Arriving at Emmersdorf was very welcomed when the size of distance in general had exceeded 100 kilometers. “Are you tired,” said our Hungarian host, Henriette. Agree.
The laden saddle bag saved us from a dry and simple dinner. Get out the tea, miniature wines, beer, snacks and vegetables that we prepare, knowing now that smaller places are served at a minimum and are usually very quiet. Someone somewhere above the river experienced a blinding night with that sound, turning this water into that with a loud background bass. Until 5 a.m.
We are too tired to pay attention and with the sunrise early we wake up to appreciate the beautiful and warm morning. Heat from the high 20 is in front.
The good advice from the owner of the Persenbeug cafe remains attached to me, that I went alone that day to see what this amazing sight meant. The villages above the ancient Emmersdorf, with small farms that function and some magnificent palaces, such as Artstetten. Men in the lederhosen and women in skirts around many small towns show something other than elections going on!
Maria Taferl is located above the river, at a reasonable height, which after the previous day, felt like a thigh that was burning as high as 300m. The cafe owner was not wrong, and through the heat fog, it was very impressive.
We left Emmersdorf after noon, still humming quietly on Main Street with few people. Back on the road, Krems is our target through Melk.
The mistaken view of the Melk monastery sparkled as we finally reached the top of the hill, on the southern side of the Danube. Also, several buses in the parking lot have taken out tourists a day, which are milling about in the main park next to a large group of foreign cyclists. Melk appealed, as far as other Danish demographics.
The heat rises quickly, to 27C at 2pm, and like mud that looks like Danube, feeder rivers must be clearer. Passing through more green belts, the view of the steep Aggstein castle (12th century), and a village that we marked for a lunch stop offer shade and potentially cooling flow. While I went ahead to prepare a picnic and test the water at Schwallenbach, P2 agreed it should. Two 17th-century buildings were nearby, both in 1616. Famous for the deaths of Cervantes and Shakespeare, for us it was 16 who were lucky again, multiplying!
We entered the Wachau valley when vineyards appeared. Rows of vines with buildings marked ‘Domane Wachau’ mix with almost as many cyclists. All ages, that is a demographic from 30 years and above, with the largest number we saw more than 60 and some clearly in their 70s on normal bikes and E. It’s nice to see active people, even though I wouldn’t be enough to adopt the habit wearing a helmet.
Drivers have become a mixed bag for us in this part of Europe, and bicycle lanes are also not always guaranteed safety, with some lawbreakers cutting the trail, and almost taking us or other motorists out. Unfortunately, it seems younger than the old man behind the wheel. Our host, Ferdinand, as soon as we arrived at Krems, gave us exactly; ‘Jalan has been here for 40 years, we run cyclists for the first ten years, then start learning otherwise’.
Tens of years to change. I wonder how long the network cycle and our culture will change around the respect of road users, to turn positive.
Long before 6pm to check in, we made it to Krem. Without planning, we went to Café Wachau, a bar disguised as a cafe, with so much passive tobacco, we got takeaway coffee and sat on a bench near the river. The fifth largest city in Austria has more things going on, more tourists on bicycles, and more cafes, other options show that Café Wachau is increasing. Reverse vision. This is a great thing.
After a warm welcome to regional white wine by Ferdinand, from Gastehaus Kunstmeile, we received the remaining light of the remaining days, and settled in the place of someone else who made dinner. The Italian pizzeria restaurant across from the guesthouse ticked some of the origin of Mediterranean food, but immediately hit the spot, when we arrived on the blanket deck of the bay a few hours later. Cumulative fatigue, but mentally prepared for the final push to Vienna.
Monday morning was beautiful and quiet, and after other people made breakfast, we only had little valuable time to see Krems more than the night before. In short, we extended our heads to a medieval church, and saw what the last tower / tower of the old city stood, after all the other walls were destroyed in expanding the city in the 1800s.
An 80km flat day sounds easy with the host and our map. I suggest 5/6 hours is needed. Does that include a photo stop, ask P2. Add an additional five hours at least we agree.
So in the cloudy sky and the rain forecast in Krems, we headed east to Tulln around 11:30 a.m. Navigating out of town took us to a road work area with lots of German signs, which showed cyclists and pedestrians could continue. It immediately became a track, in addition to two diggers doing significant earthwork. It was a time of repair on the Donauweg, but our young driver allowed us to pass. I’m not sure if that will happen in NZ.
The next stretch in front of the next 40km is next to a very full river. Crossing at Attenworth, the Kraftwerk Bridge (hydroelectric power plant) flows profusely, with water management possible at a critical level. It really makes a good shower for shame!
A few kilometers from Tulln, we are doing more road repairs, a German speaker immediately put us at the risk of other transportation health and safety risks. Deviating to the main road, we passed the people we were going to drive back to Krems. How they, older couples, arrived here so fast when we increased their speed. The photo stops, and E bikes.
Tulln has beautiful views of the river and statues in the center, which immediately puts our other picnic places on the list.
We are under 40 km from Vienna now, and a drop gear curfew means we need even better steps. The length of 20 km or more to the headwind is calm and always attractive. The flood bank is the beginning of being protected from a unique vacation home or occupant from what can be a disastrous waters. Height of a few meters of water can make a difference between a good or a bad day.
As we circled the northern edge toward the city, moving south now, that the wind forecast was increasing, then, the rain began. What used to be a thick feather day (aspen seeds that look like snow, everywhere) is now centered around the increasingly bad weather. Wearing glasses has never been easier to ride on wet P2, and a little slower, we were taken to our city apartment, living in the heart of Vienna.