Thanks for the emails! Hungry floods! The first bedN 48°59'857'' E 012°24'481''
As the crow flies:
Temperature – Day (maximum):
Temperature – day (minimum):
Temperature – Night:
340 m above sea level
Time of departure:
Taking advantage of the break in the rain, we pack up our belongings and head for the nearby internet café. For the first time on our trip, we have the opportunity to check our emails. “Oh look who’s written!” I exclaim happily. “Oh, that’s interesting,” remarks Tanja. “Ha, ha, ha, really funny. To crumble!” I interrupt her, reading another email. We are delighted with the many letters we have received. After an hour, we had covered most of it. For a closer reading we have to choose a cheaper place, because here they charge six euros per hour.
Nevertheless, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the many kind, encouraging and sometimes very helpful emails. It does us good to receive so much sympathy and moral support from you dear readers. A thousand thanks again.
Even on this rainy morning, we pedal and drive our trucks along the mighty Danube. After a few hundred meters we have to leave the stream. The flood has buried the cycle path. Slowly and through small alleyways we approach the city center of Regensburg, a fantastic city whose over 2000 years of history can be felt on almost every corner. Many medieval buildings and houses welcome us and seem to tell a thousand stories of their eventful past. “I really want to see the famous cathedral,” I say. “No problem, I’ll look after the bikes. Take your time,” Tanja replies. A little later, I walk through Regensburg’s ancient landmark in amazement and feel as if it is whispering about its 1200-year-old history from every crack.
The water level of the Danube in the city is alarmingly high. Only centimeters are missing and the brown, rubbish-covered waves eat their way through the nearby houses, licking over paths, sidewalks and streets. From our point of view, none of the human dwellings are threatened yet, but the further we advance, the more houses we discover that are already meters high in water. We reach the oldest functioning bridge in Germany. The stone bridge was commissioned by Duke Henry the Proud in the 12th century and was used for long-distance trade. We stand on the 300-meter-long stone wonder and watch the threateningly swelling river with other passers-by. Rushing and roaring, the masses of water force their way through the centuries-old openings of this architectural marvel of its time. On a headland, the first houses and gardens drown in the raging waters. The water seeps into every nook and cranny, eats its way into every crack. It spreads out its constantly changing arms like a monster. Reaches for everything it would never reach under normal circumstances.
There is a strange atmosphere. The battle for the city and the property is in full swing. Nobody knows exactly how far the Danube will venture over its banks this time and cause damage to its residents. The shock of the last flood disaster in 1999 has not yet been forgotten. Many people are afraid that the drama that is currently unfolding in the Allgäu could continue here. People sit on the park benches on the riverbank like in the movies, open their umbrellas and watch the spectacle of the constantly rising water. It is only a matter of time before the hungry tide conquers the still dry land there too. The city administration is busily filling sandbags along the waterfront to prevent the worst from happening. Store owners have already protected their businesses with sandbags.
We cross a bridge and leave the impressive historic city and its fate behind us. We take another look at the mighty cathedral, at the ships anchored here until their propellers are allowed to turn again through a tamed Danube.
The first bed
On the other side of the river, we follow the cycle path again. As it is mostly behind a dam, it is only flooded in a few places and we make good progress. We seek shelter from a heavy downpour under a bridge. A group of pensioners has also chosen this spot for a short break. “So, where are you going?” asks an older gentleman, pointing with amusement at our trailers. “We’re going to Burma,” I reply and wait for the familiar look of astonishment on his face. “Ah, Burma! Ha, ha, ha. Tomorrow here and today there, dralala! Ha, ha, ha! The Sinti life is funny, dralala!” he sings, laughing out loud and obviously not taking us seriously in the slightest. “And you must have the heating in the trailers!” he continues to chuckle. “Sure, the tent heating. But we use the rest of the electricity for our fridge,” he replies somewhat sarcastically. Then I ask the cycling group about their destination today. We learn that they have rented a guesthouse near Wörth an der Donau. “How much does a room cost?” I want to know. “17 euros with breakfast per person,” replies a nice lady. After paying over 18 euros for an uncomfortable campsite last night and with my shower experience still in my bones, I immediately switch gears and call the guesthouse on our cell phone. Unfortunately it is fully booked but we get the address of the Fuchs family who also rent out rooms and apartments. “Yes, we still have rooms available,” replies Mrs. Fuchs in a friendly voice, to which Tanja and I are delighted to finally be able to sleep in a bed again. We say goodbye to the pensioners, who now also believe what we’re planning, and cycle on towards our wonderful destination.
At the foot of the Bräuberg near Donaustauf, the graceful-looking white marble of the famous Walhalla shines out at us. King Ludwig the First created one of Germany’s most important national monuments with this impressive building. Until recently, marble busts of famous Germans were erected there. Tanja and I take advantage of the location to take a short break. We would love to visit the temple of honor, but we shy away from having to push our bikes up there.
It is already 6.30 p.m. when we reach the town of Wörth. Mrs. Fuchs welcomes us in a friendly manner and shows us the accommodation. We enthusiastically enter the brand new vacation apartment, where we immediately feel at home. “You can put your bikes in the garage. I’ll bring you the key straight away. I won’t be there tomorrow. I have to drive my daughter to the station and go shopping with my son,” she says and asks us what time she should prepare breakfast for us. After almost five weeks in the tent, we are no longer used to being looked after so obligingly and no one has asked us when we want to have breakfast for a long time. “We should stay in a vacation apartment more often,” says Tanja with a laugh. “In any case. When I think of the last place I stayed with a view of the waste, you still get real value for money here.”
I’m in the garage unloading my trailer when a heavily laden motorcycle rolls onto the former farm. A man with a long beard and hair gets off the machine and greets us in a friendly manner. “This will be my last night in Germany,” he says with a laugh. Ingo, who looks more like a wild Viking in his motorcycle gear and long hair, turns out to be a very interesting and pleasant conversation partner. He has only been on the road for two days, has left everything he has ever owned behind, deregistered his residence and is on his way to China. “To China?” I ask, genuinely surprised. “You’re the first traveler on our trip who also wants to go to China.” “Do you want to take your bikes to China?” “Yes, maybe we’ll meet there again,” I laugh. During our brief conversation, we learn that Ingo is an art professor at the university and will also be teaching art at the university in China for a year during his unlimited motorcycle trip. “Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow,” I say goodbye to him because I promised Tanja I’d go to a restaurant for dinner tonight.