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Passau to Scharding

Passau to Scharding

This morning we began our short 22 mile bike ride right from our hotel in Passau and cycled along the Danube River to the peninsula point where it converges with the Inn River.  Today we are following Route 33, a dedicated bike path that begins in Passau and runs through the woods along the River Inn.  We’ve noticed since crossing the border yesterday that German drivers seem to be more patient and courteous to cyclists.  They slow down when they pass us and wait to pass if cars are coming the other direction.  And they stay off of the bike paths.  I LOVE GERMANY!  The bicycle path system appears to be very advanced here.  There are well maintained bike paths everywhere with signage and bollards to keep out the cars.  They are a delight to cycle on.

Cycling through Passau along the Inn River

Cycling through Passau along the Inn River

The trail today once again felt so much like our own Missouri KATY Trail after we left the city limits.  The trail surface was a hard packed small gravel and we cycled through the woods with the River Inn to our left.  The weather this morning was chilly but much better than yesterday. It stayed dry all day and after the morning fog burned off it was mostly sunny. Absolutely WUNDERBAR!

Taking pictures of amazing castles has almost become redundant.  They are everywhere!

Taking pictures of amazing castles has almost become redundant. They are everywhere!

Today’s ride was the easiest yet.  Not only was it a short day but it was all on a single bike trail with no tricky turns to watch out for.  Most of the route was through the pretty autumn woods along the Inn River with Austria beckoning us on the other side of the water.  We all stopped for photos at a new red footbridge that spans the river into Austria.  Coins embedded in middle of the bridge mark the Austrian/German border.  A statue of two people hugging on the Germany side represents peace between the two countries.

The red footbridge to Austria

The red footbridge to Austria

For lunch today we crossed over the Inn river to Scharding, another exquisite little village with colorful baroque building facades lining the streets.   Lush blooming flower boxes in every window.  Germans and Austrians celebrate art.  Every little town is filled with new and old statues.  Every building surface is an excuse for murals.  Every door for ornate metal decorations.  Even their cobblestoned roads and sidewalks are a proclamation of creativity.  Millions of smooth stones of all colors and shapes have painstakingly been planted into the European soil into an infinite variety of designs.

The town square in Scharding

The town square in Scharding

The rest of our ride today was on the Austrian side of the river along the same well kept trail.  Past the red footbridge again, through more woods and several more picturesque Austrian villages.  A highlight of the afternoon was this funky playground with all sorts of unique creative things on which to climb, swing or balance.  More art of course.  This time for the children.  They instill their love of art into the youngsters.   I LOVE AUSTRIA!

We crossed back over to Germany and ended our day’s ride in front of our hotel in Passau.  We had a free afternoon to explore the city.  Craig and I had originally planned to keep the bikes and bike around Passau during the afternoon.  But after six solid days of cycling, we’ve realized that we are not superhuman afterall and it is time for a rest.  We spent several hours relaxing in our hotel room while I did a little website work.

Cycling along the Inn River

Cycling along the Inn River

We ventured out again after dark and walked around the old section of town in search of a non-touristy restaurant.  We found one, with the menu handwritten in German.  Fortunately the waitress knew English and the menu was short so she gave us a quick translation and we enjoyed a simple German meal of potatoes, breaded pork, salad and beer.  What a wonderful day it was.  Tomorrow we will travel into Austria and cycle along another beautiful bike trail.

See more photos from this day on my Crazy Guy on a Bike journal HERE.

 

The coolest playground I have ever seen

The coolest playground I have ever seen

 

Climbing the one hill of the day.

Climbing the one hill of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a neat little video Craig made of the past three days…

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