Ihr Standort: You are Here!
I spent most of my first afternoon toiling to get over the lump of land between the Rhine and
The next day I rolled down the hill from Liptingen into Tuttlingen, the town where I joined the
The Danube Cycle Way is typically done in stages: in Germany from the river's source in Donaueschingen to Passau (I joined it at Tuttlingen,
Back to my first day on the German Danube. I spun along on the mostly flat green river valley with rocky cliffs towering on both sides, and very soon, saw my first
After the first dramatic day of riding between the vertical rocks and trees, the countryside opened up into more conventional agricultural land--corn, in these early days of August, fattening; within arm's reach, tempting. As the days of August mounted up, more wheat fields were brush cut; in other fields coarse leafy greens were being grown (probably for livestock feed, suggested my informant from Stettler, Alberta). The cycleway was through these agricultural lands but also sometimes directly beside the river. On the riverside path there are numbers posted on large signs. These are the kilometre markers counting down to the
And never too many kilometres down the road an historic town to explore, with a central tower and clock, often with the town's coat of arms, each building painted in crisp colours. I can't say if it's because this is a well-travelled tourist route that the towns are so well maintained, but I didn't see any that were run down with peeling or faded buildings. It's as if nocturnal workers toil on scaffolds with their brushes and paint while we sleep.
Some outstanding images: the huge castle in Sigmaringen, my first overrnight stop. Along its mass turrets poked the sky. In
I cycled this stretch from July 28 and ended up in
My days settled into a comfortable and easy routine--follow the river; follow the Donauradwanderweg arrows. Picnic frequently along the way. And as I picnicked, others rode by, calling out, "Guten morgen!" "Guten apetit!" Some mornings I even did some writing at my picnic site while my tent fly dried.
The quality of my wandering changed on this stage: it became more social from the first day. Germans (and after them, the Austrians) along this route were very outgoing and forthcoming with help. I needed only stop and look the slightest bit perplexed, and someone was there to advise. In Tuttlingen, my first town on the
And there were scores of other cyclists on this bikeway. There were the streamlined lycra-clad ones on light racing bikes, as well as ones with wobbly butts and billowing t-shirts, laden for a tour. Lots of couples. There was the romantic who rode behind his sweetie, pushing her bike with one hand as he rode uphill. (Although I could swear I saw the thought bubble over the head of one raspberry-faced man as he pushed his bike up another hill: it said, "I get to choose the next vacation.") And I finally found "my people": these are the cyclists at the "zeltplatz," the tent site, usually a specific spot within a "campingplatz". Nightly reunions at the zeltplatz had us sharing stories of the road and life over dinner. I never felt lonely on the Donau.
On our last evening together in