Sunday, April 17, 2011

France - Germany - Austria

Better late than never... So from Tours, France we rode through the Loire Valley with heaps of other tourists, none of which came all the way from Andalusia, most came from their support van at the top of the hill. It was nice through there. Then we opted to take a train to Strasbourg as we were super keen on seeing some of Germany and our time was slowly running out. We had to change trains in Paris which resulted in a urban ride from Gare d'Austerlitz via 8 lane round abouts to Gare d'Est for a speedy TGV ride East.

A Chateau in the Loire Valley

Another Chateau in the Loire Valley


Strasbourg was fun, with Kronenbourg brewery tours and lots of canals, and was starting to feel a lot like Germany. The difference between it, and the citys and towns in the West of France was quite remarkable. From there we started following the Rhine then crossed into Germany proper. After getting caught in the rain and lost on a walking track in the Black Forest we eventually go to Pforzheim to stay with a good friend's family. It was nice to hang out with some Germans as we arrived in the country as we learnt a little language and got a little accustomed to what was going on.


Navigating Germany bike paths along the Danube/Donau

Distracted by Volksfest / Beer festivals constantly
From Pforzheim we rode beside rivers (Rhine, Necar, Jangst, Danube) along the extensive and fantastic German bike paths. We didn't really even have a map they were so awesome (way different from Spain! Although it took a lot of the fun navigating and adventure out of it...). Heidelberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber were very cool, the rain for our few weeks in Germany was not. The beer was fantastic, especially with a massive pretzel.

Action shot of Steph cruising in Germany

Still shot of me stuck in the rain in Germany

Stopped by a wedding party on the bike path... we got champagne!

Beautiful Austria. No rain!
We then pulled into Vienna on August 22nd, a little over 3 months since we landed in Malaga, Spain. We clocked up 3,261kms on our bikes and had at least that many adventures along the way. Only 1 flat tire (thank you Kevlar reinforced touring tyres!) and one serious break down (thank you Madrid bike shop!). All in all a fantastic trip, I would highly recommend cycling as a good way to see Europe next time you are there.

After Vienna we hitched to Budapest for a few nights, flew to London for a few nights, trained to Paris for Steph's Birthday, then bus to Cologne then train to Dusseldorf. From Dusseldorf we just made our flight back to Portland with a stop for a beer in San Francisco with a friend. After 10 days in Portland we came back to New Zealand to be kiwis for a bit.

That was our trip.

Oh, one more thing. I took this little video in Germany, just to show you that it did in fact rain: