louise and piers: bike date along the danube, germany

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This week’s bike date comes from Louise, who is a British transplant living in Bavaria this year. She shares her bicycle adventures on her gorgeous blog, Beside the Danube, and on Twitter as @lululexy. Today she takes us along on a beautiful fall bicyle ride along the Danube river…

Guten Tag! My name is Louise and this is the (true) story of a delightful bicycle ride along the River Danube bicycle trail with my friend (and fellow cycling enthusiast) Piers one particularly bright and mild November weekend.

Regensburg Bike Date

Piers and I are both recent British transplants to Germany’s southernmost state, Bavaria. The medieval Upper Palatinate city we inhabit is small but overflowing with charm and situated at the confluence of three waterways, including the famous blue Danube. The location proffers a variety of irresistible riverside bicycling opportunities. As I teach English to high school students and Piers looks after five children under twelve for a living, we have together found that cycling alongside the calm, rippling waters is the perfect way to unwind.

The Danube cycle trail is the most popular holiday cycle route in Europe but only really becomes a tourist destination as it passes into Austria so here, in the deep backwoods of Bavaria, we can enjoy the trail without the burden of crowds or holidaymakers. Last weekend Piers and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather before the sun went down by cycling the hour long journey to Walhalla, an imitation Greek temple built by King Ludwig I on the banks of the river.

Regensburg Bike Date

Leaving the city via suburban backstreets we make our way to the Danube bike trail and are struck by the absolute gorgeousness of this part of the world, particularly during autumn. The trail is also mostly flat and makes for pleasant riding so we are able to keep up a conversation most of the way. Though I am so head-over-heels in love with Bavaria that I find it rather challenging to string together coherent sentences, especially whilst cycling by my beloved river where the sunsets increase in beauty with every passing second, the skies burning a dark orange to match the leaves on the trees. Constantly I ask of myself the question, how on Earth can a place so beautiful exist outside of fairytales?

Regensburg Bike Date

After forty-five minutes of cycling along tree-lined bicycle paths, admiring the deep clarets and burgundies of the autumn foliage and practising our German as we ride, we reach the Walhalla Temple – a hall commemorated to famous Germans, including Goethe and Beethoven, which was inaugurated in 1842. I’d heard Walhalla was pretty nice but I had no inkling of how hard I’d fall for it. Its grandeur is worthy of world cities; it would not look out of place in Paris or Vienna, not to mention Athens, yet somehow here it sits – unassumingly – on a bend in the river upstream of the small city Piers and I now call home. Its location is utterly perplexing in its irrelevance, in a place before the river becomes the magnificent waterway which inspired composers from Strauss to Beethoven to Bruckner. But such sudden, surprising magnificence is also what makes it so perfect; its exquisiteness made our knees buckle.

Regensburg Bike Date

We park our bikes at the bottom of the hill and begin to hike up the mountain through an ankle-deep carpet of fallen leaves. I am light-headed and weak-kneed at my first glimpse of Walhalla! I decide immediately that this enchanting place is where I would like to spend my twenty-first birthday early next year. The temple has already closed for the day but we do not mind one bit; it is quieter now and arriving at this time means we are greeted by the most breathtaking sunset in, perhaps, all of world history.  

Regensburg Bike Date

Thus, after walking around the perimeter and snapping a few pictures, we sit on the steps of the monument eating German supermarket chocolate (far superior to the British variety!) and marvelling at the view. The sun often sets in our city in the most picturesque manner but, this time, Bavaria outdid even itself. I’ve started to call this particular hue of the sky ‘Bavarian pink’ and it is, without a doubt, my new favourite colour for all eternity.

Regensburg Bike Date

Thank you Piers for such a wonderful bicycle trip, sweet S. for allowing me to share my giddiness and thank you, thank you, thank you Danube Bike Trail for simply existing. We’re going to be the best of friends!

Thanks for sharing your day with us, Piers and Louise! Enjoy many more bike rides in Germany and please keep posting them on Beside the Danube, letting us tag along from afar!

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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5 Responses to louise and piers: bike date along the danube, germany

  1. Louise says:

    S! Thanks so much for featuring my bike date…I loved writing about it and am so happy to be a part of the series. Best wishes :)

  2. Jennifer in Scotland says:

    I visited Walhalla when I was a student in Regensburg almost 20 years ago. This brings back memories for me. The view in Louise’s pictures is exactly as I remember it. Lovely post, thanks Louise and S!

  3. B says:

    Hello!!!! How can I be the bike date post? My bf is going to fix his bike tomorrow, and I was so excited that he is finally going to bike. ( I have convinced him for a long time.) I wish I could be on the bike date post in the future, but what can I do please?

    BTW, I love all your bike posts!

    • Mai says:

      Yea, I loved your post on Augsburg! Wonderful sketch and a great rimneder to keep testing your perception . it’s way too easy to only see the world behind your camera lens while traveling!

  4. Simply Bike says:

    Hi B,

    just sent me an email with pictures and a description of what you did and where you went, much like the post here from Louise and Piers. (Or see the other bike date posts for more examples). You can contact me at simplybike at g mail. (see contact tab on top of page).

    Looking forward to hearing from you and have fun on your bike date!

    S.

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