Our stay at the Gasthaus Zum Schwan was certainly a highlight of our trip so far. The hotel is run by the 39 year old owner Markus and his mother. I could not imagine a more attentive host and I would certainly recommend that any other cyclists wishing to repeat this trip should sample this hospitality for themselves.
After breakfast we decided to ride back upstream for a couple of km to the start of the gorge. This short ride rewarded us with some of the prettiest and most peaceful Danube scenery we have yet seen. The bike path ends at a stony bank where we spent some fun moments skimming flat stones over the surface of the river. With the prospect of another beautiful day ahead it was a magical start to the day’s activities.
The ride itself often stuck closely to the river bank and we saw the first large barge carrying a load of freshly cut timber upstream towards Kelheim. As we make our way further downstream the river traffic will increase exponentially. Lunch took the form of a picnic on the river bank. The lunch consisted of some rolls made by Markus and his mother, supplemented with assorted goodies purchased at the supermarket in Kelheim.
After lunch we continued along the river bank all the way to the marvelous city of Regensburg. This is surely one of the most beautiful cities of Germany and it is no surprise that it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2006. We entered via a series of narrow cobblestoned streets surrounded on both sides with beautifully decorated 3 to 4 story buildings. Most of these would date back hundreds of years. In the centre of Regensburg is the magnificent St Peters Cathedral, complete with ornate Gothic stonework and some of the most impressive stained glass windows I have ever seen.
You could easily wander the back streets of this town for days on end but unfortunately we only have 1 night here as we make our way steadily towards Vienna. The signs along the bike path now mark the way to Passau which will be the half way point of this section of the ride.
All of our riders are in great spirits and getting stronger as they clock up the kilometres. Even our less experienced riders are surprising themselves with how well they have been getting along.
Tomorrow we head for Straubing.