OE Day 15 Passau to Linz 100k

A day alongside the Danube. Passau is the confluence of three mighty rivers: the Ilz, the Inn (as in Innsbruck) and the Danube. They continue as the Danube. Did they toss coins to decide? We crossed the murky looking (snow melt?) Inn, turned left and navigating done for the day.

After 3k Austria. Weirdly it immediately feels like it too. More wood on the houses, trees lined gorges and fine meadows. We are also on the Rommeradweg a cycle trail linking up Roman sites, mainly associated with Julius Caeser.

Very beautiful, like Scotland in sunshine. A stone marks stone historic flood levels. Given the existing volume of water, that’s a pretty scary extra volume.

Linz our destination. The third largest town in Austria. Famous for cake. Still active manufacturing, a legacy of its infamous “son”: Adolf Hitler considered it his home.

Odyssey Day 27 Innsbruck to Garmisch-Partenkirchen 61 miles 1600m

Somes days are full of superlatives for the right reasons. Today was unexpected. Busy traffic on narrow roads going up and down steep hills is one thing. Intolerant drivers driving too close and others yelling abuse (well I took from the tone they weren’t wishing us a good day) was something else. One of our group was sprayed (rather his glasses were) with liquid so he couldn’t see. Not a good farewell to Austria nor welcome to Germany.

The border crossing is as it should be, non existent formality, just a sign.

Things getting more expensive: first coffee stop was £6.9, and we didn’t even get to keep the cups for that.

Looks a pretty town, well dual towns, the small Kirk at one end marking a plaque cemetery from mid 16C. We forget what European events the plaque outbreaks were.

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Not a lot else to say today!


We’re in with the inn crowd. Ignorance comes to fore again. Innsbruck is in the Inn Valley and means bridge over the [river] Inn. Which is extremely high from the snow melt: last couple of days they’ve been on flood alert as it topped 6m.

We’ve spent most of the day in the AlltStadt, restored since WW2 bombing. Very old, pretty and hot, with some concrete brutalism on the outskirts. You can see how cities act as heat sinks. And money shifters given the range of expensive shops.

Maximilian 1 did a good job, the story goes, including leading to the Hapsburg dynasty. He certainly spawned some fancy building. I had to look to see what we were up to in the early 1500s (James IV and Henry VI, with John Knox not even warming up his tonsils).

First grumpy/rude waiter if entire trip: didn’t we know it’s customary in Austria to pay for table tap water? And to wait for him to give the bill rather than leave the right money? Tip stayed in pocket. Hope his leather hosen shrinks in the wash.

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Austria is a strange mix of Germanic efficiency and Highland laid back. Mo apparent rush. Shame they are the ashtray of Europe and still allow smoking in bars/cafes: one of the coalition deals in 2018.

Our room has no air conditioning (so very eco friendly and something that uses too much energy) : clothes dry well after we work out how to use the launderette.

Lovely city, cycle friendly (not too many cf Copenhagen) and easy to navigate.

Odyssey Day 26 Brixen to Innsbruck

The Brennen Pass came out in its spring best. Hay being cropped (small mowers) and hand raked. Twins thundering through on the main Munich to Verona line: great to see so many good being moved by wagon.

Following old roads and railways, we see the new trunk road snaking around at an unbelievable height. We enter Austria at Brennen, population 600 and a shopping mall. So we didn’t stop.

Of course flowers everywhere, almost as many as cafes and ice-cream shops