Click on right here to learn my full and detailed assessment of the Danube Waltz boat and bike tour with Rad & Reisen.
On this article I can be sharing with you some further pictures and tales from the bike tour – with a extra private twist.
Day 1: Make your solution to Passau, Germany
My flight to Munich, Germany from close by Poznan, Poland was an absolute breeze. Simply over an hour after lifting off the bottom in Poland, I used to be in Germany for the beginning of the week-long bicycle tour with Rad & Reisen.
I took a practice into dwntown Munich and as soon as there, met up with my good friend Kasia, who can be becoming a member of me for the remainder of the bike tour.
Kasia, in case you don’t bear in mind, was the recipient of the 2012 Bicycle Touring Professional journey scholarship. Since being awarded her smile prize, we’ve saved in contact and even did some work on the GoBicycleTouring.com web site collectively.
After assembly with Kasia in Munich, we jumped on one other practice and made our solution to the close by metropolis of Passau (about two-hours away).
As soon as in Passau, Kasia and I checked into our resort room, went out for a fast stroll round city (it was raining just a little bit) after which referred to as it an evening.
The next day, we woke to a giant buffet breakfast within the resort restaurant after which returned to our room to pack up our issues and put together for the tour.
We had been instructed that we have been to fulfill the remainder of the tour members at 5 PM that day, so we had loads of time to kill, so we walked round Passau for a number of hours earlier than making our manner again to the resort the place we have been instructed that as a substitute of boarding the ship in Passau as was initially the plan, we have been going to be bussed from Passau to Linz the place the ship was now ready for us. Apparently, the latest rains had brought about the river to swell and the ship wasn’t in a position to get as far upstream as it could have appreciated. So we needed to go and meet the ship in Linz.
We have been loaded onto a pleasant, massive bus after which pushed only a brief methods down the river. On the boat we have been greeted by the boat’s musician (who was enjoying an accordion) and one of many younger crew members dressed as Mozart. Mozart was handing out sweets to every of the visitors as she or he stepped on board the ship.
After getting the important thing to our rooms and trying out our new lodging, we have been handled to dinner. We got desk assignments and requested to take a seat with a gaggle of people that spoke our similar language. (The desk assignments additionally make it simpler for the workers to determine who ordered which meals, and in addition means that you can get to know the folks at your desk higher.)
After our scrumptious welcome dinner, a gathering was held within the ship’s panorama salon, the place we have been welcomed on board the boat and instructed what precisely what can be taking place all through the boat and bicycle tour. After the assembly with our Cruise Director, Leslie, we retired to our cabins and woke the next morning for our first full day on board the MS My Story (that was the title of our ship).
Day 2: Bike journey from Engelhartszell to Aschach alongside the Danube River
Our morning started by being handled to a buffet-style breakfast with fruits, bread, yogurt, granola, sliced deli meats, eggs, juice and extra. We’d have this similar breakfast buffet on every morning of the tour… and it was my favourite meal of the day. There was a lot meals, you possibly can take no matter you appreciated, and I completely beloved it!
Then, after breakfast, we merely walked off the boat and located our bicycles, which had been parked exterior for us. After discovering the bike that had been assigned to us for the tour, and after adjusting the bike seats and loading up the waterproof panniers that had been offered for us, we headed out.
The journey started with a brief ferry boat journey (2 Euros) to the opposite aspect of the river, after which a nice 10+ kilometer journey down the financial institution of the Danube river, passing small farms and villages alongside the best way.
On the well-known 180 diploma loop one other brief ferry boat journey (1.5 Euros) takes you again throughout the river, the place you’ll be able to then view the well-known loop (in case you select) by climbing a brief, however very steep forest path to a lookout level the place your entire river may be seen.
It was a steep uphill climb, however I made the trouble to climb up the hill and see the well-known loop for myself.
The bike journey on our first full day of the tour took us by a largely shaded part of the river and passes by a pair small villages earlier than ending within the city of Aschach, the place the boat was now ready for us.
After reaching the boat, we loaded the bicycles again on board after which returned to our cabins for a bathe, nap or no matter else we wished to do.
Dinner was then served within the ship’s restaurant within the night. Dinners every evening consisted of three important programs and drinks (that value further – even water).
After dinner, a gathering was held (first in German after which in English) to elucidate the biking route that we’d biking the subsequent day… and the assorted further excursions that might be bought in your time in Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna have been then pitched.
Day 3: Biking from Devin to Bratislava
Our day started with one other beautiful buffet-style breakfast at our assigned tables. At this level within the tour we have been actually beginning to get to know a number of the folks we had been assigned to take a seat with, which was nice!
