So, today was the chilliest day since we left England. Very happily, the wind was behind us almost the entire ride from Linz to Wallsee. We bid a reluctant goodbye this morning to our studio at Harry’s Home in Linz and headed back to the north shore of the Danube. After 20 km or so, we made a rare visit to McDonald’s for a Coca-Cola and a WC. It was a good decision. A few minutes later, the route signs directed us to this set of steps
to get to a bridge to cross the river. Um, no. Who thought this was a good idea? Instead, we cycled back to the road and joined the cars and trucks on the on-ramp and then veered onto the pedestrian section of the bridge
We regained the route on the south side of the river and unwisely followed the advice of the guide book writer, who said
Do NOT take the track to the right in a couple of kilometres (clearly signed ‘St Pantaleon’) but persist on the Treppelweg (old towpath). This can sometimes be flooded but if not follow it as it skirts the fluvial forest of poplar (linden) trees – Austria’s national emblem. For a couple of kilometres the track is rough but the tarmac is soon regained and after 5–6km the official cycleway rejoins the Treppelweg from the right. (Higginson, J. The Danube Cycleway: Donaueschingen to Budapest, Cicerone, 2003)
Perhaps it was only for a couple of km, but the track was super-rough and signage prohibited bikes. We tried it for a bit and then retraced our “steps” (into the wind) to return to the official route. The day had become very blustery at this point, so we opted not to stop for lunch on the levee and instead found a bench, a bike rack, and a clean public WC at the kindergarten and music school in the town of St Pantaleon. As we continued back towards the river, we could clearly see the lindens, as well as the beginnings of fall color and flying leaves.
We reached Wallsee fairly early, and were greeted by our hostess and her dog Mowgli. After a cuppa and a shower, we set off on foot up the hill to see what Wallsee had to offer. Alas, it was Monday and “Ruhetag” everywhere. Schloss Wallsee
is apparently privately owned and never open to the public. We found two open restaurants, one of which was above our price and attire guidelines (but did shield us from the worst of the rainstorm that passed through) and another that was more of a bar, thus skirting the smoking rules and not earning our business. So we picked up some supplies at the market and returned to the Pension for a dinner of cup-of-soup, raw cauliflower with tzatziki, bread, cheese, and local wine from the Pension’s honor bar. Surprisingly satisfying, especially with the sunset views from the breakfast room.