Tandem Tour 2018: Part 2 Marktl to Passau

The first night under canvass is often not the best. A working farm, of course, invites an early cockerel, bleeting sheep and, of course, tractors. But after breakfast in Marktl we followed the Inn cycle track to Passau; a curious place where three rivers meet, often too enthusisatically (right).

View of Passau heading east along Inn

The route itself is quite rough in places. There are long stretches of shingle on dykes zapping energy. The river also has many tributaries. This makes it an ideal river in which to swim; and indeed, there are frequent “Badesee” – areas for swimming, sunbathing and having lunch. This contrasts very much with the Danube where we found few places to swim safely.

We stayed on the north side of the river in Gemany. The river forms to border with Austria. At these times of tension around migration, this is significant. At Simbach, for example, there is a border check on the German side. And yes, brown people were being checked.

The route takes in few towns and villages, so if refreshment is needed, the south – Austrian –  side may be a better option. For example, we were getting a shade hungry and thought we might find something in Neuhaus (about 20km short of Passau). We rode through finding nowhere. We think that we would have been successful if we had crossed the river in the Austrian town of Schärding. Actually, a little further on we found a welcoming bakery in the village of Vornbach (there were lots of cyclists already there). It is also worth stopping there because the final few kilometres into Passau are quite challenging. There is a climb into a forested area; it is bendy, dangerous (steep drops are possible) and rough under the tyres. It is also exquisite. Some creative soul has carved some faces into felled trees (left). There is also a wonderful wooden bridge (right) over the Rott at Weihmörting.

On arrival in Passau, we immediately had to work out which river was which. The campsite is on the Ilz to the North. The route to the campsite in the end was quite simple (and signposted), but when one is tired, it does not seem so. There is a significant road that leads towards Hals which has been carved out of the rock; it is certainly not designed for cyclists, but it’s the only way.

We ended up with a day of 80kms. We decided to pause for a day in Passau. It is not a big town. It has an old town – the Danube cruise ships offload in this part) – with a fine cathedral, squares and cobbled streets. The regular town with the familiar retailers isfurther to the west. We ventured there really only to find a bank.

Campsite, Passau

The campsite (left) is directly on the river Ilz. It has a good toilet block with a washing machine. Dotted around the site are clothes drying frames. At first we thought that a lot of people had somehow brought them with them! However, the true gem is the “restaurant” adjacent to the reception. It looks like a takeaway, but dig a little deeper and one finds some brilliant authentic Italian cuisine. It is so good, that we ate there twice, despite the opportunities in Passau.

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