Autumn trees 6 – cycle ride from Passau to Vienna – silver birch

As the latest stage in my many-staged journey southeast from Brussels I spent five days at the end of October and beginning of November cycling from Passau, the last town in Germany, across Austria to Vienna. More or less along the river Danube.

You can hire bikes in Passau and drop them off in Vienna. But this service stops in mid October. So on the way there, I hopped off the train in Munich at 5 pm and bought a bike at Rocky Mountain and Friends, the only bike shop in the city still open that late on a Saturday afternoon.

preparing my bike Rocky Mountain and Friends bike shop Munich 1018.JPG

The shop was rather cooler than I would ideally have liked, even though the bike I bought was a city bike with three gears. Looking at the bike’s saddle (see arrow), I asked the salesman/mechanic for a padded cover. He gave me a look. He said he would have to ask the manager. He asked whether the saddle provided by the shop was not adequate for me? I caved in. I regretted it later.

I spent the night at the IBB, a big 70s-style hotel in Passau. From then on, in Austria, all my nights were in places with monosyllabic names: Linz, Au, Melk, Tulln and Wien.

In the morning I had coffee and a cheesy pretzel at the railway station, bought the guide to the Danube cycle route (which I left behind in Melk), manoeuvred my panniers onto the reluctant bike rack and set off.

Day 1: 84 km, Passau – Eferding (with a side trip by train to Linz to sleep. You hoped to find somewhere to sleep in Eferding? on a Sunday? said the hotel receptionist in Linz.)

Day 2: 59 km, Eferding – Au

Day 3: 81 km, Au – Melk

Day 4: 93 km, Melk – Tulln

Day 5: 46 km, Tulln – Vienna

silver birch on north bank cycling Danube-Linz 1018.JPG

Silver birch are one of the five trees I am looking out for this autumn. Along the ride I saw lots of beautiful silver birch with leaves still a-flutter.

Some may be self-seeded, I suppose:

silver birch cycling Linz-Au 1018.JPG

silver birch cycling Traismauer-Tulln 1018 201.JPG

Others look to have been planted for their looks near where people live:

silver birch cycling Melk-Traismauer 1018 101.JPG

silver birch cycling Melk-Traismauer 1018.JPG

silver birch cycling Tulln-Vienna 1118 2 hedge living arch.JPG

or as part of a memorial:

silver birch cycling Melk-Traismauer 1018 memorial stone.JPG

silver birch bench near Labing cycling Au-Ybbs 1018.JPG

or to advertise a hairdressers.

silver birch hairdressers Eferding 1018.JPG

(Still to come: oak trees, plane trees, conkers and dogs on the ride.)



Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

2 thoughts on “Autumn trees 6 – cycle ride from Passau to Vienna – silver birch”

  1. Speaking of 1 syllable town names, we once stayed in the village of WANK (I think it was Austria but may have been Germany). My main memory is of playing mjni golf there (not much else on offer) and hubby kept getting a giggle saying how everyone there was a wanker!!


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