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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Passau to Oberlandhaag

Day started overcast and a bit cooler. About 20kn down the Danube was our first stop, the Trappist Monastery of Engelzell. They brewed beer up until around 1925 and recently installed a new brewery and have started brewing again. Only July 1 they released their first beer, Gregorius (8.5% abv) and while I heard they sold out the first day, we had hopes.

Gift Shop at Engelzell
No luck, sold out and next batch not ready until August 15. 

It started to rain lightly, so we put on our rain covers. Then came the first of 3 ferries we would take today. While waiting for the ferry to leave the rain started to come down harder so we were all crouched underneath the overhang.

Ferry full of bicyclists

When we got off it started coming down again so we ducked under some trees with some other cyclists. When the rain lifted a bit, we took off. Below is the village of Engelhartszell

After a while the rain let up enough to make riding pleasant, though it was quite muggy.

Near the village of Au we came to a Längefähre -- "Long Ferry." This ferry carried us about 4km down the river, around a place where the rock clifts came to the waters edge. There also was a regular ferry that just went across the Danube where you could continue riding on the other (south) bank, but we wanted to be mainly on the north.

Soon the ferry arrived, loading with looked like a school group. Not a bicycle in the bunch

Unlike the previous ferry, this operator was very concerned with how the bikes were stored. Makes sense, as we would be traveling down the river, not just crossing it.

It sort of felt like our own version of African Queen, put-puting in the little boat down the Danube.

By this time it was pretty much past time for lunch, so we stopped at the next place. Good timing, we got there 15 minutes before they closed the kitchen. The beer was Kaiser, brewed by Brau Union (part of the Heineken Group). It was as you expect: wet, cold and a little bit of flavor.

They also had Edelweiss wheat beer on draft. I used to drink it in the bottle in the US and once drank way too much of it at the Salzburg Ibis hotel, but I had never had the draft version. It was much blander than even the bottled version I had in Salzburg 6 years ago.

Leave the restaurant, there was a great view of how the river twists and turns. There are four different ridge lines you can see.

We were merrily riding down the river, occasionally going inland to avoid a boat harbor, when the bike path just ended. We could see there was a ferry (which wasn't on our map) but our hotel was on this side and we weren't sure if would could cross back easily. The map showed the path continuing so were confused. We show the ferry operator and he that he crossed but then crossed back and went a couple km downstream. So another African Queen adventure.

You could see the cliffs came down to the rivers edge. Every now and then you could see old fortifications

After that, it was an easy 10km to our hotel. It was a bit a race to see if we got there before the rain started again. We made it, but just.

The hotel had Schloss Eggenberger Hopfenkönig on draft. Eggenberger brews the famous Samiclaus Christmas beer (14%) as well as some nice bock beers but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) they didn't have any. 

Eggenberger Hopfenkönig

The hotel up on a high hill, giving a great view of the village across the river.

Today was a short ride, make shorted by the hotel being 4km outside of our "target" city for the night. So we'll have to ride that 4m on top of the 93 already scheduled, making for a long day, even if the weather is good.

Distance Ridden: 60km (plus 6km by boat)
Total Distance: 1483 km

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