Which Way is North? A cycle ride from Donauworth to Harburg.
We popped into Tourist Information to understand the start of the cycle route and then headed off through the park and a tunnel to the other side of Donauworth. We were cycling next to the road a fair bit, which was a little disappointing but it was a lovely day so we happily pootled along. After around 10 minutes we came to a large roundabout from which Airbus was signposted – oh no! We got the map out and tried to work out where we had gone wrong (again!!). We had stopped outside a kebab shop and the owner came out to offer us some assistance. Greg’s German to the rescue. We were told that we’d come completely the wrong way and had to go back the entire 10 minutes.
We then saw a sign for the cycle path, unsure how we missed it we continued. It was much nicer in the countryside with no cars in sight. We then saw another sign pointing right to Harburg, but the right was down a steep slope and then up a hill that we’d watched walkers come down earlier. Off we went, unsure how that constituted a gentle slope. I unfortunately came across a bad apple, as you do every now and again in life. This bad apple got caught on my front wheel and I went flying through the air into some bushes. Greg said it had great comedic value so that’s the important thing hey.
Back on the bike, we continued forward through farm land, so Juno got to run about, and up and down some quite steep hills. We hadn’t seen any cyclists for a while and started to think maybe we had lost the cycle path. We ended up on a main road – d’oh! Another lovely, kind German man stopped to ask us if we were ok. Luckily he spoke English and directed us back onto the cycle route, although indicating that we were quite far away. It’s fair to say that I was exhausted by this point and would have turned around if I knew the way back!
Eventually, we found ourselves back on the cycle path. To reward ourselves we stopped in a field for a picnic. It turned out that our detour had only saved us 0.5kms on the cycle path, but we’d been going for 2 hours! Onwards we went, stopping at a bus stop for me to collapse on a bench for a few minutes.
Arriving at Harburg (3 hours after leaving Donauworth) wowed us though, on a river with a castle looming above it, it really is picture postcard stuff. In this part of Germany, as with Italy, the majority of restuarants shut on a Monday so we found the one that was open and stopped for a well-earned rest. We then headed back and managed (unbelievably) not to get lost. The mistake we had made was turning off the path to the right, we should have just carried on. The cycle back was relatively easy with Juno being able to run for a lot of it and took us an hour, so we’d done double our intention! I was glad I’d survived it!
We jumped / fell into Knigel, had a shower and headed for our next stop, Dinkelsbuhl. Dinkelsbuhl is a popular stop on the Romantic Road as the majority of the town is still in its medieval condition. We drove through Nordlingen and Wallerstein on the way, again beautiful villages. I had found a stellplatz in Dinkelsbuhl that is very new and situated 5 minutes from the old town (again free), so we went straight there. Arriving late, I cracked open my veggie currywurst and made some chips, whilst Juno made friends with the Germans next door. I can report that the currywurst was absolutely delicious, so I might have to find it again and stock up, although it won’t be any good for my diet I’m sure.