After the worst night sleep in a long time, we finally gave up and got up! But what a day we have had. The sun was shining, so the makeshift towel shade went on, and we managed an earlier start.
Out of Melk, straight up a hill (felt like a mountain with the trailer), and along the south side. From the river bank you could see Schönbühel, a privately owned residence – imagine if this were your house!! You couldn’t get near it unless you swan down the river! But incredibly beautiful to look at in the morning light.
First stop was the St Rosalia Parish church and monastery, one of 15 chapels on a processional route from the Holy Land to Rome. So precious is this church that you can’t go in, but you can look in.
Also had a lovely vista
From here we peddled on, down a clearly very dangerous (small) hill! Given the hills I cycle at home, this seemed an extreme sign.
Down a beautiful woodland path… and then bike track roadworks!!!
We looked up at Bergruine Aggstein, discussed going up there, decided it was a silly idea…. then found ourselves going anyway. Well, I had seen a picture taken from it, and I’m a sucker for views! It warned of 20% climbs, so we thought we would bike as far as possible and then walk. What that meant was we turned the corner…. and then walked!!!
The ‘wanderweg’ sign suggested it would take 1hr 15mins. It was steep, it was beautiful, and it only took us 45mins (and we weren’t going fast). Through gorgeous woods, it was actually quite nice to be off the bikes and on foot for a while.
And the walk was worth it. The castle, another UNESCO world heritage site, was still in very good condition. It was very well set out (unless you are scared of heights!), lots of boardwalks to access high up and phenomenal views.
Somewhere you didn’t want to end up, the 8m deep starvation put!
The views really were just something else.
And it had a nice cafe / restaurant!
Reluctant to leave again, but we still had another 20km to cover. Walking down we were attacked by killer-corns, raining down from the oak trees. I think there may have been a cheeky squirrel up there throwing its acorns at us!
Back at the bikes and we were off. Passing by lots of orchards and then into the start of the vineyards.
We crossed on a ferry to Spitz, as the north bank at this point was said to be beautiful.
Now have you ever seen a little ferry that has flower pots on?!??
And it was beautiful. At this point the bike trail comes away from the Danube and you wind your way through vineyards and really old small towns.
I loved this church in Spitz, look at the roof. It was getting later so we didn’t go to see inside.
The vines were loaded with grapes. Not knowing much about it, I don’t know if this was normal or exceptional due to the hot summer.
From Spitz to Weißenkirchen , this church was literally on route, although again you couldn’t go in. They obviously don’t trust the cyclist passerbys!
We continued onwards through the vineyards
And through the beautiful old small towns of Dürnstein
We stopped to try the local gin (and bought some – just a small bottle mind)!
Before continuing on our way
To Krems, our stop for the night
In my opinion, this has been the best day yet, very varied and three completely differing beautiful types of scenery. Some, what I would normally call undulating roads, towing this load I call mountains!! But worth it…. in fact I would love to do this day all over again!