Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 20. Sept 18.

Deggendorf to Inzell.

Distance: 102 km.
Time: 5 hrs 9 min.
Speed.  19.7 km/hr.
Distance so far: 2372 km.
AHR: 99 beats/min.
Feet climbed today: 907 ft.
Punctures so far: 1

Weather: Warm and sunny all day. Slight wind from south-east.

Up early and ready to leave at 8.15 after breakfast and 2 prepared rolls packed away for the lunch. To my horror, my camera had gone on the blink. The screen remained dead although it was still recording images. It did flash on and off a few times. This is disaster.
I continued to take photos with it, but no viewfinder, no instant playback....just like the old days. I changed batteries, tried every combination of button clicks but no luck. It seems that it has had its day....not bad after 7 years. Judge yourself the photos that I took as far as Passau....all taken in the dark.
Shortly after descending (500 ft over 3 km) back into Deggendorf, I picked up the Donau Radweg and pedalled on. Before long my progress was halted by ’Road Up’ signs. I pretended that I didn’t understand (’from Barcelona’) and cycled through. Just a few patches were railed off for resurfacing. No big deal. Further on, I came across work in progress in strengthening the dikes with steel piles.
I dropped across into Vilshofen (36 km) and got great assistance in a (not busy) pharmacy. The assistant there furnished me with locations of good camera stores in Passau. Much appreciated. For the first time, I came across Danube cruise ships berthed up catering for this popular stretch of the Danube (Vienna upstream).
I had a fond glance back at Vilshofen as I passed eastwards by the riverside airfield.
I looked forward to coming into Passau (for the second time). Margaret and I cycled from here to Vienna in 2010 for a most enjoyable week in great company led by Andre (Mercurio). With barges plying the Danube up to here (and beyond) the lock system has to be maintained. As I passed over, a cruise ship had just entered a lock, gates were closing before filling the lock to raise the craft.
(All photos up to this point taken in the dark)
I spent a few hours in Passau for old times sake. Passau is known as the three-rivers-city as the Inn joins from the south and the Ilz joins the Danube from the north.
I went up to St Stephens Cathedral, the largest Baroque church outside of Italy. It has 5 organs that can be played simultaneously from a single keyboard; must be the largest in the world.
I made tracks to a big shopping mall on Bahnhof Strasse to replace my camera. It had an extensive camera shop (Saturn) but it was down a floor. I didn’t care to park my bike on the street so my laden-bike travels with me down on the escalator. I happened on a very friendly guy in Saturn (Fuchs) who assisted me no end in putting me up and running again in terms of travel images with a Panasonic Lumix. Pity that Saturn don’t take VISA.
For lunch (normally on the road) I resorted to a nearby coffee shop on Ludwigsplatz, principally because there were sockets available to charge up my new battery. I took my time over the coffee and sandwich.
With both of us charged up, I headed off down Ludwigstrasse, a popular lunch-hour cafe street. As I moved along I heard the strains of Molly Malone up ahead. Am I hallucinating? There was a busker with her accordion belting it out and sure, I joined in. Asked her if she was one of our own? No, from the Bavarian mountains but travelled a bit in Scotland (but never in Ireland).
I contributed to her artistic endeavour, and she wished to sing mother Irish song for me. She didn’t know any Tipperary song but suggested the ’Wild Rover’. Up she starts and I helped as best I could. We belted it out to the enjoyment of those around. ( I would have loved to have Gerry Ryan there). An enjoyable moment in a city that I have fond memories of anyhow.
I tarried a few hours in Passau before cycling on, on the northern side of the Danube.
From Passau to Vienna, a cycle path exists on the north side and not her on the south side. Occasionally, one can switch from one to the other at the infrequent bridges or by using the bicycle ferries (€2) that crop up now and again.
My route cycled along between the road and the river. River traffic by now has increased a lot between barges, cruisers and small tourist craft.
At Jochenstein, on a rock out in the river is Isa, reputedly a sister of the Loreley, the Rhine famous lady of folklore.
And, just after Jochenstein, at a tiny stream crossing the path, I passed from Germany into Austria. Now, there are new signs to reckon with. The cycle surface has changed..still good, and signs are a little more infrequent. 
Just before I finished today’s 102 km scheduled distance I had to cycle around the Schlogen Loop.
At Schlogen, the Danube came up against a ’stone wall’ and had to turn back on itself to find a way through. It was a dramatic view all within a few kilometres. My route was around the longer outside, but it was well worthwhile.
Finally, I arrived at my destination at St Nicholas Guesthouse in Inzell, a small settlement on the next curve of the river. My host was out to welcome me, shook hands, referred to my trip from Ireland and indicated which room was mine....Seomra 5. Since I left Ireland, this is the first time I have received a welcome. In previous places, it was just a matter of sign here, sign there. I complimented the host (and his young son) on his warm welcome. It really made a difference. Later, I found out that his wife has just had their second (daughter) last Tuesday.
My room looks right out on a turn of the Danube and I just relaxed for a while there after a refreshing shower.
At the evening meal, I met up with Klaus from Munich. He is cycling from Vienna to Passau and we a great chat over 2 bottles of the local Pils. He has been to Ireland walking and cycling.

Another fulfilling day although it started out with a possible disastrous technological disaster.
And into a new country in this trek across Europe.

Thank God for the health and for the energy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi again. I have away for a few days but I have caught up with your daily epistles now. I was impressed by your photo of the old Lanz Bulldogs - do you remember those working on the land at home ?
    Good old Panasonic Lumix - it's been "my friend" for years !! Anyway, I am glad that the daily photos will continue.
    Happy travels