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Inn River Bicycle Tour

This page describes the bicycle tour along the Inn River from Innsbruck, Austria to Passau, Germany.

The Inn River Valley through Austria is one of the most dramatic wild rivers in the world. Only when it exits the Alps and slows past the German border does the valley take on a more agrarian appearance. Your experience will be rewarding in both cases, on one hand, the high snow peaked mountains framing the glacial melt water wild river, on the other idyllic farmlands dotted with small, red-tile roofed villages.

Map of InnTour Overview: June 2009. This is a 182 mile (293 km) ride down the Inn from Innsbruck, Austria to Passau Germany. The ride takes us 5 days most of which are in Austria, the remainder in Germany. We start our tour of the Inn River in Innsbruck (aka in German as Innsbrück, which means ‘bridge over the Inn River’). The river actually starts high in the Alps as glacial meltwater near St. Moritz, Switzerland. The guidebook publisher, Esterbauer Verlag, publishes a guidebook for the Inn River that covers from St. Moritz to Innsbruck and on to Passau. That book covers the additional 230 kilometers (143 miles) that is upriver from Innsbruck. We start in Innsbruck because we know the city is historic and beautiful and we want to spend a couple of days sightseeing before we begin the ride.

The path conditions are good, from Innsbruck to Passau we experience packed gravel but the majority of the path is paved. Not so from the source to Innsbruck, which we did not ride. From watching a video on You Tube, I have developed the belief that most of the path upriver is gravel. The redeeming feature is that the elevation change is dramatic and I have not met a ‘drop’ that I did not like (paraphrasing Will Rogers).

Innsbruck is one of the more famous cities we have visited in Europe. The Celtic people settled here in prehistory and the Romans occupied it too during their time in present day Austria. Innsbruck is strategic because it is only 36 km from the Brenner Pass into Italy. In 1490, Maximilian I moved his capital here. Maximilian was a Holy Roman Emperor (“HRE”) and of the Hapsburg family that held sway in Europe from 1096 and held the post of HRE from 1415. “Max” was the grandfather of Charles V (aka Karl V and Carlos I of Spain) who ruled the world, according to some – but not me.

Nowadays, Innsbruck is a collage town. Of the 120,000 residents, 25,000 attend the one of the two universities or one of the several collages. The travel guides tell us the nightlife rocks. Our group are all members of the OFBK Club (Over-Fifty-with-Bad-Knees) but that name should be changed to over sixty these days. And counting!

Below are pictures of Innsbruck starting with the Triumphpforte built in 1765. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is bigger but not as old. The Annasäule, the famous Goldenes Dachl (when I first heard the name, I imagined a small dachshund, a Dackel, made of gold but a Dachl, is a diminutive term for a little roof), the Stadtturm, the exterior and interior of St. Jakob Dom (), several buildings, a street fest, a street person grabbing some shuteye, and some happy fellow travelers.

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Innsburck Triumphpforte Innsburck AnnasäuleGoldenes Dachl InnsburckStadtturm InnsbruckSt. James Cathedral InnsbruckInnsburck Street PersonOttoburg with the statue of two crouching people InnsburckInterior of St James InnsburckStreet Fest Interior of St James InnsburckInnsburckInnsburckInnsburckStreet Fest InnsburckBicycle Rack InnsburckInn River Innsburck

Inn path signageInn path signageInn path signageInn path signageSignage: Signage is quite good for the most part but it never hurts to keep the names of the next few towns in your head as you ride. At the start, the signs are a light blue circle with the graphic of a person on a bicycle but the bottom half of the bicycle tires are truncated and encircled by the words Radwanderweg Inntal. When you get into Germany, The signs will be square, green, with the graphic of three bikers above a wavy line and the word “Inntal.” Back in Austria, the sighs are green, rectangular with rounded corners and the word “Inntalradweg” plus the name of a city/town just ahead.

Accommodations: In Austria and Bavaria our favorite type of rooms, Zimmer, are frequent and relatively inexpensive. For a discussion of Overnight Accommodations or lodgings click the link.

