July 16th. Passing through Passau
We awoke to a grey, cold overcast morning which threatened rain, but allowed us to break camp without getting wet. We were encouraged enough to go into Deggensdorf for some exploration, and fund it quite an attractive town, although obviously not on the same scale as Regensburg.
We did find a rather exclusive café for breakfast and, after being shown away from the window table we chose without realising it had been booked, partook of Kaffee und Kuchen with as much refinement as we could muster. Bruce, however, remained unconvinced about the choice of venue and, to be fair, we did see other, more reasonably priced cafes afterwards. Anyway, it was a moment of luxury.
We sauntered up and down the town square and stocked up on some essentials before setting off towards Passau, some 50 miles distant. There was one shower which forced us to shelter [yet again], but then the sun shone and we had an enjoyable ride with a good tail wind for most of the route.
The signs were generally good, but let us down in a little town called Peitling, where we need up doing a loop and arriving back at the place we had passed some 30 minutes before. This was the only time we had such an experience, but it was enough. We ended up riding 2-3 miles on a major A road, where the skill of the heavy goods vehicle drivers in avoiding us they overtook deserves an honourable mention.
Arriving in Passau was memorable and very peasant, although we had a couple of false starts, one of which included a very steep hill. It was wonderful to see the barges and the tourist boats moored together, and the whole place, bathed on sunshine as it was, gave off an atmosphere of energy and the holiday spirit.
It was Bruce who suggested we had a beer – a perfect idea for the time and place, already recorded in one of Dave’s photos. The nice lady explained that we should go for the half litre rather than the full litre measure, and she was right. It was a good drink, though, marking the end of a good ride that day and encouraging us to set off in completely the wrong direction for the campsite.
Coming back the mile or so down the hill proved, again, to be harder than going uphill – a phenomenon I still don’t understand - but we eventually arrived at our campsite for the evening, beautifully set on the bank of the Danube, and similar to the Canoe club we had stayed in at Regensburg. There was a tumble dryer as well, and the option of food. Choosing our food demonstrated just how difficult it can be when people speak different languages, but more importantly have different mind sets. The lady just could not understand that we did not want a huge meal, just a snack, and we went over the same conversation at least eight times until we thought we had explained clearly what we wanted. The problem was trying to avoid giving offence by suggesting we didn’t like the food, and the more we tried to reassure her, the more she seemed to get the opposite impression. It was the most frustrating, yet entertaining conversation we had in the whole trip, and the toasties that it led to were delicious.
Deggensdorf in the morning – another town, another tower.
We obviously took another ferry today – note the sunshine.
Passau from the riverside
Let’s see those beers again!
Passau as it looks when you cycle purposefully and with conviction in the wrong direction.
One advantage of cycling past our intended destination was that we came upon the confluence [ it's that word again] of the Inn [ as in Innsbruck] and the Danube. You can just make out the different coloured waters of the two rivers.