Boat and Danube River, Austria
For years, my wife Vivian has been telling me we should go to Europe. With visions in my head of heat, crowds, and an endless string of cathedrals, I put her off. “We should just stay in the US and rock climb, or whitewater kayak, while we are still physically able, and go to Europe when we are old and retired, can't do those things any more and don’t have to go in the summer.” Well, those excuses finally all ran out, so I started exploring how we might make our first Europe trip.
We both like to be physically active, and we don’t care for large cities all that much. So I started looking into bicycle tours that would take us primarily through smaller cities and towns, mostly by bike paths. I first homed in on a trip along the Danube River from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria. But that would only last just under two weeks, and I thought we shouldn’t travel all the way to Europe for just two weeks, so what to do in order to stay longer? I toyed with the idea of spending additional time to do the museum and cathedral thing in large cities, but settled instead on a second bike trip around Lake Constance, which is bordered by Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Both trips were the same format – we used a tour company that arranged bike rentals and lodging along the way, and transported one item of luggage per person daily, as well. We were joined by my sister Amy and her partner Karl, but were not part of a larger group. The tour company supplied maps and directions, and we were on our own to make it to the next hotel each day. That was nice, as it allowed us to set a pace we liked, to stop wherever we wanted, and, occasionally, to split up for some time. This format seems ubiquitous in Europe, and we often had a number other cyclists who were doing the same thing staying in our hotels.
I wanted to travel light, so I just took a small point-and-shot digital camera, and occasionally used Vivian’s I-phone for photographs. I’ve been primarily interested in black and white photographs lately, but not every photograph is right in black and white. Here are a few images for which black and white seems appropriate. A second blog post will incorporate more “touristy” color photographs from our trip.
Passau, Germany - The river shown is the Inn, the Danube is out of the bottom of
the picture frame
Statue in plaza, Passau
Castle window, Passau
Castle courtyard, Grein
Lichen on river's edge rock, Danube River, Austria
Cathedral interior, Linz, Austria