Stops: Cities worth a little extra time include Innsbruck, Hall, Kufstein, Rosenheim, Wasserburg, Altötting, Burghausen, Braunau, and Passau.bikeline Guidebook, Esterbauer Verlag

Maps and Guidebooks: We used the “bikeline Inn-Radweg, Teil 2: from Innsbruck nach Passau; published by Verlag Esterbauer GmbH, 2007.

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Day 1: Innsbruck to Rattenberg-Radfeld

Day Overview: We ride on a paved level path down river to the Ziller River between Jenbach and Brixlegg. Beyond that, we ride over some hard packed gravel for 4.5 km into Brixlegg and then on a paved path to our lodging at Rattenberg-Radfeld.

Mile 0 (0.0 km): We start at the old town center or main square near the Goldenes Dackl (Golden Roof, built in the 15th Century for Tyrolean rulers to sit and enjoy the festivities in the square below. The Inn is a large river already and it has the milky white appearance of glacial meltwater.

Mile 6.5 (10.5 km): We leave the path for a short visit to downtown Hall. If you are a Rick Steves fan, this is the town where he recommends you stay to visit Innsbruck. Public transportation is good from here to Innsbruck and the surrounds. And the rooms are less expensive. Hall has many towers and gabled building dating from the 15th Century. There are two squares and the upper one is particularly photogenic. The town sits at the foot of Bettlewurf Mountain and serves as a beginning place for many of the alpine hikes available in the Inn Valley. The town has many quaint restaurants and shops.

Mile 8.0 (12.9 km): As we get back on the path, we cross the Inn River on a covered bridge.

Mile 14.0 (20.5 – 22.5 km): We leave the path in search of a Rätische Siedlung but we are told by a local woman that it is not much to see so we return to the path at 22.5 km. The Rätische people are indigenous to the Tyrolean Alps and their occupancy dates from 600 BC. The Siedlung or “settlement” dates from the first century. The site contains only a few crumbled walls and no interpretation signs. So, unless you are an archeologists, it looks a lot like your neighbor’s crumbled wall.

Mile 22.4 (36.0 km): Swarovski TrollWe pass the Swarovski Troll, where if your pockets are loaded down with cash, you can offload some of it in the gift shop. Afterwards, we pass an “Umleitung” sign. That particular sign probably will not be here when you get here but you may well encounter one elsewhere. If you are not a German speaker, this is a good word to remember - it means detour. If you are bicycling on a street with cars, perhaps you can bicycle though the problem but if it is on a bike path, probably not. The path ahead could be Gesperrt, which is another useful word that means closed or blocked, depending upon the context.

Another ChurchNew covered pedistrian bridge near Jenbach

Mile 28.8 (46.3 km): Schloss Tratzberg across from Buch bei JenbachChapel in Buch bei JenbachWe stop for our picnic lunch in Buch bei Jenbach across from 500-year old Schloss Tratzberg. The views are amazing; there are high mountains on either side of the valley but no mountains at the north end of the valley. The part with no mountains is probably just beyond Kufstein where we will leave the Alps and enter Germany. As we sit on the bench outside a tiny roadside chapel (Austria is mostly Catholic) and enjoy our lunch of bread and Wurst, a local farmer drives a tractor pulling a trailer past us. The trailer is full of cow manure. It stinks. It stinks a lot. Not only that but as he drives by, the trailer leaves a trail of liquid manure that leaks copiously from the trailer insuring that not only is our appetite ruined for a few moments, but for as long as we are anywhere around that stream of, uh, well, ... OK, I will call it organic fertilizer. I was thinking of the four letter word that starts with "s."

Mile 31.6 (50.8 km): We cross the Ziller River. This small river valley has a tourist train one can take a few kilometers up the valley to a small town of Mayrhofen. We did not take it but our guidebook and other tourist information promises the ride is picturesque and worth the short diversion. Of course, if you want to, you can ride up the river to your heart's content.Tall Steepled Church typical of Inn Valley churches

Mile 32.7 (52.6 km): To the right is a picture of church with a tall steeple. At our home in Kassel, Germany, we have an oil painting with just such a steepled church nestled into a valley with extremely steep valley walls of gray granite. I thought that the artist had taken artistic license by exaggerating the steeple and the steep valley walls. But Nooooo! That painting is an accurate portrayal of the landscape in the beautiful Inn River Valley.Pension ProsserhofRattenberg AustriaView from our window in Radfeld toward RattenbergRattenberg

Mile 36.6 (58.9 km): We are home for the night in Pension Prosserhof owned Margret Margreiter whose address is A-6240 Radfeld 94; the telephone number is 43+ (05337) 63958, fax is the same, email is hotel@prosserhof.at. This is a very recommendable pension. The 65 rooms are large and each one has a balcony with a view overlooking the valley floor. The linen is starched, ironed, and nicely presented with two feather pillows each. After our shower, we biked into Rattenberg in search of dinner. We found the town quaint if not touristy.

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Day 2: Rattenberg-Radfeld – Pfaffenhofen

Day Overview: We start our day in a light drizzle but as good bicycle tourists, we are prepared with raingear and long sleeve and long leg athletic garments to stay warm in the cool of the morning. We stretch out our line of riders so the spray from the bike in front has time to settle before the cyclist following rides through it. Today we have a flat path, even a bit downhill. It is paved except for three sections of packed gravel that total 8.5 kilometers.

Mile 0 (0 km): I start my odometer when we get on the path in Radfeld.

Mile 9.5 (15.3 km): This is Wörgl, we have experienced a kilometer of gravel before town, and there is another bit after we cross the river. In the rain, gravel makes our bikes dirty – for shame.Kufstein Fortress

Mile 19.0 (30.6 km):Kufstein Fortress KufsteinWe stop for cake and coffee in a riverside restaurant in Kufstein right on the bike path. This is a beautiful medieval town with a town square on either side of the river. It has the mandatory remnants of the town wall (built in1393) and a castle. However, in the case of Kufstein, the castle is actually a fortress, or Festung. The fortress (first mentioned in 1205) is massive and built to protect the market town from outlaws, etc. During the Tyrolean Revolution (the War of the Third Coalition 1809), opposition leader and freedom fighter Andreas Hofer could not dislodge the Bavarian and French troops garrisoned there.

Mile 20.8 (33.5 km): Just north of Kufstein is the German border. It runs down the middle of the river for 4 kilometers with the left bank, where we are, being Austrian and the right bank being Germany.

Mile 42.6 (68.5 km): After crossing the border (no passport check and hardly even a sign) we enter Rosenheim in search of a beer to refresh us for now and a bottle of wine to enjoy once we reach our lodging in Pfaffenhofen. The best place to find an inexpensive bottle of wine are chain grocery stores (Lebensmittelgeschäfte). Getränkemärkte, or drink stores, have a large selection of beer and soft drinks but only a small selection of wine and spirits.

Rosenheim is also the start of an alternative route around the Chiemsee. We have all visited that area (by car several years ago) so we pass on the opportunity but I recommend it if you have the time. I remember it as being a little hilly but since most of the route is on the lakeshore, it is probably mostly flat. The Chiemsee is one of the larger lakes in Bavaria and has two islands, the Herreninsel (Men’s or Master’s Island) and Fraueninsel (Woman’s or Wives Island). On Herreninsel is one of the five fantastic castles built by "Mad" King Ludwig II. His other castles include Neuschwanstein, Linderhof Castle, and Winter Garden, Residenz Palace in Munich. It was Ludwig II’s father, Maximilian II who built Hohenschwangau, which is often erroneously credited to Ludwig II. The path round the Chiemsee is about 55 miles (90 km).Enjoying a beer in Pfaffenhofen

Mile 47.5 (76.5km): In Pfaffenhofen, we stop at Gasthof Esterer, Wasserburger Strasse 30, D-83135 30, D-83135 Schecken; the telephone number is (08031) 28560, fax 285625; email gumesterer@t-online.de, web site is www.gasthof-esterer.de. The price the price for a two-person room is €58 with breakfast. They have a nice restaurant and they make their own sausages (Würste).

Mile 47.5 (76.5km): In Pfaffenhofen, we stop at Gasthof Esterer, Wasserburger Strasse 30, D-83135 Schecken; the telephone number is (08031) 28560, fax 285625; email gumesterer@t-online.de, web site is www.gasthof-esterer.de. The price the price for a two-person room is €58 with breakfast. They have a nice restaurant and they make their own sausages (Würste).

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Day 3: Pfaffenhofen to Gars – Mittergars

Day Overview: Flat bicycle pathFor those of you who do not like hills, this is not your day. Two or three of the hills are minor or short, but there are at least three that are probably pusher hills for members of OFBK Club. By “pusher” I mean you might have to dismount and push up the hill. But an athlete in great shape can ride them easily enough. The path is mostly paved but about 15 kilometers are packed gravel. One of my favorite sayings is, "I never met a hill that I could not push up."

Mile 11.6 (18.6 km): We top a steep hill near Laiming, just north of Griesstätt. We have climbed over three hills so far this morning. Most of the path has been hard packed gravel but if we were on the left bank, there would be many more hills.Downtown WasserburgRathaus in WasserburgWasserburg from viewpoint attributed to Carl NimsWasserburgChurch in Wasserburg

Mile 16.3 (26.3 km): After climbing over a couple more hills. We coast down into Wasserburg for coffee. Black clouds overhead foretell a serious rain shower in the next couple of minutes. I speed up to reach shelter before it hits but my traveling companions continue to lollygag forcing me to slow down in order to keep them in sight. We enter the city by crossing a bridge over the Inn, which acted as a moat in days gone by. Then we pass under an ancient town gate. We all get drenched by the shower. We are seeking a nice cup of hot coffee and a place to hang out our raingear to dry. In the shadow of the old town wall, we sip our coffee and munch on some pastries too. When the shower lets up, we ride around looking at the available sightseeing opportunities. This is another cute European city. Leaving Wasserburg, we climb a steep hill following the bike path above and east of the community. We blow past a sign that says “Aussicht.” We all know that it means “Viewpoint” but none of us stop because the path has just leveled off and now we are coasting downhill. That was a mistake because the view looking down on the walled city surrounded on three sides by the Inn is wonderful. A couple years later, Carl Nims, a friend and neighbor, took that picture and gave me permission to show it here on the left.

Mile 20.1 (32.4km): In Neudeck, we stop for a moment and congratulate ourselves for climbing the almost 200-foot hill out of Wasserburg. Even if we did have to push much of the top part of the hill.

Mile 26.8 (43.1 km): Now we top a hill above Hochleiten. This part of Germany is the foothills to the Alps. It looks like another 5 or 6 kilometers to Gars or Gars Bahnhof. Ulla is completely licked (exhausted) by the series of hills we have climbed up and coasted down. Since Wasserburg, both Ulla and I have been amazed. She at the number of hills, some quite long; and I at how drop dead beautiful the country is. We are riding in and out of small forests and through fields of various crops. Each crop and each wood has a slightly different shade of green, especially when seen from afar. There are thunderheads in the sky but they are widely dispersed. Their shadows move caressingly across the hills and valleys changing the multitude of green colors by diminishing their shade of green slightly only for the sunshine to re-intensify them again once the shadow has passed. The temperature is too cool for longing in a short-sleeved shirt but perfect for bicycle riding. If I could bottle this vista, I could sell German bicycling to millions of people – but that would just overcrowd the trails.

