The night I arrived in Munich it was so wonderful to finally see a familiar face after so much time apart from friends and family. After catching up for a little on the train ride to her GORGEOUS flat in the center of Munich, we started to get ready for the most epic bike ride of our lives! I went to bed that evening feeling a tad bit nervous about what I was about to embark on but after having a wonderful night’s sleep in Caroline’s queen sized bed (feeling like I was back at home), I was refreshed and in the right state of mind to embark on cycling from Germany to Austria for the next 3 days!
The first day, we hopped on the train with our bags and our bikes to Passau, Germany. As soon as we got off the train, we got right on the trail and started biking towards the Austria border. Within a couple of miles, we realized how much harder this was going to be for us because we had 2 bags and a tent with us to carry while everyone else was riding with a tour who brought them to each campsite. Within the first 20-30km’s we had to figure out how to somehow tie some of the bags on our bike because it was destroying our back and shoulders. Once we figured that out, we started picking up the pace a bit. Luckily this weekend was absolutely gorgeous so while we were riding each day, we got a nice tan! After 94km and 7 hours of cycling, we arrived at our first stop, Linz, Austria. It was crazy to me that we were already in another country because there were no signs or border control that we passed, guess I didn’t need to bring my passport after all. The night after cycling, we grabbed a traditional German dinner that included sausages, cheese and of course a large pint of beer. The first night of camping was interesting, to say the least….we sort of just found a random person’s backyard and pitched our tent and locked up our bikes. We did this because after dinner, it got very dark quickly and we were absolutely exhausted so we decided this would be the next best option. In our state of exhaustion, we didn’t realize there were two parts of the tent that needed to be zipped in order to make it weatherproof and with our luck, it poured that night and our sleeping bags got soaked! We quickly learned our lesson for the next evening.
With some rest and a pit stop for breakfast, we were back on our way cycling through Austria. We had to make up some distance today since we had the full day to cycle and wanted to get to Vienna the next afternoon before it got dark so we could explore a bit. After riding through the prettiest scenery along the Danube River and through small villages we arrived at a natural spring where we decided to let our sleeping bags dry out and go for a swim. This was much needed since it was hot outside and we were planning on cycling for 10 hours. After a quick nap and a quick swim, we got back on our bikes to cycle the rest. We completed the second day of cycling in Spitz, Austria after 11 and a half hours and cycled 147km (we got a bit lost at one point and went the wrong way for a little bit). Since we were exhausted and did not feel like finding a camp ground, we pitched our tent next to an abandoned house and called it a night.
The next day, our legs were absolutely shot, not to mention our inner thighs from the seat. We planned to get a head start since we had another 90km’s to go behind getting to Vienna. We planned our route before we started and made sure to watch out for the correct signs so we would not have to backtrack again and lose time. We were mainly coasting this day and were really able to enjoy the different architecture of the Austrian houses as well as all the castles perched on top of the hills. It was absolutely magnificent! During the last couple of days, we were eating breakfast and lunch on the go but making sure we had a very large sit-down dinner so we could refuel ourselves for the next day. The third day was probably the hardest but easiest day. I would say it was the hardest because my legs, shoulders, and back were very stiff and cramped up but once we rode 20km’s we started cruising and picking up speed which made it easier to get to Vienna at a reasonable time. We arrived in Vienna at around 4pm after 7 hours of cycling 90 kms – now that was an accomplishment! After we arrived at our friend’s apartment we were excited to finally take a shower and stretch our legs after an exhausting 3-day camping/cycling course!
Overall in 3 days, we cycled 331 km’s from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria!
After settling down, we decided to walk around Vienna for a quick tour before getting some rest. Vienna is a gorgeous city with some beautiful palaces and museums. Our friend, Tobias who kindly let us stay at his place was a terrific tour guide. Some of my favorite parts of Vienna were the street crossing signs that had two people holding hands with a heart above them, the gorgeous museum buildings and the live streaming opera show outside of the opera house. This was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend with my long time best friend from high school, Caroline!
I would also like to THANK EVERYONE for their kind donations to the World Bicycle Relief which helped us provide 4 new bikes and a couple new toolkit’s to unprivileged children in South Africa and India! In total, we raised $731 in 2 ½ weeks which is super impressive!
For the rest of the week, Caroline showed me around Munich and all the little luxuries that are hidden around this beautiful city. I LOVED the fact that people were so active and cycled everywhere around the city. I also fell in love with the English garden that had a river going through the middle of it where people sun bathed, went surfing or went swimming in the rapids! Caroline and I decided to swim in the rapids one afternoon and boy was that fun but way more intense than it looks so you have to be very careful since there are no lifeguards. The rest of the days were spent exploring the grounds of the Nymphenburg Palace, the botanical gardens of Munich and of course the BMW Museum. I absolutely fell in love with Munich and cannot wait to go back for Octoberfest!