Donauradweg; Vienna to Hainburg, 50 km
Trip Start Mar 21, 2013
69Trip End Jul 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Vienna to Hainburg a/d Donau
50km (go girl Yolan, you did great) - 952 km total
Rain, clouds and sunshine
El Pirata Pizzeria / zimmer €55. (Double ensuite, including breakfast)
"Frank and I Did it This Way"
We enjoyed our yogurt with muesli for breakfast and afterwards Dave took Yolan to the bike rental place he had scoped out for her. She told Dave to start rolling then jumped on the back of Dave's luggage rack '… just like she used to jump on the back of Frank’s bike when she was back in Holland’. She didn’t seem to remember that that was many moons ago (she left Holland when she was 12 years old). Dave’s bike did not crinkle up and in no time they were at Pedal Power, two km from the hotel.
Umberto Gave Yolan a Good One
Umberto at Pedal Power helped her and gave her an Austrian brand bike with a respectable Shimano component set, 24 speeds. Tires were Schwabel Marathons, top of the line. On closer inspection, the grease in the hubs was factory blue. He had given her a bike that must have been brand new out of the box. They added panniers, bungees and a water bottle holder and she was set to go. Umberto even gave her a discount!
She came back with a nice bike.
She greeted Junko and Hiro whom she hadn't seen since our Pittsburgh to DC cycle tour in 2008 when Yolanda and her husband, Laron, had greeted us along the trail with delicious cherries and bananas.
...And Now We Were Five
By 10:15, Yolanda had reshuffled her bag one last time. We were all loaded up and Hiro led us across the cycle and pedestrian ramp of the Reichbruche (Bridge) to the long pencil thin, man-made, forested island in the Donau.
It was fresh out and perfect cycling weather. About 4 kilometers down river, we crossed to the left side of the Donau. We followed the dyke for several km. There was very little boat traffic on the Donau but rowers we're practicing.
We Wondered Where Yolan Was While She Wondered Where We Went
Eventually we veered off and away from the Donau and rode slight uphill on road with two-way traffic.
It had started to rain and we stopped to put on our rain gear. Suddenly, we realized that Yolan wasn't with us. We waited for 5 minutes figuring that she must have stopped to put on her rain gear and was just taking her time. When she still didn't show up, Dave went back to look for her. She was looking for us and had continued straight instead of veering off behind us. She was looking down at her water bottle when we took off and, when she looked up, we were nowhere to be found. But all was well that ends well.
Let’s Do Another 24
We again ended back on the dyke. The Donau was out of our sight. Then, the sun came out and it became a beautiful ride though a bird estuary.
We stopped for lunch at a trail side café, with outdoor seating, by a hand full of homes which make up Schönau an der Donau. We were 27 km from Vienna and had planned to stop and stay overnight here if Yolan was struggling from jet lag. But, she was fit, strong and kept a good pace. She was up to continuing beyond Schönau a/d Donau. We decided to go another 24 km to the medieval town of Hainburg.
For most of the next 24 km, the sun was out while we rode on gravel trail on the dyke. Wild flowers were in full bloom on both sides. What a sight :)
Life is good.
Hainburg Medieval Festival and Castle
We crossed an impossibly long bridge to get to the right side of the Donau and rolled into Hainburg and circled up to the tourist info office. It was closed because of the holiday.
The two pensions in town had rooms which seemed to be very expensive considering how simple they looked from the outside. Pirata Pizzeria is listed in our Bikeline book as a place to stay. We called and the 55 euro they quoted, for double room, with breakfast, was comparatively cheap so we rode another km to the edge of town. The modern building looked well maintained and the compact rooms were good. And they have a pizzeria!
There was a festival going on in town but, once we settled in at the hotel, nobody was up for going out. And the medieval castle on the mountain top above town was alluring. Eh, maybe tomorrow!
....1) The Danube Cycle Way; Donaueschingen to Budapest by John Higginson
... 2) Bikeline Maps & Guides; Donau-Radweg 1, (5 books in the series)
Our plan in a nutshell; 2900 total kilometers at 50 km per day - 2 days riding for 1 day off for a total of 58 riding days & 90 total days - April to July, 2013 :)