Mile 32.1 (51.7 km): After a great ride from Hochleiten that included one wonderful drop (downhill) where I could almost reach the speed of light, we arrived at Mittergars where we will spend the evening. We have been seeing advertising signs for the Bäumler’s Zimmer for the last 10 kilometers. The under-the-roof-apartment is huge with five beds that would allow one to stack kids up like cordwood. The Bäumlers have furnished it with lots of antiques, etc. This is a great place for a family of 4 to 6. Guntram and Ulla opt to stay in the other offering in the town, the family Moser further east on Dorf Strasse. So, we have the whole apartment to ourselves. Frau Bäumler, perhaps taking pity on Ulla’s tired legs, offers to drive the four of us to the only nearby restaurant in Jettenbach some 5 km away. The Bäumlers address is Dorfstrasse 1, 83559 Mittergars, telephone 08073/768, www.mittergars.de. The price is €38 for 2 people per night including breakfast.

Guntram and Ulla stayed with Herr and Frau Moser, Dorfstrasse 31, 83559 Mittergars, telephone 08073/580. This accommodation is much smaller but more modern. Although the Moser home is listed as a Bike and Bett, they may meet the qualifications but do not have a place to store bicycles under cover or in a locked area.

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Day 4: Gars – Gars-Mittergars to Marktl

Day Overview: Today there is a bit more hard packed gravel, at least 20 kilometers. However, today we do a short side trip into Altörtting and that is worth the time.

Mile 0 (0 km): The breakfast with the Bäumlers is wonderful, well presented in the family dining room. The food last evening at a nearby restaurant was great too and the sunset even better. As we re-pack our bikes for the day, we meet the Bäumler’s five-year-old grandson. He stares at me noticing the odd language I use when speaking with Maxa. He whispers in Frau Bäumler’s ear and she tells him, in his language, of course, that I am from America and I am speaking English but that Maxa is German from Kassel. He innocently asks, “Oma, what is an American doing in Bavaria?” We chuckle and explain to him about our bicycle trips. Cute kid. Too many questions but cute nevertheless. As we leave Mittergars, we climb a 30-foot hill. Ulla gives me the eye once she gets back on her bicycle. I assume her ‘eye’ means, “Are we going to have another day like yesterday?”Leaving Mittergars

Mile 3.4 (5.4 km): In Jettenbach, the village where we ate last night, we cross the Inn on a bridge. Jettenbach like all the villages around here (most with the word “Gars” in their name) is old. They were written about in the 8th through the 11th Century. Jettenbach still has a palace, ein Schloss. We ride past it on the way to the bridge. We also ride past Jettenbach’s brewery where they make Graf-Toerring Festbier. There are many path signs for other routes so be sure to study your map and be cautious about which route to take.Old log building in RouschingPuerten ChurchCyclist water stop at the top of a 16% short pitch

Mile 8.2 (13.2 km): We have just topped a 16% steep pitch as we ride into Rousching (a collection of 6 buildings) and on top of that hill we find a faucet with a sign on it that translates to “This is drinking water for thirsty bicyclists.” I indulge.

Mile 12.2 (19.6 km): Ecksberg has another Closter that is also a pilgrimage church. They found a skeleton of a mastodon near here and there are signs about it in the parking lot on the far side of the town. Mastodons predated elephants by about 12 million years.Nuehldorf Nagelschmiedturm

Mile 15.0 (24.2 km): In Mühldorf, we stop for coffee after crossing the river on the ferry. The Nagelschmiedturm pictured on the left (the white tower with red stone corners) was build in the 12-15th Century. A Nagelschmied is a blacksmith who makes nails and a Turm is a tower; a very important product in those days. It is 30 meters (100 feet) in height.AltörttingAltörtting

Mile 25.4 (40.9 km): AltörttingWe take a detour through Neuörtting on our way to Altörtting. This is a beautiful village with an amazing town square. Several famous buildings surround the square. One of them, now a museum, is perhaps the most famous Wallfahrtskirche or pilgrim church in Bavaria. The gold work inside is by a famous French goldsmith.

