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Cycling down the Danube

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Day 12, 12th September 2008

Kohlbachmühle - Jochenstein - Niederranna - Grafenau - Obermuehl - Untermuehl - Aschach - Fall


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From Kohlbachmüle to Fall 63 km (666 km from start)

Photo: Google maps





From Maria's Diary:

The morning was dry but cloudy and somewhat humid. We set off at about 8.00 am - it was very hard to drag ourselves away from such a perfect campsite. We rode along the left bank of the Danube beside the road in the morning mist. The views were just lovely - it was a great day to be alive.

My bicycle behaved itself - the replacement wheel worked well, although we were both pretty careful not to go over any major bumps at speed. We passed a Kraftwerk and Lock just before Jochenstein. There were many of these further down the river and it is possible to cross over on them when they are not in use for shipping. At Ruine Altjochenstein we crossed over the German/Austrian border.

There was no indication of the crossing as both countries are part of the Schengen Pact which allows uncontrolled border crossings within certain countries belonging to the European Union. We continued along the cycleway through Kramesau and towards Niederanna where we bought food for the day at a corner store.




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Kraftwerk Jochenstein - a hydroelectric power plant on the Danube at the German-Austrian border, which takes its name from the nearby rocks.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008
Text: Wikipedia


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The Kraftwerk has an installed power of 132 mW and an average annual working capacity of 850 million kWh.

Note the bollards on the bank so that barges can tie up to the shore if necessary.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008
Text: Wikipedia


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The downstream masonry of the Kraftwerk.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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The Donauradweg at this point is strictly for bicycles.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008




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This rock in the river has had some religious shrines added to it.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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Another Nixe, or mermaid, this time with a swan.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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Coming in to Kramesau we found this delightful clown made of hay bales.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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While Maria got some food at the corner store, I checked the photos on my camera.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008






From Maria's Diary:

There is a bridge to the east of Niederranna to allow cyclists to cross to the right bank. We decided that the riding was pretty good so we would stay on the left side. A sign along the way showed us the cyclists ferry point at Au where riders on the left side need to take the ferry around the sharp bends to Grafenau. We rode on looking for a good spot to have breakfast and found one a little further along near Schloss Marsbach.

At Au we boarded the ferry with a few other passengers and began the short scenic cruise. These dedicated ferries are very basic but it is a pleasant way to travel short distances on the water. They are also quite cheap which means they either get a fair bit of traffic or else they are subsidised. The hillsides came down to the water's edge and it was very steep on the left hand side.

The right side of the river is not too bad and there is a cycleway all the way for those who don't want to do the ferry trip. We really loved these short ferry rides and took advantage of the opportunities as they arose.


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Bridge we could have taken to get to the other side of the river.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


Radweg day 12

This was a really informative sign showing the options for the cycle ferry. We decided to take the ferry, although we could have crossed the river via the bridge, and used the radweg on the other side, since we found the little river trips interesting and enjoyable. The left bank of the Donau at this point is too steep for a kilometre or so to allow a radweg.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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We got on the ferry and parked our bikes. There were another couple of cyclists on the trip as well.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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There was a flat river bank on the right side of the river, but the left went down steeply into deep water.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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One of the other passengers kindly took our photo.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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Approaching the landing at Grafenau.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008






From Maria's diary:

At Grafenau we walked the bikes onto dry land again and headed towards Obermühle along an excellent bike path. Then it was time for our traditional morning tea of coffee and cake. The berry torte was delicious and gave me an idea for when I return home. We always have so many Boysenberries so it's good to have some alternative recipes.



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We disembarked, and found a cafe at Obermühle, a little over a kilometre further on.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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cake!

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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The lower part of the Obermühle River valley was flooded when the hydro plant was put in, so you've now got a protected little inlet which is ideal for mooring boats.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008






From Maria's diary:

Along the way to Untermuehl we spied a replica Viking boat which stopped us in our tracks. At Untermühl we took another bike ferry across to the right bank. We could see Schloss Neuhaus on the hills as we crossed the river and a passage through the trees made for powerlines.



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This Viking boat was unexpected!

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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A pleasure boat passed us. There were few private boats on the Donau at any time.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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On the Untermühl bicycle ferry, going to the right bank. Schloss Neuhaus on the ridge line.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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Schloss Neuhaus in Upper Austria, drawing by M. Vischer 1674.

Note that the left hand building is still standing, as is the ruin close to the shoreline.

Photo: M. Vischer
Permission: Public Domain






From Maria's diary:

Once over on the right bank we then pedalled along a very good cycle path to Aschach. We needed to get to an ATM as our cash was running low. None of the small villages we had passed through had a bank and we needed to find a larger town. There was a nice riverside park where we had lunch and an ice-cream before continuing our journey out of town on the right bank. It was an interesting ride along the levee then through a nature conservation area, with swampy ponds and overgrown hollows.



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Aschach.

Photo: M. Vischer
Permission: Public Domain


Radweg day 12

Aschach.

Photo: M. Vischer
Permission: Public Domain


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It was a great track on the right bank beside the river, on the levee bank. We passed a nature conservation area in one wetland area.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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The radweg was in superb condition, and the signage was excellent

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008






From Maria's diary:

We covered a fair distance on this leg of the ride most of it on the levee bank with a good surface. After some time riding non-stop we could see the Kraftwerk up ahead. There are always signals set up for shipping approaching the Locks and these are usually a few kilometers ahead of the Works.

As we approached, a blue barge was making its way through the Lock. It was fascinating to watch but it was a slow process and we had to move on to the campsite at Fall.





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Here we found the traffic lights for the barges, to regulate the traffic past the next KraftWerk.

There was a big barge in the lock, but it took forever to make progress, so we moved on.

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


Radweg day 12
From Maria's diary:

The campsite is really just an old orchard near a Gasthaus. It is run by an elderly couple and is very cheap but quite neglected. It started to rain as we were setting up the tent and continued most of the night. It was quite disconcerting to hear the constant thud of falling apples around us during the night. None fell on our tent, we had purposely camped away from the trees.

But nearby there was a large chestnut tree with nuts pinging down onto a tin roof at the same time. The Gasthaus was fine but it appeared to have the outdoor additions built strangely as though it was done by an unskilled owner. It was an interesting evening. I'm not sure I'd recommend this site but then we had been spoiled.


The beer tasted fine, although the colour was green!

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 12th September 2008


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Next morning we packed up in the rain, and set off.

We never did get used to the iridescent green of European grass!

Photo: Don & Maria Hitchcock 13th September 2008




Cycling down the Danube

 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 |  Day 10 |  Day 11 |  Day 12 |  Day 13 |  Day 14 |  Day 15 |  Day 16 |  Day 17 |  Day 18 | 

Day 12, 12th September 2008

Kohlbachmühle - Jochenstein - Niederranna - Grafenau - Obermuehl - Untermuehl - Aschach - Fall

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