The cycle ride along the Danube was delighting us all and we still had a few days left to go… With a hearty breakfast eaten and our bicycles waiting for us on shore we waved good-bye to the beautiful town of Grein. We pedalled over an enormous bridge to the other side of the Danube river. From the opposite side the town of Grein resembled something out of a fairy tale book. You could just imagine gingerbread houses hidden in there somewhere.
The cycle path was flat and the rising depths of the valley allowed for a cool morning breeze to hit our skin making us feel alive as we cruised at a steady pace. The lush greenery surrounded us, tall trees tightly bunched together like asparagus stems climbing the hillsides, wild grasses whispered secrets to each other as overgrown shrubs drooped into the river trying to catch fish with their sagging stems. Small riverside villages were neatly tucked parcels sitting on the opposite side of the river looking idyllic.
The valley disappeared to become green pastures covered in dandelions and mooing cows. With miles behind us we joined other cyclists at a riverside eatery where we all lazed in the warm sun chatting about cycling while sipping refreshingly cool drinks.
Back in the bike seat long stretches of path along the river bank allowed us the chance to only race each other at top speed. We also got the chance to race with our boat. It cruised up behind us on the river teasing us at first by slowing down then suddenly speeding up! Our legs rotated at such a speed we could have easily churned butter in a barrel, but of course the boat left us in the distance catching our breath, but feeling exhilarated from the race.
The high banks of the river guided us to the impressive town of Melk with its huge 18th century Benedictine Abbey sitting like a golden jewel on top of a bluff overlooking the town. We cycled down a small path and over cobbled roads to get closer to the majestic looking structure.
We locked up the bikes and the afternoon was spent exploring the Benedictine Abbey. The inside of the abbey was as intricate in detail as it was on the outside and some areas of the building had you mesmerised with its lavish art decorating its walls and ceilings.
Moored in Melk, our boat was waiting for our return. That evening it treated us to drinks and nibbles on the top deck as a glowing sunset lit up the river as we cruised on towards the town of Tulln for the night. What a grand way to end the day!