Learn­ing to see…again

Let's Travel - - BEYOND | AUSTRALIA -

I’m a driver. Give me any car at any time of day and I will hap­pily drive any­where for as long as you want. From a one minute trip down to the lo­cal dairy, to hours across the coun­try­side of Croa­tia. I drive. That’s how I travel, that’s how I’ve seen Europe. Through the win­dows of a car, watch­ing the world pass by, of­ten at speed, with ei­ther a glazed look in my eye or a “What was that?” be­mused ex­pres­sion.

I am sure many have “seen” the world this way too. Be it a car, train or bus, the goal is to reach the end des­ti­na­tion and brag about how much we had seen in the short­est space of time. But do we ac­tu­ally “see” it?

This time round I chose to cy­cle and took my mum as my cy­cle com­pan­ion. Two driv­ers that last cy­cled back in school days, far too many years ago to re­call. One that has arthritic knees and is ter­ri­fied of cars and peo­ple be­ing on the road and one that has done spin classes led by a NZ Triath­lete, but has oth­er­wise limited cy­cle ex­pe­ri­ence.

The cho­sen jour­ney was the Blue Danube Cy­cle, an 8 day self-guided cy­cle from Pas­sau in Ger­many, to the beau­ti­ful city of Vi­enna. Five solid days of rid­ing with a to­tal dis­tance of around 300kms! The ap­peal was the thought of cy­cling along the Danube. I was cap­ti­vated by the ro­mance of the Danube. I think of swans, waltzes, mu­sic, and of course blue when I think of Europe’s 2nd long­est river. Along the way, I dis­cov­ered the Danube is not al­ways blue, and there is so much more that meets the eye.

The jour­ney be­gins in the his­toric city of Pas­sau. A beau­ti­ful city that sits on the edge of the Danube, Inn and Ilz Rivers, where the his­toric old town is over­looked by the vast fort up on the hill of­fer­ing sweep­ing views across the city. It is well worth the short walk…up a steep hill. Pas­sau

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