Learning to see…again
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