Then we have been let off the ship and got the duty of looking out, but once more, for our assigned bicycles. As soon as we discover our bikes, we cycled previous the Devon fort (which is in Slovakia) after which cycled again throughout the Slovakia/Austria border and returned to Austria for a lot of the day. The bike route wound its manner by the countryside and took us previous a pair small (however not so spectacular) castles and properties, earlier than ending within the metropolis of Bratislava, Slovakia. A further 8-kilometer non-compulsory route alongside the river means that you can see a bit extra of the town in your bike earlier than returning to the boat.
Listed below are some pictures from our bike journey by Slovakia and Austria on the second full day of the bike tour.
In Bratislava, Kasia and I noticed this previous constructing which had a complete wall that had been painted. We stopped for a number of minutes and snapped some pictures.
Then, after we’d had sufficient of the bicycles, we returned to the My Story, which was now ready for us in Bratislava.
After showering, cake and occasional/tea was served round 4 PM… after which we had time to discover Bratislava on our personal or by the non-compulsory strolling tour of the town. I had already been to Bratislava earlier than, so I made a decision to discover the town by myself.
Then, after strolling round Bratislava, I returned to the ship simply in dinner time at 7:30 PM.
After dinner, I frolicked with the opposite visitors within the ship’s panorama salon and loved myself whereas listening to dwell music that had been made accessible because the boat slowly traveled down the river, passing Bratislava’s nighttime lights, to Hungary and the town of Budapest.
Under is a photograph of the hallway the place all of the sleeping cabins are discovered on the ship’s important deck… and beneath that may be a image of the cabin that Kasia and I shared whereas we have been on board the ship. Small, however snug. Solely after I snored at evening did Kasia complain.
Day 4: Budapest, Hungary
On day 4 of the boat and bike tour down the Danube river, we began our day with one other fantastic buffet breakfast after which those that selected to take part within the bike tour across the metropolis have been let off the boat first. The group of cyclists exploring the town was break up into three smaller teams – one English group and two German teams. The remainder of the folks both stayed on the boat or have been free to go and discover the town on their very own.
Kasia and I selected to discover the town on our personal. We began by first exploring the “Buda” aspect of the town first.
After some purchasing… and plenty of strolling, we returned to the ship round 12:30 PM for lunch. After lunch, Kasia and I walked to the island/park on the northern aspect of the town the place we people-watched for some time. Then Kasia returned to the boat whereas I spent the subsequent couple hours exploring the extra fashionable “Pest” aspect of the town earlier than returning to the boat in dinner time.
After dinner, those that signed up for the normal dinner/dancing occasion have been loaded into buses and pushed to their occasion, the place they have been served giant quantities of alcohol and given a full of life, dramatic present. The goulash soup they have been served was particularly good. After dinner they have been pushed to a viewing level excessive above the town the place the lights beneath made the town look extra like Disneyland than that of a contemporary metropolis that when sat behind the Iron Curtain. They returned to the boat round 11:30 PM.
I, however, spent my time after dinner doing one final stroll across the metropolis at evening. I walked as much as the fort on the hill and sat on a park bench because the solar set within the distance. Then I took footage of the Parliament constructing and different historic landmarks in the dead of night earlier than returning to the boat to work on my laptop.
Right here I’m, sitting within the ship’s panorama salon, engaged on my laptop computer laptop, with the Danube river and the Budapest Parliament constructing lit up behind me. It was an effective way to finish a beautiful day!
Day 5: Biking by the Hungarian countryside (Visegrad to Esztergom)
One other scrumptious buffet breakfast after which we have been set free on our bicycles with the selection of two completely different routes: A brief route (25 km / 15 miles) or an extended route (59 km / 36 miles). These taking the longer route would cycle by farmland, shaded timber, throughout a big river island, and can be required to take three brief ferry boat rides throughout numerous stretches of the river (costing 9 further Euros in whole). This was my favourite bike journey of the tour, with mixture of countryside, river and small villages alongside the best way. It was an effective way to expertise the Hungarian nation exterior of the massive metropolis of Budapest.
After returning to the boat, cake and occasional/tea was served at 4 PM after which a pirate-themed dinner was served at 7:30 PM. The workers was wearing pirate costumes; the plates, silverware and napkins on our tables have been a multitude; and there was pirate-themed music enjoying. There have been brief staged sword fights between numerous restaurant workers and the cruise director, Leslie, who joined in on the motion by taking one of many younger maidens (a younger waitress) over his shoulder and carrying her away.
After dinner, visitors have been free to return to their rooms for the evening, or to linger within the salon the place video games have been being performed, music was carried out, and socializing happened. Kasia and I performed a sport of IOTA within the salon earlier than calling it an evening.