Count Tilly the SwedeAlso in the square is a stature of the locally revered Johann Tserclaes Graf von Tilly, 1559-1632. Count Tilly was a mercenary general for Catholic Bavarian army during the 30-years war (roughly 1618-1648). Interestingly, who is revered and who is despised all depends on which side you are on. In Northern Hesse where we live while in Germany, the population despises Count Tilly because he raped, burned and plundered that mostly Protestant area. However, in mostly Catholic Bavaria, he was a hero because he protected the Catholic faith against the Protestant heretics of Northern German Schmalkaldic League. In those days, the plunder they were able to gather while on campaign was all the pay that soldiers received. However, this is a digression.

Mile 38.2 (61.5 km): Marktl Gasthof AltenbuchnerWe stop at the tourist information sign outside the town of Marktl. Marktl is the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI but when he was a boy, no doubt terrorizing the merchants and the schoolgirls, his name was Joseph Alois Ratzinger. OK, enough already for the Pope. We have our cell phones with us and we call several of the listed lodgings. They either do not answer or they are full and we need two rooms for the four of us. We decide to ride to one of the establishments that did not answer and we are in for another adventure of the kind we love. The inn on the Inn River is closed when we ride up. We ring the bell but get no answer. Then, from an upstairs window, a woman shouts down, “What do you want, we are closed (Es ist unsere Ruhetag).” We explain that we need two rooms and the other places are full. “We are tired, hungry and thirsty,” we say pleadingly. She opens up for us, asks a friendly neighbor to serve us beer. He does and he takes our food order too. It turns out the woman is owns the establishment as well as being the chef. She tells us during conversation that she would like to retire soon because of her health. Perhaps the Inn will be under new management when you get here. Guntram and I order Schweine Haxen, or ham hocks but with a lot more meat and, … ah, tissue than that we can get in America. She does a stellar job and I wish I could make it as well as she did. For being closed, we really luck out. The beer was cold and plenty of it. The food was perfect, and our hostess was very friendly. She served a great breakfast too. The name of the establishment is Gasthof Altenbuchner, owner Hubertine Jansen, address: Burghauser Str. 10 • 84533 Marktl, Telephone 0 86 78/2 49, They have 5 rooms and 10 beds.

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Day 5: Marktl to Obernberg am Inn

Day Overview: Today’s path has a lot of gravel but few hills. A little more than half of the way is paved but the top of the dikes along the River Inn are gravel. The one hill is climbing up to our lodging in Obernberg.Dorf Stammheim

Mile 2.6 (4.2 km): I take a couple pictures of the picturesque village, a Dorf really, of Stammham. The sign talks about the local militia and to which unit they report.

Mile 13.7 (22.1 km): Sculpture at bridge to BraunauThe picture here is of the man astride a trout monument across the river from the city of Braunau. Braunau, Austria is the birthplace of Adolph Hitler of WWII infamy. Flashback; when we were sightseeing in Innsbruck, we spotted a small brass plaque on a wall in the middle of the old town for the benefit of the tourist. It said that the poor Austrians suffered occupation by the German army after Germany annexed Austria in 1938 prior to WWII. OK, Hitler was the Chancellor of Germany but he was a born and raised Austrian. Additionally, most history chronicles view Austria as a willing participant and German ally. The puppet government of Austria not only welcomed the German troops but also allowed them to use Austria as if it were a German state. Austrian soldiers also joined in the war effort and in the atrocities (not that the Allies did not commit atrocities too). We decided the sign was pure propaganda designed to present the country as a victim instead of a belligerent. In Montana, they have a word for such wild claims, that word is a pejorative for male bovine feces.

Mile 21.9 (35.2 km): We lunch at Schloss Frauenstein.

Mile 33.2 (53.4 km): We end the day in Obernberg am Inn. We stay in the Zimmer (privat Zimmer) offered by the K. Birglechner family at Konrad-Meindl Strasse 6, Obernberg am Inn, telephone 07798/2491. The cost is €16 to €18 per person per night. The people were friendly and the price was right. They spoke a dialect that was hard for the three native German speakers in our party to understand. However, friendly is friendly in any language.

