Category Archives: Austria

Vienna to Bratislava

Part of a huge windfarm we pedalled through.... indicating the presence of tairly consistent winds!
Part of a huge windfarm we pedalled through…. indicating the presence of tairly consistent winds!


Another day into the wind! Oddly we seem to be facing consistent NE winds…. we thought the prevailing winds were Westerlies!

Thetwo capital cities of Vienna and Nratislava are not far apart on the Donau, a days ride.

We set off from Vienna, it taking some time to weave our way out of the busy streets of the city. When we reached open country we really noticed the wind against us again, so it was quite hard work to maintain a steady pace.

Just before we finally left the built up area of Vienna we stopped for a coffee by a centre for water sports, built on a quiet backwater of the main river. They had a “wakelift” and we watched a few people doing the circuit. It was like a high speed ski lift over the water, taking people round a loop at quite a fast pace where they could weave in and out of obstacles on a water ski – it looked like fun, if a little scary.

Our route took us along the north side of the Donau for some 54 miles.

Our route crossed the river using a small ferry at a quiet hamlet – the water was fast and restless giving us a choppy ride over the water. A large cargo barge also went by, adding to the bounces with its wake! The landing point on the other side was a pebble beach –  tricky to get the tandem over. Thankfully there were two cyclists waiting for the ferry on the other side who helped us push the tandem up the beach. It turned out out they were from  Clitheroe, not 50 miles from where we live!

Our route then climbed up onto a breezy plateau a little away from the Donau. It was clearly a windy place as we saw many wind turbines, they were as far as the eye could see, strung out right along the Austrian border!

Wind turbine and flowers
Wind turbine and flowers

Just before we entered Slovakia we came across the remains of a Roman monument at Petronell-Carnuntum. Built between 351 and 361AD. A reminder of how the Danube has been a route for successive invasions and empires over the years, including Genghis Khan who reached what is now Bratislava.IMG_20160510_164116


As we have discovered on our journey, passing from one country to another is almost unnoticeable… the only visible indication of coming into Slovakia was a European ring of stars on a sign high above the roadway we were cycling beside.

The entry into Bratislava was along a long wooded area passing  a relic of the Soviet area, a concrete bunker. As we later discovered the various remains of the Soviet period have now become a bit of a visitor attraction.

We entered the city by means of the “UFO bridge” so called since above the single suspension Pylon there was a saucer-like restaurant and observation platform high above the roadway.

The 'New Bridge' or UFO bridge as it is commonly known as the entry to the old city of Bratislava.
The ‘New Bridge’ or UFO bridge as it is commonly known as the entry to the old city of Bratislava.

On crossing over the bridge into Bratislava we bounced over some cobbles before walking the tandem through the attractive streets of the old town as we made our way to our Airbnb accommodation situated right on the edge of the old town.IMG_20160511_121113

Nerd’s Corner

Vienna to Bratislava : 54 miles

Distance travelled so far: 1,469 miles

A day in Vienna

The Donauturm
The Donauturm


A day in Vienna is not enough to even scratch the surface, but we decided to only spend one day here as it is easy to get back to by interanational trains for a longer visit.

IMG_20160509_134804We used one of the tour bus companies to give us a quick overview of what there is and begin to get a feel for the place.






The Wiener Prater - supposedly the oldest amusement park in the world. The giant Ferris wheel was erected in 1897.
The Wiener Prater – supposedly the oldest amusement park in the world. The giant Ferris wheel was erected in 1897.
The rear view of the Schömbrunn Palace built by the Hapsburgs in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

We took two different bus routes and took part in a walking guided tour of the gardens of the Schönbrunn palace. Then bimbled about the centre on our own for a bit.


Bike powered merry-go-round
A bicycle powered merry-go-round we came across that was created by an art collective which used reclaimed pieces of machinery.

Krems to Vienna (Wien)


We started our day by crossing the Danube right beside a distance marker….. 2000 Km to the Black Sea…. whilst we are turning southwards in Bulgaria before the Black Sea, it is probably the sort of distance we will be travelling to Istanbul…..IMG_20160508_102829

Our day followed the river with only one or two minor detours – good surface on the path, lots of cyclists in both directions….. and a head wind all the way!

Whilst we were on the riverbank most of the way, one would have thought it might be boring…. however, because of extensive flood defence works , creation of the occasional hydro-electric generation station (with the attendant lock for navigation purposes) and some straightening of the river course, large areas of the old wiggly river course have become diverse wildlife areas. We’re hearing lots of birdsong which we don’t recognise, and only fleetingly catch sight of shapes as we pedal along so can’t identify the species.

IMG_20160508_115112There are lots of wildflowers in bloom at the  moment, making the banks very pretty with splashes of colour.

Orchid in flower
Orchid in flower

As we approached Vienna on a Sunday afternoon we saw more and more families out on their bikes, enjoying the ride along the river….