Day 6: Relaxation Day in Vienna, Austria
On the sixth day of the Danube Waltz boat and bike tour, we started out day with one other buffet breakfast and have been then free to discover the town of Vienna – both on our personal or by a guided bicycle tour. Once more, Kasia and I made a decision to see Vienna on our personal, however lots of the folks on the tour selected to take part within the bike tour, which lasted roughly three hours.
Kasia and I took a avenue automotive into the middle of Vienna after which walked across the Ring Highway space on foot.
I spent a month residing in Vienna in 2009, so I used to be fairly aware of the town, however this was Kasia’s first time within the metropolis, so I loved displaying her a few of my favourite sights.
I lived within the Prater area of Vienna in 2009, and this was the identical a part of city that Kasia had organized to fulfill considered one of her mates she had met throughout her travels in South America, so we walked collectively by the Prater and I confirmed Kasia my favourite avenue artwork areas.
Then, round 4 PM, Kasia met up together with her good friend and we went our separate methods. I spent the subsequent couple hours strolling across the metropolis and taking pictures. I returned to the condominium I had rented in 2009 (simply to see what it appeared like immediately), after which I returned to the ship round 8 PM. I had missed dinner, so I bought some meals at an area grocery store after which ate it on my own in our cabin on the ship’s important deck. Someday after 11 PM, Kasia returned to the ship and some moments later we left Vienna.
Day 7: Biking from Wachau to Melk, Austria
Throughout our final day of biking, we started with one other superior buffet breakfast after which exited the ship. We discovered our bicycles after which took off alongside the pre-designed path that had been laid out so splendidly for us by Rad & Reisen.
Under are Bob and Sue, the American couple we have been seated with at our desk within the restaurant. Kasia and I spent an excessive amount of our time speaking with Bob and Sue and we each actually loved their firm.
Our final day of biking (this time in Austria) was actually fairly spectacular. We slowly wound our manner by a number of small cities and villages – by no means dashing to succeed in our vacation spot.
Someday round lunchtime, Kasia and I climbed as much as the highest of the Durnstein Ruine, which took our breath away, however was definitely definitely worth the effort. The views from the highest have been completely fantastic!
Again on our bikes, we slowly made our manner by a number of small cities, whereas stopping sometimes to eat ice cream, take pictures and socialize with the opposite cyclists on the route.
Within the metropolis of Melk, we crossed over a big bridge with fantastic views of the river, did a brief bike journey across the metropolis, after which returned to the ship. The biking portion of our boat and bike tour down the Danube river had come to its eventual conclusion.
Again on board the ship, Leslie (the corporate’s Cruise Director) held a particular assembly to introduce us all to the assorted folks engaged on board the ship. An enormous group bike tour equivalent to this doesn’t occur with out the help of many, many individuals, so we have been launched to the captain, the boat workers, the resort workers, the cleaners, the restaurant workers, the servers, and everybody else on board the ship that helped to make the bike tour doable for us all.
Afterward, dinner was served within the restaurant. I notably loved my couscous stuffed zucchini.
Day 8: Ending the Bike Tour in Passau, Germany
On the final day of the Danube Waltz boat and bike tour, we woke in time for one last buffet breakfast within the restaurant. Afterward, we frolicked within the salon or up on the ship’s sun-deck, whereas our cabins have been being cleaned and preparations have been being made for us to disembark. Earlier than we knew it, we have been again in Passau and have been instructed that the tour had come to an finish.
I can’t communicate for the others on board the ship, however I didn’t wish to go away. I had such a beautiful expertise. I actually appreciated the folks I had met on the tour and had fallen in love with lots of the ship’s workers members. The 8-day tour had actually solely lasted per week, however it had felt like a lot longer than that (in the perfect of how).
Kasia and I mentioned goodbye to Bob and Sue and the opposite mates we had made on board the MS My Story, and when it was time, all of us went our separate methods.
Kasia and I returned to Passau after which took a practice collectively again into downtown Munich. As soon as in Munich, Kasia met again up together with her cousin, who lives within the metropolis, after which I used to be by myself. I killed a pair hours within the Munich practice station and the returned to the Munich airport in time for my mild again to Poznan, Poland.
The Danube Waltz boat and bike tour with Rad & Reisen was a beautiful bicycle touring expertise. Whereas Kasia and I have been simply the youngest two tour members on the ship, we had a beautiful expertise, made lots of good mates, and would each definitely do the tour once more if the chance have been to current itself.
Extremely advisable! Learn my full assessment of this bicycle tour proper right here.