Sunday, 21 May 2017

Passau to Austria

Hi there,

I left Passau this morning, the weather is fantastic, sunshine and a light breeze 22-26 most of the day. The surrounding is magnificent, the river winding between 2 steep mountain ranges and 90% of the bike path is 1st class. The traffic has increased in the last 2-3 days there must be 20-30 bikes crossing me each half hour last week it was one or two. 

I stopped overnight in a small village Inzell might have a population of 100, a couple hotels and a small caravan park. It was so quiet I slept through the whole night till 7am. After a good breakfast I got on the road with a couple of German bikers, friends from school (now in there 50's) living in different parts of Germany and they get together for a week each year for a biking tour. After about 25km they went their way and I continued to Linz (pop. over 190,000), the temperature went up to 34 Celsius at 3pm so I was happy to get in my hotel and after a shower and a rest visit the town.

I don't know why but I like much better the old parts of towns. The huge squares surrounded by baroque buildings and the Holy Trinity Column in the middle erected in 1700's as compared to all glass office buildings and 6-7 story apartment blocks in the new parts.

I have been passing through Mauthousen( pop.5000) established as a toll station in about 1000AD with a gruesome recent history. 

From 1938 to 1945 a Nazi concentration camp operated west of the town, initially most of the inmates were political prisoners from Austria and Germany who were used as slave labour in granite quarries, later prisoners arrived from other countries invaded by the Nazis many from Poland and the Soviet Union, approximately 100,000 prisoners died here.

It was after 3pm than I arrived in Grein (pop 3000) a medieval port, here barges were unloaded to be transported past the rapids of Studengau gorge. I am staying overnight in a very nice guesthouse and I can hear the wind hauling outside I hope it will calm down by the morning.

All the best to all. Tom.

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