Day 33 Thursday – When origin and destination are four letter words

Linz to Melk was a lovely flat 111 km cycle today with the wind behind us in the afternoon.

I mentioned that St Mary’s Cathedral was just beside our hotel last night – it was just outside our window. Normally I don’t go near my phone at night, (other than than to play radio through earphones), but when I woke during the night, I couldn’t resist taking a photo. Only an exterior shade covered the window, we hadn’t drawn the curtains inside. This was the view at 4.54am.

Wouldn’t you cycle across Europe to wake during the night to this view in Linz?

A little later, morning breaking 

Denis was already gone down to breakfast, I was enthralled by the view from the window in the morning sun, that I found it hard to leave it. I’ve long since parted ways with organised religion but this hymn came to mind:

Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the mighty thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed

Booking the night’s accommodation is a daily job. Whilst we try to do it with care, we don’t spend too much time at it, (we use booking.com a lot). We had no idea that we would have such a super view when we quickly booked last night’s hotel.

The bike has three main gears – on hilly days that first gear is needed a lot whilst third gear on flat days. Similarly I’ve three layers of clothes; sleeveless T shirt, cycling top and rain jacket. On hot days, just the sleeveless T shirt is needed but all three layers on cool/wet days. Today was very much a third gear, one layer day!

The Véloroute section that we are now on – Passau to Vienna, is really busy with cyclists mostly travelling in the same direction as us. I’m not surprised as it’s a lovely flat section. I just checked the Véloroute 6 website and yes this is the busiest section. It’s funny there were earlier sections in this trip where we cycled for the day hardly meeting a soul whereas now we need to cycle with care to avoid a cycling accident. Here, we’ve also come across cyclists on organised trips with their luggage being moved between hotels.

We had a funny incident today with a  cyclist. Normally one is cycling along and like with cars, if you approach one from behind and the one in front is going slightly slower, one overtakes. Today we came upon a lone cyclist cycling along with a big backpack and passed him. Two minutes later he passed us. We spoke as we passed but he had no English, we weren’t sure what nationality he was – possibly Hungarian. We cycled on further and came upon him again, (he was immediately recognisable from behind because of the big backpack). We cycled for a good while behind him and then passed him again. Once again he immediately passed us. Further on if Denis and I came up behind him and were talking, he immediately sped up. Denis and I realised what was going on – he didn’t want us passing him, but probably more particularly me. Because we were going at roughly the same speed, we couldn’t shake him off. Eventually we stopped for a break and that was the last we saw of lone cyclist with the big backpack.

Some photographs from the day

Travelling out of Linz this morning we passed a very industrialised area where there appeared to be a lot of emissions from heavy industry. You could smell them in the air.

But back out in the countryside – Courgettes growing

More storks, Like the swans, I can’t resist them

A vessel being piloted up the river. I recently read Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee, a book on freight transportation. In it he describes large groups of barges tied together, being piloted up the Illinois River. Here on the Danube we’ve yet only seen this happening with two vessels.

We’ve had to take ferries a few times over the past few days, first on Tuesday to our accommodation in Schlögen, twice yesterday to bypass a point where the Véloroute was blocked and today where the Véloroute switched from the northern to the southern side of the Danube. The ferries across are

very quick and frequent.

Cycling towards Melk, our stop for the evening. Melk Abbey, a Baroque Benedictine Abbey dominated our view of the town from a long way off. 

Arriving into Melk 

And look what our one minute spent on booking.com had for us outside our bedroom window. Whilst last night’s hotel was really nice, tonight’s is nothing extra special, but here’s our view.

Melk, another lovely small medieval town although this one seemed to cater a lot to tourists. To give you an idea with a population of 5,000 Melk has ten hotels. It’s not surprising since the Abbey draws a lot of visitors.

After all the long cycle today, I honestly hadn’t the energy to climb the big hill to visit the Abbey. I’ll just have to come back!

Tomorrow we plan a long cycle to reach Vienna.

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2 Responses to Day 33 Thursday – When origin and destination are four letter words

  1. Maire Buckley says:

    Lily, I love the pragmatics of 3 gears and 3 layers!!! And the incident of Mr. Big Backpack ! And the photos- those blue skies!

    🙂

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. lilinator says:

    Thanks Máire! Life on the bike very much consists of three’s 🙂

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