely to hear.
No photos. I must buy a waterproof camera as a backup.