Blue Danube

We returned to Krems from Melk on the other side of the Danube River, the southeast side, which is not as scenic, but the cycling was better because the trail is mostly off the road and right along the river's edge.

The morning started out mostly sunny, but we found ourselves riding in the shade of the adjacent hills on occasion.

Just a couple miles down river from Melk we could see Schloss Schönbühel sitting just at the river's edge.

We rode up to the castle's gate, only to find that it is still in private ownership and closed to the public. We knocked, but nobody answered the door.

From Schloss Schönbühel on there weren't any accesible historic sites or quaint villages to stop to visit, so we just peddled on enjoying the scenery.

At one point, one of the riverboats came close enough to the shore for me to get a decent photo. I was surprised to see that this one was owned by Viking Cruise Lines which also runs cruise ships out of Miami, but these boats are nothing like the ones we're familiar with.

These boats have to be built low in the water in order to get under the bridges. We looked down on one from the bridge across the Danube at Melk and had to chuckle when we saw that it had a putt-putt golf course on the sundeck.

When we arrived opposite the river from Weißenkirchen, we decided to take the ferry over for a coffee break, then we returned to continue our ride along the southeastern side of the river.

Here's a view of Dürnstein from the southeast side of the river. You can see the blue tower of the abbey with the castle up above it where Richard the Lionheart was held.

We stopped in Mautern an der Danau for lunch. I ordered the daily special, although I had no idea what it was. It turned out to be several fried patties that looked like crab cakes. After I had finished, I asked the waiter what the patties were. “Blutwurst,” he said, chuckling, “blood sausage.”

After lunch, we peddled across the river to Krems as it starting getting overcast.

At one point we had to walk the bikes under the road through a pedestrian tunnel. It was a unique experience.

Krems is an attractive medieval village, too, but we didn't want to get caught in the rain, so we peddled on through, stopping only to make sure the clocks on these two churches were in sync. I'm not sure, but I think the church in the background is Catholic, but the one in the foreground may be Orthodox Christian (notice the double cross and the Minaret-style spire).

It was a really enjoyable two days of biking. We rode just under 25 miles each day, plus quite a bit of hiking and walking!

Being in the big city has been nice, but we needed some time in the countryside, too.

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