Mühldorf to Au an der Donau, 51km – 23/08/18

I promise I won’t generally write about hotels, but Hotel Schloss Mühldorf was a pretty special place, and because of this we struggled to leave!!

We started the day with a swim in what was actually a pond but made to look like a swimming pool. And it’s water filtration was a reed bed. In fact all but it’s shape was very natural and just delightful.

Even the grey cat was pondering a swim!

From there to breakfast….. I’m not sure I have ever seen such a beautiful breakfast buffet!

Well, we stayed long enough but could have stayed for hours more!

One final stroke of grey cat….

….. and, at nearly 11am, it was time to leave.

Evie was asleep within 100m of cycling off after the excitement of the morning. That was the upside to leaving so late. The downside was it was hot hot hot again.

Our first place we cycled through was Goldwörth, where they tried to pan gold somewhat unsuccessfully. We peddled along pretty lanes surrounded by agricultural crops until we met up with the official route again.

This section of the Danube is very wide and is surrounded by much flatter woodland. We even saw the bees that made the mornings woodland honey! Well the hives were very jolly and in woodland anyway.

Inspiration! Came across a family from Canada who are away cycle touring and camping for two months! It can be done. And they had two children, a 6 month old and a 2 year old. All they had were pannier laden bikes and a laden trailer. They were even carrying a balance bike for the 2 year old. Their secret, only to aim at about 30km a day in one hour stints.

The main town of note was Ottensheim, with its lovely main square. Had Evie not still been sleeping then it would have been a fabulous place to stop and relax over a drink. It’s church was surprising. Looked super old on the outside and then modern on the inside.

The next stage of the journey was not so nice, we continued on the north bank as there was a cycle path off the road, so there was no risk from traffic, but it wasn’t pretty as we cycled through Linz suburbia. The South path though was on the road, even if prettier, not recommended when towing a child.

We thought that we would go and see The old part of Linz, so cycled into its Hauptplatze. It was nice, full of cafes. But we were hot, we had a packed lunch, so the shores of the Danube were calling louder! And somehow Evie was still asleep.

At this point we were back to Costa del Danube, with the pebbly shores full of sunbathers and people enjoying swimming safely downstream before getting out, walking back upstream and repeating the whole thing.

Even Evie had a bit of time in the very shallowest parts of the shallows. She wasn’t so sure of the waves from passing boats but did enjoy splashing and playing with pebbles. Without knowing it I’m sure she also enjoyed cooling down!

Highly reluctant to leave, but we still had nearly 30km to cycle in the unrelenting sun. Thankfully the break had tired Evie out and she slept again, but we were running out of energy.

Still, trying to see the positives, there were lots of beautiful swans, and the distance to our end point was getting closer, even if it didn’t feel like it.

Evie woke at an appropriate moment, and we found ourselves in a ‘Texan’ bar, where we parked our bikes in the ‘Harley’ spaces! The music was great so Evie had a dance. Then there was even some live music. Evie got into the swing off it, desperate to join everyone else drinking from beer glasses! Sadly we had to leave the fun behind, and Evie was NOT happy to go!!

This made the last miles very hard, and seem even longer than they were already feeling. Typically, she fell back to sleep just as we were arriving at Au an der Donau! But that was a good thing as it took us a while to find our accommodation and get sorted…..

Looking forward to a day around here tomorrow.

Passau to Mühldorf 22/08/18 – 67km is a long way with a baby!

Day one of the cycle tour part of this trip, on new heavy bikes, fully laden with panniers and a trailer loaded with Evie…. and stuff.

So first thoughts…. it was too far in one day.

Second…. we set off far too late! That won’t surprise some of you.

Third…. Evie was a star. She slept most of the day

So our first stop this morning was in Passau, at the church of St Nikoli, as yesterday we were told of this very peaceful 1000 yr old crypt that was there.

We ruined that peace! Evie was tired, hungry and needed a change. So I saw it for all of about 1 minute, but it was worth the visit.

And then we were off! And what a glorious morning it was to!

Our final trip through Passau down the Inns, then out and away. We probably got our best view yet of the confluence of the Inns and the Danube.

I didn’t know quite what I was expecting. But I wasn’t expecting a fairly main road to run alongside us for so long. However, it felt very safe as there was a barrier between the road and the cycle path. I also wasn’t expecting to be literally next to the Danube the whole way, that was a pleasant surprise.

Evie fell to sleep before we even left Passau. It was roasting hot, with no shade, but we decided that we just had to keep going whilst she slept. Luckily she woke literally as a Resthaus came into view, as drinks were welcome by all of us. We got a rest, and she got a wriggle!! I also decided to completely soak her romper and hat in cold water to keep her cool as we continued on.

We passed through a couple of lovely small towns, with beautiful old buildings.

And then onwards, back past the lock and the power station before heading through pretty countryside.

Evie Bean did of course sleep through the important border control!

We kept going as long as we could, or at least as long as I could before a lack of energy and too much heat got to me. A lunch stop, another wriggle for her and a dunk in the Danube fully clothes, shoes and all, for me to cool down.

Onwards through lanes of trees, the road by the side of us had now disappeared.

We then got to a big bend in the river where we needed to get a little ferry across to Schlogen on the south bank of the river.

Evie slept through the excitement of a boat trip but woke up just as we arrived at Schlogen.

We knew we still had about 30km to go, time was ticking, an Evie did not want to be in the trailer any more… after a few stops and cuddles, she did fall back to sleep again. And she missed the beauty of the wooded hillsides, which are already turning autumnal. The scenery was just stunning for mile after mile.

There was a point in the river where you could see all the way around the bend on the other side. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

Then we saw the Neuhaus castle high upon the opposite bank, one of the largest castle complexes in the region. Certainly it looked impressive from below.

Despite the gorgeousness of it all, the energy was low again. Boosted by some flapjack, we pedalled onwards, but my legs were tired and I was looking forward to getting to Aschach for some food. Lucky for us all I think, Evie stayed asleep until we did finally get there.

Aschach was smaller that expected, but it had some lovely old buildings. It also had a good dinner and some good cuddle and clambering time for Evie. Her new thing today that she enjoyed were some very strongly flavoured mushrooms!

Final push, less than 7km to Mühldorf, where we are staying tonight.

And that final push was worth it. We are staying at a castle…. it’s pretty cool. And it has an outdoor swimming pond!!

Much fewer miles tomorrow…. will be no bad thing. We got away with it today somehow, but I wouldn’t fancy repeating it. And that’s just with Evie, never mind the legs!