Balkans 2016 – Day 75 : Donauworth to Ulm, Germany

Sunny day is expected today but the start of the morning is around -3C. Cold but manageable. By midday it should warm up nicely. I was planning to take the Danube rout to Ulm. It’s suppose to be more than 90K.  So I pushed off at around 830 so that I can reach Ulm before 4pm. 

Getting on the Danube trail was more tricky that I thought. I was completely lost and could not find the route at all. So I decided to follow the Google Maps route which is somewhat shorter. Just as well. 

Luckily there was bike path most of the way along the route. I was making great progress and actually reach Ulm at 230pm. Total distance was around 86KM. 

There was nothing much to see on the way as I was following the main road most of the way to cut short the route. 

I was hosted in a student shared apartment. My host Michael is studying to be a doctor and in his final year. He cooked late lunch for both of us. After that I went to the city to have a look see. The Christamas market at the Munster/ Cathedral was massive and so was the crowd. Can hardly walk inside the market square. The Munster was huge and very impressive. I am told it is the largest in the world. It was getting cold so I huddled up back in the apartment in my own room while listening to a great jazz concert downstairs. The student dorm is in a community building. 

Tomorrow I will ride to Mengen and then onwards to Singen. 

Total Distance : 3,730 KM

Nice breakfast at the guesthouse before pushing off
Fantastic light early in the morning
Blue blue sky
Blue cloudless skies.
One of the more interesting towers.
The massive Ulm Cathedral. I think even more impressive during the day.
Another view of the Ulm Cathedral.
Massive Saturday crowed at the Christmas market.

Balkans 2016 – Day 74 : Inglostadt to Donauworth, Germany

As I wake up usually around 630am everyday, I saw that it was windy outside. Also the report is cloudy skies with chances of rain. The weather reports via Google has been incredibly accurate. So I was preparing my self for some rough and hard riding today. 

Just I was about to ride out it started to drizzle lightly. However it stopped after a few minutes so I pushed on. I planned to follow the Danube route today so I don’t have search for directions. Even that I was lost a couple of times. One was because I missed a detour sign due to some works on the Danuabe route. Luckily I found someone working there and he told me to go back and look for the detour sign. I found it but that detour brought me to some hard climbing over the hills and then to a mountain biking territory. In the end I was happy to be  out of the detour and on to the proper path. 

The headwinds were still there and at some point strong but nothing like the one I experienced in the Balkans. Thankfully. I was making great time so I slowed down a bit since I was also feeling a bit tired especially on the climbs. I arrived at Donnauworth at around 2pm and I tried to check in to the first guesthouse but they were fully booked. I asked the worker there if he could help me call the next one nearby and he did. I did manage to get a room there. I was prepared as I downloaded a few possible guesthouse in the area in case they add closed or fully booked. The one I managed to get  room costed 35euros with breakfast. Slightly off my budget  but it started raining again and getting dark so I was not keen to go look for a cheaper one which is 4KM away. 

So I checked in , went to the town to look see and bought some supplies for dinner. The town looked quaint and has very uniformed buildings. All with sharp and steep high roofs. The uniformity makes it very interesting. 

Tomorrow another big ride ahead to Ulm. I have a host there and the sun is out tomorrow so I am not too concern about the distance. 

Total distance : 3,644 KM

Many of the Danube route sections are like this. its nice and quite but a little boring.
I waited a while to see a passing train
Luckily with my limited German i noticed this and it says that I should push down to open.
The Danube route also passes many open fields like this.
A castle middle of nowhere
I was detoured here due to some works on the bike path. A little scary
Nice creek
Guesthouse fior the night.

Balkans 2016 – Day 73 : Regensburg to Inglostadt, Germany

An early start today as it will be a longish ride of around 80KM to Inglostadt. The weather forecasted was also ok , cloudy and around 1C and may reach 9C later part of the day. It was reported to be windy and of course it will be headwind for me. Alexander, my host goes to work about the same time I planned to leave so this worked out fine. We had a simple breakfast of bread and jam and I pushed off at around 8am plus. 

I did not plan to follow the Danube route as its longer and slower as it makes you pass by a lot of towns. So I used google maps to route the shortest bicycle route. Following this route on google map on iPhone is a tad challenging. So I got lost a few times and then I decided to follow the official Danube route. Even that I got lost a few times too. 

In any case I managed in the end to get to Inglostadt at around 330pm. I have to wait for my host to come back at 6 pm so I circled around to find a suitable place to hang out till that time. I finally found a  pastry shop  and decided to hang there till 6pm. 

It’s an interesting situation. Actually the original Couchsurfing host is not in town. She is so nice and helped me by arranging a place to stay anyway. The new arrangement is at her daughters flat which she shared with a few other flatmates. 

I got settled in and my host cooked me a pasta dinner which I wallop in a jiff as I was super hungry. I did not interact much with the host as she was busy. This was fine as I am happy to have a place to rest and crash. In the end I think I did a hard 85km with headwind all the way. 

Tomorrow the weather is about the same but might have light rain. I plan to end my ride tomorrow at Donauworth. 

