We landed in Bari with nine days to get ourselves to Rome, to meet friends on the tail end of their own European vacation. Awoken to the chatter of Italian passengers observing me snoring on the ship floor, I knew we had arrived.
We thought we would share some updates on how some of our gear is holding up (bikes, tent, humans) along with some encounters with nature and statistics on the trip to date.
Throughout our time bike touring across Europe we could clearly see how cycle tourism has created successful businesses and kept small towns thriving. The Danube path between Linz and Vienna is on both sides of the river to combat the large numbers of cyclists. In quite a few sections we could see bars, grills, penzions, hotels and bike friendly signage. Countries are now rolling out kilometer after kilometer of perfect cycleways to encourage this type of tourism.
We left Český Krumlov with mixed feelings. The disney-like town was to be our last major stop before saying farewell the Czech Republic. Despite being beautiful it was sadly overrun by the tourism industry. Through a drizzle of rain we headed south to the border, determined not to let the mountains ahead stop us from reaching the Austrian city of Linz some 70kms away.
We took a local train to Tabor, about 100km from Prague. Riding on the sidewalk in Prague is illegal and the traffic is crazy busy, so we didn’t feel comfortable riding side by side with all the peak hour vehicles. Tabor is a popular start to the Greenways Cycle Route, which takes you from Prague to Vienna. When we got off the train we encountered something we hadn’t done yet: Hills! And plenty of them.
As we have now officially survived one month on the road here is a snapshot of what we have learnt as first time bike tourers to date.
We rolled into Frankfurt at 3pm with about 70km under our belts and no accommodation organised. It is a massive city, it would be great to stay a few days and sightsee, surely we would have a plethora of hotels to choose from, right?