From Home to Passau Along the Danube

By | August 29, 2009

The highlight of the flight was the pilot giving us each a small bar of Swiss chocolate as we got off at Zurich. The next leg to Vienna was 20 minutes late, and when we got ther our bikes didn’t seem to be in the luggage area. They’d been dumped at ‘bulky luggage’ which was in a public area of the airport – rubbish security. We got the bus to the train station, and I was hungry but everything seemed to be ham based. I ended up with a giant cheese pretzel.

The train to Passau was clean and on time. There was an Austrian couple on the next table with two cute toddling girls. The older, braver one batted her balloon at me and I batted it back. Her mum reminded her to say ‘thank you’ in English, the kid speaks more English than I do German and she hasn’t even started school.

I read the maps to get an understanding of our first few days and we used the spacious luggage area on the train to rebuild our bikes between Wels and Passau, we didn’t do well, missing a piece off my seatpost and putting the pedals on the wrong side. A twisted chain meant filthy, oily hands.

We put the panniers on at the platform, but had to manhandle the bikes down the stairs and back up again to leave the station. Walking down the pedestrianised street I was excited to see a sign for ‘Jumbo Speil’ but it was a casino, not a giant game shop.

We found the White Rabbit Hotel easily and the drunken receptionist directed me to put the bikes in the garage. We dumped our stuff in the room and went out for dinner. We were tired and didn’t explore, choosing a Croatian restaurant on a river, but I don’ know if it was the Danube or Inn. After dinner and a wheat beer we went back, watch a little of the Olympics and slept. The Olympics viewing is weird. The main Eurosport feed is in English, with a loud German overdub, so you can just about hear the original commentary, but with someone shouting in German over the top.

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