Grein to Melk – 47km 26/08/18

Having listened to pouring rain all night, we were a bit ambivalent to how today may go. But it’s fair to say, we lucked out!

Leaving our accommodation (surprise surprise) later than planned, knowing we had a reasonable ride ahead of us, we decided against visiting the castle in Grein.

So straight down to the ferry landing past a famous sundial (no sun in the sky though) and onto the boat, Evie already asleep!

One last view of Grein before we headed down the south bank, because it was the quieter of the sides.

It was a lovely small road through beautiful trees and back to wooded sides to the river, turning autumnal.

First stop for us was Ybbs, where we specifically went to go to the Radfahre museum (history of bikes). Small but worth a visit.

We went on the penny farthing….

Saw the fire engine bike….

The first inflatable rubber tyres (made by Dunlop)

The army bikes with sword attachments!

A bike with a waterproof cover (we need these back home!)

And a candle lamp (how did they stay alight? And how did they really guide the way?)

Ybbs itself was small but nice, although for a small place it had some massive buildings!

We crossed the hydroelectric bridge to Persenbeug, on top of which was a good view of one of these boat locks

And continued on our was along the north bank. Back through villages and agricultural land, until we found a nice lunch spot at Metzling, on the opposite side side of the river to the Theresien Chapel, a former Cistercian monastery. Looked nice but you can’t be on both sides of the river at once!!

We woke Evie for playtime and wiggle time. She chomped on more cucumber and tomato and then it was time to move onwards. Leaving Metzling, we passed these fun little stick men

We twiddled through the bumpy backstreets of villages because the cycle path was being replaced (will be super nice and smooth for whoever gets to ride on it soon!) until we came to a super curly bridge bike ramp!

The clouds were gathering so I feared they may unleash their worst

But as I said at he beginning, we lucked out and the sky got bluer.

Only 4 km to go to get to Melk, and our goal of reaching the Benedictine Abbey for getting our tickets before 4.30pm, the latest they let people in.

Impressive from a distance and ever bigger as you get nearer, this is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

However, despite its obvious popularity with tourists, there were no signs of how to get there by bike, which was odd considering it must be one of the major attractions on the cycle route. Anyway, we went up through the town (note the up, with the trailer, with a time pressure, equalled hard work!), and mum rushed in to get our tickets just in time whilst I did a much needed nappy change!

You enter through into a very impressive couple of courtyards and We then had 1&1/2 hours to scoot round the buildings and gardens. A well done exhibition of all things church related and super old (artefacts dating back many centuries), then through the library

Down some super fancy stairs

And into a highly ornate church with so much gold and colour

And a very impressive done

Back outside, the views from the balcony show us our route tomorrow

And we see a very old clock, that until recent times was made entirely of wood

Back out into the courtyard

Leaving 30 mins to see the gardens (don’t be late, you’ll be locked in behind massive metal gates!)

I rather likes this (amongst a set)

By going

By feeling

By speaking

By loving

By seeing

By thinking

By questioning

You are

(At least I think that’s how it translates)

And then it was time to leave, bump down the cobbled streets of Melk, and find our accommodation for the night.

Never easy, the owner had to search for somewhere suitable to store the trailer (I think it’s in his own living room!).

Rambling around Regensburg – a UNESCO world heritage site

Our hotel, Hotel Lux, is full of antiquities, including the breakfast bar.

Evie goes European with cucumber to munch on for breakfast this morning

Its a hot day here so back to the room and sunscreen for all before heading out. Grandma also pulls out a present for Evie Bean, a baby rucksack. Still a little small for it yet and not easily combined with the sling, but I think she likes it and it will no doubt go on many adventures with her.

a now familiar walk over the bridge but nice reflections in the river.

After working out our travel plans to get to Passau tomorrow, we went up the old tower for a view of the rooftops.

We continued on into Regensburg old town to walk the streets and enjoy a sit in a cafe where Evie decides the onwards route.

She wants to visit Regensburg cathedral! I never failed to be impressed by cathedrals and this is one magnificent both outside, with its intricate carvings, and inside with its high vaulted ceilings. For a hot day with a baby, it’s also cool within.

From Regensburg cathedral to the banks of the river for a picnic lunch and…. a swim!! Brief but refreshing, this was much enjoyed.

We had booked a boat tour for 3pm. I now wished it had been 4pm so we could have enjoyed the river for longer. But onto the boat it was, with now one very tired and upset Evie, who promptly fell to sleep!

We did a 50 min boat tour, so really just saw the river banks. If I had another day here I think I would have done a longer one as the pictures of the gorge look beautiful, and there is only so long that I can ramble around a town on my feet, even less so on a hot day with Evie on my front. Still, Evie woke in a good mood and was then mesmerised by the ripples on the water from the wake of the boat. This kept her happy for the duration of the journey, as well as making friends with a little German girl, who wasn’t quite sure about the strength of Evie’s grip!

Back into Regensburg for another wonder, we went into the Rathaus (town hall), which had the most amazing acoustics. As I sung a few notes Evie was entranced!

A little more wandering and we came across another church that although a plain building was magnificent on the inside. Apparently there used to be a church for every day of the year here in Regensburg. There certainly are a lot! And then a little bit of Rome.

Back to the hotel where I did a bit of work whilst Grandma took Evie on an adventure across the road to another cafe.

The day wouldn’t end without dinner, which we had in a restaurant just across the road from the hotel, and very scrumptious food it had to (Meier – Ein Lokal). But then (this is a blog about a baby remember), I smelt it before I felt it, but she had already dealt it. Thankfully now just across the road, I left mum to pay and went to clear up the mess. Let’s just say it was a bath for two, and all of both our clothes needed hand washing. Let’s hope they are dry by the morning!

Munich to Regensburg- 17/08/18

After yesterday’s long day, we had a relaxed start, with an impressive breakfast at Hotel Munich City.

Tummy’s filled, with Evie trialling even more fruits (she liked Kiwi & watermelon today!), we learned our lesson from yesterday and booked a taxi from the hotel to the station. It felt so long on foot, but rather short by car! Still, there was no way we were lugging those bags over 1km again!

Typically, platform 1 was at the opposite end of the station and down two levels, so we didn’t totally escape lugging the bags!

Train number one was a bit like the London Underground. Surrounded by all this luggage I am wondering how on earth we will get it all on two bikes!

Evie chose the opportune moment (3 mins before getting off) to be properly sick all over both of us. She is rarely sick, so a surprise to us both; maybe that kiwi wasn’t such a great idea?? So now I am hot and smell!

With a change at Freising, the next train was a bit novelty, with comfy compartments within the carriages.

Next opportune moment meant a nappy change, and given as all toilets on the train were out of action then it just had to happen in our compartment

This then equals hunger and, despite not being interested in her milk, she was very happy when I opened a banana. Though her hands wanted it more than her mouth.

We arrived in Regensburg at 2pm, taxi at the hotel, for the reception of Hotel Lux where we are booked in to be closed. After trying to understand a notice, I ask the nice lady in the jewellery shop next door. She sends me across to a restaurant, which is shut. I finally find the chef, he finds a key. None of us can open the door…. so we wait in the corridor….

Eventually another woman arrives. I’m glad at this point I did A level German as she has no English. But the door is finally opened. And very nice to see, as requested but not necessarily expected, a cot for Evie (shame she is too small to use the lovely bedding).

After a drink in the cafe opposite and a quick visit to a rather lovely deli, it’s time for a snooze.

Then up in time for some dinner and a short wander over the bridge just to give us an idea of what it will be like.

We are excited to go and discover this UNESCO world heritage site properly tomorrow.