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What would be more delightful than to cycle and waltz your way down the magnificent Danube on a Bike and Boat touring adventure through four magical European countries – Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary? Well, that is what we did, all four of us and we range in age from 60 to 70 years young. We ate and slept on board the MS My Story, which is a forty four year old, 105 meter-long ship with a total of 74 en suite cabins. It has a staff compliment of forty five. This splendid river cruiser has a large reception lobby, spacious restaurant, comfortable bar area, panoramic lounge with a great dance floor, sauna and an open sun lounge on the upper deck.

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An unforgettable adventure

Our adventure started on Sunday June 21st when we caught an early morning flight from Dublin to Munich. We then boarded a train at Munich airport bound for Munich Central Station where we continued our journey on a Regional tra in bound for Passau on the austrian border. The final leg of our journey consisted of a bus ride from Passau to Engelhartszell in Austria, where the MS My Story awaited our arrival. We were overjoyed to see our ship as it was a long day negotiating the German and austrian transportation systems. We dare to consider ourselves travellers rather than tourists.

Monday: after breakfast we set off on a 45 Km cycle to Aschach, through one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube called ‘the Great Loop.’ The weather was warm and sunny. The cycle path was well paved.  The birds were singing.  The poultry were squawking in the farm yards. The wild swans and ducks were protecting their young. At one stage when the Danube was on our left, we heard very loud sounds to our right in the direction of a small pond. To our amazement there were dozens of toads vocalising vociferously, but as soon as they sensed our presence, they immediately stopped.  They had disappeared before we had the cameras focused. We passed through tiny villages with cosy cider taverns. In Austria’s only trappist monastery we tasted their delicious liquors and cheese. The ship departed Aschach at 3.30pm and we enjoyed a leisurely evening and overnight cruise to Devin in Slovakia.

Tuesday: We set off cycling along the former ‘Iron Curtain’. We crossed the green line and reached the imposing Imperial Palace of h of with its beautiful terraced gardens and its idyllic manor farm.

When we reached the city of Bratislava where the ship was moored, we had completed 44kms of pleasant cycling. We participated in a guided city bus and walking tour in Bratislava before dinner. After dinner we danced on board until the early hours.

Wednesday: This was a non-cycling day and we cruised into the capital city of Hungary at 8am. Budapest is bisected by the Danube and the 19th century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. a funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s old town, where the history museum traces life from Roman times onwards. We spent the day being captivated by the beauty of Buda and Pest on a coach tour which revealed to us the highlights of this handsome city. After dinner we enjoyed a very close experience of Hungarian culture at a show with traditional music and dance. The ship set sail from Budapest at 2am and we cruised overnight to Visegard, Hungary.

Thursday: This morning we started our 46 Km cycle by exploring the town of Visegard which is the seat of a famous fortress and has the ruins of a former palace. We cycled alongside the Knee of the Danube where the river turns in an angle of about 90 degrees, offering an incomparable panorama especially where the river flows towards the south, breaking through steep mountain sides and cliffs. The sun was shining all day. We arrived at the ship in Esztergom at 3pm. The bishop town of Esztergom has a magnificent Basilica which is Hungary’s largest Catholic Church. We set sail for Vienna at 5pm.

Friday: The ship arrived in Vienna at 1pm. We then spent three hours on a guided bus and walking tour of this attractive city. After dinner we experienced a wonderful evening of Viennese classics performed by the Vienna Residence Orchestra at the Palais Auersperg.  There were two ballet dancers, a soprano and a baritone performing with the orchestra in the large oval hall with no artificial amplification.

We were transported to the magical world of historical Vienna, imbued with the romance of the Imperial Royal Habsburg monarchy and captivated by the wonderful music, colourful costumes and the dreamlike atmosphere of the magnificent setting in central Vienna. We cruised overnight to Krems where our final biking day began.

Saturday: the 37 Km Wachau section of the Danube valley between Krems and Melk was probably the most beautiful river scenery of the trip. The landscape is dominated by old vineyards, orchards, castles and dreamy towns. The area is famous for the Wachau apricot. During the captain’s farewell dinner we set sail for Passau and we danced the night away following the very entertaining show performed by the crew. We arrived in Passau Sunday at 11am when we disembarked and travelled back to the airport by train and bus.

This Bike and Boat tour was not a difficult or a fast-paced sprint along the Danube, but it was a slow, easy and pleasurable experience for everyone involved. We enjoyed a peaceful, scenic riverboat cruise while eating delicious food and interacting with friendly people from all over the world. We also spent a fair amount of time cycling our bikes along Europe’s second longest river and having the time of our lives waltzing on the Danube to wonderful music on board the MS My Story every night. We look forward to cycling the Deise Greenway along our own river Suir in the not too distant future.

Would you like to experience this great bike tour for yourself?

It is part of our Passau-Budapest-Passau Tour and the Passau to Budapest & back Tour. Would you like to know more about our tours in Hungary? Download our free e-book with lots of photos, travel tips and travel reports here!
Now is the ideal time to plan your tulip tour by bike and boat. Just give us a call at +49 (0) 2102 42 0655 or reply to this email and we will be happy to help you find the right trip.


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