May 17 – Tulln to Krems
Blue sky! There’s actually blue sky! What a start to the day. I headed out for an early morning run and the sky was clear and there was blue over there between the clouds and it was looking like being a ripper day. I took a 10K trot along the path beside the river and it was brilliant. I ran along, listening to a running podcast, swapping “Morgen” with other walkers and cyclists going by and it just couldn’t get much better. I ran along saying to myself, “I’m running by the Danube River! In Austria! The Danube! I’m running along it! How lucky am I!” It was just all round great!
We packed up from our cabin and pedalled off into the SUNSHINE! Oh joy! No grey sky, no rain, just sunshine and blue sky. Yes, there was some wind, but that didn’t matter and it was even on our tail, so it was just a happy, happy morning! We started along the Danube Cycle Path again and because it was flat and traffic free, I even took a turn without a helmet, just to take in a bit more of that glorious sunshine that’s been so elusive. There were lots of cycle tourists passing us again, either singles, pairs or in groups and we exchanged greetings, giving each other a smile and a cheery, “Allo!”
We soon came to a spot in the path that was blocked with a fence. There was a man in a ute there, looking like he was about to do some work on it. We stopped to look at the map to find a new route around the barrier and the man came up to us and spoke. We gave the script again, explaining we didn’t speak German. He didn’t speak English, but he gave lots of hand gestures, explaining the way we should go and we gave him a thumbs up to say thank you, we understood and he gave us a smile and a return thumbs up, to say he was glad that we understood and once again, with some smiles and gestures, the language barrier was scaled yet again.
We saw a small town off to the left of the path and took a detour for Steve to get some food and then we stopped there for elevenses. While I waited outside the supermarket, I spotted two women pushing a group of little children in the most amazing buggies I’d ever seen. I’m not sure if they were child carers, but the kids were in little wagons and a multi-seat pram sort of thing and they seemed to be out for a stroll in the sunshine. We saw them again in another spot where we sat for elevenses, so it seemed they were doing some laps of the town, giving the children an outing in the fresh air. They looked terrific and what they had the children in just looked the best form of transport for strolling with a group of little tackers.
On we pedalled and the path deviated from the river and went through some towns, then through avenues of trees and out into countryside. It wasn’t the same as yesterday’s route, which hugged the river all the way and today’s ride took us onto more roads at times, albeit fairly quiet ones, but it was still a great path to ride, with a few gentle ups and downs to break up the flat.
Then the path crossed the river. Then I saw the most amazing river crossing bike path ever. Then I got to ride across the most amazing bike path ever. This path actually hung down below the bridge, so we rode up and round-and-around-and-around a spiral path up onto the “bike bridge”, then rode across and looped back down to the ground. Just awesome! It was pretty windy up there, hanging under the bridge, over the river, but I’ve never ridden anything like that before, or even seen anything like that before. It was another brilliant experience on the little bike.
We saw a table nestled into a hedge on the side of the path and decided to stop there for lunch. Tucked into the hedge and the trees, we had some shelter from the wind and we could look out at the river and the swans and it was just fab!
On we went and the wind picked up and had a chill in it, as we once again had the river by our side. I’m not sure if it was a tail wind or a slight downhill but we were choofing along at 20 km/h. “We’re reaching speeds not seen since Heidi’s great dash!” said Steve, referring to my fear driven 27km/h mad pedal down a busy road into Pula in Croatia. This speedy pedal was much more peaceful!
We came within sight of Krems, our pitstop for the day and again, the path ended, with a barrier blocking our way. They’re obviously doing work on the path which is good and we’d ridden along some sections that looked as if they were newly surfaced, but the barrier again had us needing to find an alternative route. This one did have some temporary signs, which were a welcome guide, directing us in a new direction, but we did end up on a fairly busy road and through the bustling streets of Krems. The helmet was most definitely back on! We made it through though and found our campsite and were given a very nice pitch on grass, beside the main building.
We set up the tent and were soon joined by another cycling couple beside us and we were once again…finally…in the sunshine…on grass…back in the Nylon Palace! We boiled the kettle on our little Trangia and settled back in the chairs for a post-ride cuppa in the sunshine. Then a quick walk across the road to a supermarket to find something to cook and the day was complete.
What a great day. A super ride along a nice flat path, with a river and some trees and some towns and nice spots for breaks. Then, we got to be back in the tent, in our own space again. All in all, it was a John Denver kind of day…
Sunshiiiiiiiine, on my shoulderrrrrrs, makes me happeeeeeeeee…
Distance ridden: 49.5 km
Time in the saddle: 3 hours 9 minutes
Distance run: 10 km
Weather: sunshine, blue sky, wind, cool-mild, 15C
Number of tuneless renditions of John Denver songs performed by me, while riding along: 1