As posted briefly on Sunday, we reached Regensburg which is where the Danube stops heading north east and starts heading in a south easterly direction towards Austria, Slovakia, etc.
By the way, for the next couple of weeks we will be going even slower as our eldest, Alaric, and his girlfriend, Annabelle, are to visit Vienna. So the intention is to meet up with them.
But back to where we left off in the last full blog post from last Thursday which saw us at the canoe club in Donauwörth. We decided that a leisurely start to Friday was called for and walked into town for breakfast and a quick inspection of what the town had to offer. It was yet another typical pretty town with a long main street full of nice buildings and a little island in the middle of the river which was the siteof the original town. After striking camp it was nearly midday when we got going and faced some small climbs as the route left the river briefly. By mid afternoon we were back down by the water and following unmade wooded tracks into Ingolstadt. The campsite here was a busy one and also expensive at €27.50 for 2 people and a small tent without WiFi.
Saturday morning saw another leisurely start as we cycled back into town to buy lunch and a coffee. As we made our way through the busy streets we came across an oompah band doing its thing, some people in traditional bavarian costume and 2 brewer’s drays. It looked as though there was a parade to celebrate the local football team’s promotion.
Because Regensburg was more than a day’s ride away and we wanted to spend some time there we had an easy day of less than 40 km ending in Neustadt an der Donau. However, this was not without incident as Stephen went ahead (as often is the case) and missed the turning away from the river. He carried on for more than a kilometre and then stopped to wait for Christine. When she didn’t turn up after 10 minutes he turned back to see what the problem was. Reaching the turning he saw the sign he had previously missed and made his way to the campsite where Christine had checked in and was waiting for the tent to arrive!
After the evening meal (pasta with ham and tomato sauce AGAIN! ) we walked into town to see what time the church service was the next day. It turned out that it was the local Volksfest that weekend with a small fair and the main street given over to market stalls selling cheap sunglasses and leather goods.
While Christine went to church the next morning, Stephen packed the campsite up and read his book while guarding the various electrical gadgets being recharged at a convenient power point in the (very smart new) toilet and shower block. (There was a sort of sitting area so he didn’t look too suspicious!)
Not long after we started cycling we were faced with another climb – about a kilometre at approx 5%. – followed immediately by a similar descent. Frustrating! The official route then had another climb and descent away from the river but the guidebook suggested a boat trip down the gorge cut by the river through the Franconian Jurassic as it is one of the prettiest sections of the Danube in Germany. Some people might call it cheating but we decided that we had earned the ride and we combined it with a lunch break! And it was beautiful.
The boat dropped us in Kelheim and then it was an easy 25 km alongside the river into Regensburg. For once the campsite was on the way into town rather than on the far side. This was another site run by the same people as the expensive one in Ingolstadt but this was even dearer at €28.50. WiFi was available but at a price! €3 for an hour or €7 for 5 hours. And of course only one device could get on at a time.
When it came to locking the bikes for the evening Stephen realised that his keys were missing. A phone call to the previous night’s campsite revealed that he had left them there so it was decided that he would take train ride back to Neustadt while Christine explored Regensburg.
In the afternoon we looked around the city (yet another pretty place! with a nice cathedral) before returning to the campsite for a spot of bike maintenance (Stephen) and and photo editing/cataloguing (Christine).
And then the heavens opened! We retreated to the tent and ventured out for ‘comfort breaks’ in the brief lulls between heavy showers.