Passau, looking down the river Inn to where it joins the river Danau

Passau is a neat city, one I'd like to return to for a longer visit. Actually, I have already returned to it once. After a good breakfast at the Rotel Inn, I finished my previous days ride report, packed up my stuff, got food from the dining room for my days ride - it was Sunday and most sources of food along the way would be closed - checked out and headed across town to the Austrian side of the Danube. Then, as I rode out of town, I noticed that my Avocet Vertec watch and altimiter was missing. A frantic search of the bike was followed by a quick trip back to the Rotel Inn where I found my Vertec behind the door of my room. Whew!

The start of the Radweg on the south bank of the Danau!

The narrow path in Passau

After getting out of town for the second time, I stopped to tighten my handlebars. I had noticed the night before that they rotated when I hit a big dip. I also noticed my hands were getting sore. I hadn't set the bars up properly at the airport. I find proper bar setup really important for riding comfort. Of course, it took me several years of riding with a bad setup to realize how important it was to do it right!

I guess I'm in Austria
There really are open borders over here!

There were a lot of slow tourists on the path so I'm riding in the road

The first 30 km east of Passau are really quite beautiful. The river valley is narrow with steep, forested sides. There were lots of bikes on the path and lots of bikes on the top or back of cars on the road. I hate to think how crowded this stretch of road/path is in high season!

These folks stayed ahead of me on the first real hill of todays ride
Now that is an upright riding position!

Before the end of this section, the separate path ends and the Danau Radweg is on the road. I'm not sure where it leaves the road since, although I saw a sign that said three km, I didn't see the path. I kept riding on B130 which goes straight where the river bends. Since the the sides are steep, B130 had a good climb where the radweg still runs along the river. I enjoyed the climb - mostly - It was about 200 meters vertical at a slope from 2% or 3% for much of the climb to 10% or more near the top. It follows a creek most of the way up. I really like climbs that do that!

The river near Wihering

And an interesting castle across the river

After a great downhill, B130 went through a flat section of farms and small towns. The Danau Radweg comes back onto the road before Eferding, and, at Eferding it switches to B129 which goes to Linz. After Wihering, B129 runs right along the river and the view is quite pretty. I "raced" a police boat downriver to Linz. It was pretty close to a tie, but only because I stopped to take picture!

Linz is a big town with lots of industry, located at a bend in the river

Since I needed several things - a plug adapter or a new plug for my computers power supply, a compass, and several other things - I considered staying in Linz. I decided it was just too big and that, although it was fine riding on a Sunday afternoon, I didn't want to ride there on Monday. Mauthasen was 20 mile away and a much nicer size, so I looked at my computer mapping software to find a route through Linz to Mauthausen. Because Linz is on a bend in the river, the best route was to ride through town and get on B3, which goes to Mauthausen, on the southwest edge of Linz. I looked for a route, then continued riding north until it felt like the right place to turn. I lucked out, since I ended up turning onto Franckstrasse which eventually becomes B3. I did stop at a service station/store to check with the locals and, after getting the Austrian version on "I get on the interstate to go there," managed to confirm my routing. After I crossed the river on B3, I saw the radweg running along the edge and rode down and along it.

The path going south from Linz with Dam

This was a great section of radweg, with lots of riders, runners and rollerbladers. I really enjoyed it till I reached the dam about 10 km down stream. I rode over the dam and down the radweg on the other side. It didn't feel right because it headed off away from the river and then tee'd without any sign to tell me which was the right path. I rode back over the dam - note the dams are interesting because they have to have locks for the large ships that travel up and down this river - and tried the path on the north side. That one changed to soft gravel/sand that I couldn't ride. So I headed back up river, and took the path heading away from the river. It intersected B3 not far from the river and B3 is apparently the Danau Radweg in this section. Next time I try to ride this thing, I'm gonna get a map of the radweg!

B3 heading for Mauthausen

When I reached Mauthausen, I rode through town looking for a place to stay. I saw some "Zimmer" signs, but no places. At the far end of town, I turned back and stopped the first person I saw to ask for help. As usual , the response was overwhelming. The woman I asked didn't speak English, so she called to some folks at a nearby house and, eventually, I had four people, none of whom spoke much English, helping me. One of them, ended up riding back into town to show me the best place to stay. It is a really nice Gasthof, called Zur Traube, right on the main road. A great place for 35 Euros including a good breakfast.

At breakfast the next morning, I was seated with an Austrian man who knew some English. We had a good visit, which, when I heard guests at the next table speaking English, ended up as a foursome. The other men were cyclists from Boston. They were near the end of their two week tour and told me that I was the first English speaking cyclist they had met on this trip. After breakfast, I asked my hostess how to get to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. I have created another web page describing my reactions to that visit.

One street over from the main drag in Mauthausen

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