Coming into Vienna was quite hectic… we were having to get used to city traffic again with its noise and speed and the tramlines!

A curiosity on the streets of Vienna
A curiosity on the streets of Vienna

Our GPS navigation  on our smartphone, and Diana’s interpretation helped us to find our Airbnb host where we are staying a couple of nights without any trouble.

Nerd’s Corner

Krems to Vienna : 54 miles.

Distance travelled so far: 1,415 miles.

Ardagger Markt to Krems


Our Warm Showers host, Anita told us about a stork’s nest just off our route onwards and kindly cycled with us to show us where it was. There were 2 on the nest. She told us a group of people in the town have been working for several years to encourage storks back into the area.

Our ride along the Donau was mostly flat but against a strong wind, so hard work. IMG_20160507_100216Even so, the power of two was evident, we still passed most other cyclists on solo bikes!










IMG_20160507_123827There was a celebration of cycling along the river and lots of people out to enjoy the day.






IMG_20160507_143240We passed through Melk, where there is a Benedictine monastery; we had a look round the outside and around the town, which was very attractive.

Then on to our very spacious Airbnb room in Krems with an impressive antique ceramic room heater in a corner.

Nerd’s Corner

Ardagger Markt to Krems: 58 miles

Distance travelled so far: 1361 miles

Linz to Ardagger Markt


Before we set out from Linz we visited a local street market just round the corner from where we were staying to buy ingredients for our lunch where there were plenty of stalls where local producers were selling their food products.

We met some Italians there who were selling large Sicilian olives so we just had to buy some of them for our lunch.

Our way out of the city involved passing through the huge steel and chemical production areas of Linz that were originally masterminded and built by Herman Göering for the German war effort after the annexation of Austria prior to the outbreak of war.

Today’s ride involved following the riverbank quite closely with a headwind all day and although today’s distance  wasn’t that great it seemed like a long day.

Nerd’s Corner

Linz to Ardagger Markt: 38 miles

Distance travelled so far: 1303 miles


Schlögen to Linz


Today’s ride was equally enjoyable as yesterday…. Our overnight stay was at a lovely “Gasthof” just 200 metres from the banks of the river. It was a very rural location, that had the bizarre sight of massive floating hotels chugging downstream from time to time, moving pretty swiftly since the current is quite strong.

IMG_20160503_102535Again criss-crossing the river to the most favourable side we appreciated the scenery and understood why this area is one of Europe’s most favoured cycle touring route.

On the Donauradweg
On the Donauradweg

We stopped off at a nicely situated bar/guesthouse with a replica of a Viking boat in the grounds…. reminding us of our surprise when visiting the Vikings exhibition at the British  Museum a year or two ago  in discovering that the vikings had travelled as far as Constantinople and up into what is now Austria by the big European river systems.IMG_20160503_110705







Arriving late afternoon in Linz we were able to orientate ourselves, have a nice meal and wander about the city in plenty of time before it got late, preparing ourselves for a short break in our journey of 3 nights with an Airbnb host allowing us time to explore what promises to be an interesting place.

We saw the Ars Electronics Centre changing colour; pink, purple, blue, green and yellow.

Ars Electronica centre, Linz
The Aldstadt in Linz
The Aldstadt in Linz

Nerd’s Corner

Schlögen to Linz: 38 miles

Distance travelled so far: 1265 miles.



Passau and into Austria to Schlögen

Entering another part of the EU, where borders don't seem to matter very much
Entering another part of the EU, where borders don’t seem to matter very much


We started the day with another wander around Passau, a very attractive City and obviously a big tourist attraction by the number of groups being guided round. We also walked up the steps to enjoy the view from the old fortress.


When we set off on the tandem, it was only a few kilometers before we were entering another country, Austria.

Although the same language prevails, it seems that behaviour of drivers towards cyclists is a subtly different. Whilst in Germany, almost without exception, drivers would hang back and pass only when there was plenty of space, giving a wide berth whilst in Austria the car seems to be accorded a greater priority, with side roads having priority over cycle lanes…..

Our introduction to Austria was fabulous….. forested steep banks on either side, with a well surfaced path hardly changing in height….. beautiful scenery…… and sunshine.

A cycle ferry that caught our fancy, with a swiss style chalet on it.
A cycle ferry that caught our fancy, with a swiss style chalet on it.

And we crossed by ferry from bank to bank following the most scenic and level route.

Our destination after a relatively short ride was in Schlögen, a beautiful little hamlet situated on a tight curve of the Donau. It is a beautiful place, quiet and calm, with the occasional large boat or barge floating past. A very tranquil place to visit.

The Donau curving sharply at Schlögen
The Donau curving sharply at Schlögen

Nerd’s Corner

Passau to Schlögen: 32 miles.

Distance travelled so far: 1227 miles