Total Distance Cycled : 3,577 KM

Alexander , my warmshower host in Regensburg
Alexander’s bike. He just ordered a recumbent
Aiseh deep frost on the trails
Horses also got to wear winter clothes
The Kuchlbauer Tower (German: Kuchlbauer-Turm) is an observation tower designed by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser on the grounds of the Kuchlbauer Brewery in Abensberg, a town in Lower Bavaria in Germany.
The sun finally came up around 2pm
Wonderful sunset today
My homecooked dinner. can’t remember when is the last time i had so much pasta

Balkans 2016 – Day 72 : Steinach to Regensburg, Germany

The weather is forecasted to be more or less the same as yesterday. The mornings are super cold at -4C and it gets warmer at around 0C later part of the day. I will have a late start today as its only 45 KM or so to Regensburg. My host there will not be home before 630pm so no point rushing. Had a leisure breakfast with Peter and Claudia before packing and getting to leave. I think it was around 1030am when I pushed off from Peter’s house. 

Finding the Danube bike path was a bit of challenge from Peter’s place. I was using Google maps and selecting bike route to navigate offline. It was fine at the beginning but then if navigated me to off road and rough sections which kind of slows you down. So I went off the route and found alternative route to the Danube path. Eventually I found it and and making great progress towards Regensburg. 

Several folks advice me to stop just outside Regensburg and visit a place call Wahalla. It’s an incredible Roman like building build by King Ludwig.  

According to Wikipedia. 

The Walhalla is a hall of fame that honors laudable and distinguished people in German history – “politicians, sovereigns, scientists and artists of the German tongue”;[1] thus the celebrities honored are drawn from a wider area than today’s Germany. The hall is a neo-classical building above the Danube River, east of Regensburg in Bavaria.The Walhalla is named for the Valhalla of Norse mythology. It was conceived in 1807 by Crown Prince Ludwig in order to support the then-gathering momentum for the unification of the many German states. Following his accession to the throne of Bavaria, construction took place between 1830 and 1842 under the supervision of the architect Leo von Klenze. 

You can go here for more information

I walked up all the way to have a fantastic view of the Danube and to have a closer look at the building. It was worth the walk and the building was magnificent. After that I had a bite to eat before pushing on to Regensburg. 

Since I had some time to kill , I went to Ronda Ronda around the old town of Regensburg and ended up warming up with free tea and free internet at the Tourist Information counter. Actually I should do this the next time when I need some place to chill out. 

After that I decided to go to a cafe to have a drink and wait for my host to comeback. 

Finding Alexander’s apartment was very easy as it is near the Danube and city center. Alexander is a cycling tourer as well and have done the Balkans and also the Danube trail. He works in a company that builds wind farms. 

We had a simple dinner and chatted for awhile before we turn in. Tomorrow I ride to Inglostadt and its going to be another long ride. Weather is suppose to be milder but cloudy. Let’s see. 

Forsty morning start. Its sunny though but cold
Wahalla Temple
Fantastic vista at the top of Wahalla
What an amazing building
Spectacular views.
More scenery from the top
These steps are steep
Old town Regensburg
Gothic Cathedral in Regensburg

Balkans 2016 – Day 71 : Passau to Steinach, Germany

Okay it seems like it’s going to be -4C when I start out. Tobias had to go to work so left the apartment keys with me as I was leaving only around 8am. The sun was up when I started to push off. There was frost though but thankfully the road are not affected. I headed towards the Danube route but was deciding which bank I wanted to stay on. It’s a bit tricky as sometimes there are bike path on both sides and sometimes only one side. 
I decided to stay on the South bank and only cross over to the North bank much later. The route today was boring and ordinary. At some point the bike path disappeared I had no choice but to go on the busy road for at least 15km. 

Finally I was able to cross over to the other side and got on the proper bike path. I did not take many pictures today a it was cold and also it was a longer ride and I wanted to get to the destination early. Today is the day that I will hit my target of 3,400KM cycled. In fact I hit if around 20KM before Steinach. 

My host home is somewhere out in a village somewhere. I had to ask for some directions on the best way to get there. Eventually I found it. It’s is a quaint village on a hill and he has a nice big house with a lot of land. 

I was given a private comfortable room at the basement. Peter my host and his wife Claudia has 3 young children staying with them and 2 cats. Peter is a fireman in Munich and Claudia works in bank. Before dinner we play a game like Lido with the kids. Dinner with whole family was great fun and we chatted a lot. Finally we capped of the night with me helping them wrap gifts for something called the advent calendar. There will be 24 gift wrapped one for each day in December and the kids are able to open one gift a day. I am not sure if this was a German only custom as I have never heard of it before. In any case I had a blast helping out. 

Tomorrow I will ride to Regensburg which is around 45KM away. I am happy

Lions Project : RM340.00 Plus ( Target Achieved )

Guilty as charged. Tobias dog that ate my chocolate bar.
Fantastic sun but very cold at -4C
Yay another day of blue skies. Cold though.
OK 3,400KM ! Target achieved for Lions Fund raising project fof children homes.
Autumn colors
This is mostly the view of todays ride
My host ‘s house in Steinbach
I get my own private room
Fantastic chill out place.