[This is an old post relating to our time in Germany that had overwritten A Month On The Road which should now be restored. #UserError #Idiot]
On Thursday we went through the 1,600km/1,000 mile mark in just over a month. When we did Land’s End/John O’Groats in 2009 we cycled that far in 16 days so you can see that we are taking things relatively easy now that we are no longer time-constrained by having to get back to work!
The weather was much better with high clouds and thankfully no sign of rain but it was much cooler – around 12°. So we were wrapped up with even Stephen in longs rather than shorts and Christine giving the full-fingered gloves a first airing. We continued heading north east initially on forest tracks alongside the river where we saw signs counting down the distance to the Black Sea at 200 metre intervals – only 2,560 km to go!
On reaching a hydroelectric power station the route veered away from the river – presumably to avoid the nuclear power station a little further downriver. We hardly saw the river for the rest of the day despite going through a number of towns with “an der Donau” (on the Danube) in their names. The map showed that the water was often a kilometre or more from the centre so we reckoned they were indulging in some wishful thinking.
Instead of peaceful tracks the route now followed a busy road – generally a shared use path beside it but occasionally on it for short stretches. The misnamed towns were not particularly inspiring other than Dillingen (a.d. Donau) which was one of the few German cities that did not suffer damage in WW2.
In Höchstadt (a.d.Donau) we thankfully left the main road and passed a very smart looking palace/castle. The area around this town was the site of what we now call the Battle of Blenheim when the Duke of Marlborough defeated a French-Bavarian army that was seeking to capture Vienna in 1704.
Catching a brief sight of the river when crossing it we proceeded into an annoying headwind. Judging by the farmhouses they are doing very nicely thank you very much out of the Common Agricultural Policy!
Despite the wind we were soon in our destination for the night, Donauwörth, looking for the local canoe club which offers camping to “canoeists, cyclists, walkers and pilgrims”. Although there were no signs we didn’t have too much difficulty finding it (it had to be on the river after all!). It offers few facilities but it is much cheaper than normal German sites at €6 for the night (in Leipheim we paid €22). On the subject of prices for camping, Germany appears to be a little more expensive than France but at least the campers are allowed toilet seats, loo paper and even (drumroll!) plugs in the sinks and basins! So it is worth the extra few Euros.