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Day 6: Obernberg am Inn to Passau

Day Overview: This is our last day and barring flat tires, we should be lunching in Passau. Passau has much to offer for tourists and locals alike. There are a few hills but right at the beginning, we have a nice 120-foot downhill drop back down to the level of the river. Fun!

Mile 3.0 (4.8 km): From the dirt path along the river, we ride over a neat wood plank footbridge through a nature preserve to the bottom of the hill in Reichersberg. Maxa points out that the cross atop the Stift (a Stift is the word for a Middle Ages hospital where they care for sick). In this case, the cross with two horizontal crossbars is a signal that the facility was (or maybe still is) overseen by an Archbishop. That type of cross is called an Archiepiscopal cross. Leaving this village, the road turns back to gravel and we get another drop.Schloss Frauenstein

Mile 13.6 (21.9 km): We take a coffee break in the interesting town of Schärding. The commercial buildings surrounding the town square are a kaleidoscope of different colors. We learned that in the old days when many of the towns citizens were illiterate, the town council insisted that different colors be used for butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, clothiers, etc. etc.

Mile 15.6 (25.1 km): Castle VornbachCastle Vornbach

There is a “Y” in the path here and the way less traveled stays along the river. To Maxa and Ulla, that seems the better one of the two legs because they abhor hills and the other leg of the Y is an uphill grade. Well, it turns out that the popular choice would have been better. The path along the river narrows to a footpath for fishermen. In places, it is very narrow and at the end, one must scramble a little up to a rideable paved surface. We are a bit lost but we meet four other bicyclists, one with a new looking Gary Fisher bicycle. I compliment him on the bike and tell him that it was manufactured in Centralia, close to Seattle where we live. He is proud of the bike and explains that he has restored an original that he brought with him when he moved to Germany from the States. Anyway, we explain that we are looking for the bike path and they tell us to ride to the right (south). That was wrong. We are riding next to a railroad. We end up doing something very unsafe; we cross the tracks where there is no crossing. We did not know it but we could have gone back a little and crossed underneath the train tracks. The bike path is just over the tracks and we can see it but getting to it temporarily seems difficult. Across the river is the Castle Vornbach, we photograph it with its reflection in the river.

Mile 18.6 (30.0 km): We blow past another village and Maxa explains that Wernstein is the second of two Wernsteins. The first one is below the water level of the reservoir here. The Inn is dammed just down river and it flooded the first Wernstein. Prior to disappearing, the residents moved above the future waterline and rebuilt their village.

Mile 24.2 (39.0 km): PassauWe Passaustop for lunch in a park across from Passau. Before we cross into the city, we backtrack a bit to the Roman Museum to study Roman history especially the history of the Roman occupation of Germany and France. If you pass by here, I would classify this museum to be a “must see.” Unfortunately, for non German speakers, there are no translations but still one can learn a lot from studying the maps. The address is: Römer Museum Kastell Boiotro, Lederergasse 43, 94032 Passau, Telephone 0851/34769, website www.stadtarchaeologie.de. The cost is only €2 for each adult.Sign about bike rental in Passau BahnhofRental Bicycles at Passau BahnhofPassau Bahnhof bicycle rental advertisement

Mile 25.5 (41.0 km): We end this tour at the Passau Bahnhof. I take a couple pictures of the rent-a-bike stand here. These are only for short rental periods and good to get around town. I do not think they would rent one to ride to Innsbruck, but you could probably rent it for a day to ride to Wernstein and back.

We spend the night at the Goldenes Schiff, Unterer Sand 8, 94032 Passau, Telephone 0851 34407. Email: goldenes-schiff@web.de, Website: http://www.goldenesschiff.de. Their motto, translated is, “Good eating, good drinking, in the heart of Passau.” Tomorrow, we will take a train home.

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