Robin Tull was fortunate enough to live out one of his dreams this past May -- a biking tour through Europe! Accompanying him on the trek was Steve, a long-time friend from Norfolk, Virginia. Together they made the 700 mile journey over 14 days from Munich to Vienna and back along the Donau (Danube) River. Here are a few photos of Robin's amazing adventure.
Arriving in Europe with our bikes in a box
Steve and I landed in Munich, Germany on Sunday morning. First item was to unpack and assemble the bikes. The airline wanted to charge about 8 Euros ($11.54) a day to store the boxes. As we were on a budget, we opted for hiding the boxes behind a few old tires in the parking garage across the street, hoping they would be there when we returned.
Fields of Europe
The first day we headed north to Neuburg, Germany, to meet up with the Danube River (Europeans call it the Donau River).
A place to rest
Each evening between 5 and 6 pm we would search for a Pension (aka Bed and Breakfast), which looked something like this.
Once we found a room, our nightly ritual before dinner was to wash our clothes in the sink and hang them in a window or on a balcony to dry.
Catching up with my USA Today
It seems all Europeans love to eat outdoors so we found time for coffee and catching up on news back home. This was in addition to my Blackberry, of course.
Biking in the rain
It didn’t matter about the weather as we were prepared to ride in the rain.
Crossing the border into Austria
It was difficult to tell when you crossed into another country as Germany and Austria are both members of the European Union and use the Euro as their currency. We ventured into the Czech Republic one day but quickly headed back the next day to the Donau River due to the strenuous hill climbing.
The bike path along the river often diverted into towns which were expertly manicured and paved in cobblestone
Vineyard in Austria
Vineyards were plentiful as shown here near the city of Krems, Austria.
Each day we would stop around noon and locate a grocery store for lunch. Remember, it was an adventure, not a vacation….
Traveling by ferry
If there wasn’t a bridge, we could cross to other side by ferry.
We spent one day walking around Vienna, Austria. It was a welcome break from the bike.
Touring Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna
Schonbrunn is a summer palace in Vienna -- a great site to see on a one day visit.
Mathausen, Austria: Nazi Concentration Camp
On the last day of riding before catching the train back to Munich, we rode up an incredible hill to reach Mauthausen, Austria, a former Nazi concentration camp -- 150,000 Victims. Established in 1938, American soldiers liberated it in 1945. http://www.jewishgen.org/ForgottenCamps/Camps/MauthausenEng.html
Plaque Commemorating Liberation of Nazi Camp
This plaque commemorates the liberation of the Mauthausen Nazi Camp by U.S. Army soldiers in 1945 -- proud to be an American when reading this plaque.
Traveling by train
Taking the train from Linz, Austria to Munich, Germany to catch the flight home. (The bike boxes were still there at the parking lot when we returned.)
Made a memory