Day One, Backroads Danube River Cruise Full Ship Celebration
For the start of our weeklong cruise with Backroads along the Danube River, we woke up early in Prague and drove 3 ½ hours through Czech’s Bohemian region to Germany’s Bavaria. After lunch at a country farmhouse, we got fitted for our bikes. We were surprised to learn that 38 of the 53 passengers aboard our cruise were using e-bikes. Our family of four went the old-fashioned route, having trained all summer for this week of riding. That would come in handy within the first 15 minutes, when we had a good mile uphill climb. Soon we were high in the hills, past rolling green fields dotted with cows, rows of corn, and large patches of yellow canola. We would ride the first of many bike trails, connecting to narrow quiet country roads that only Backroads could find after scouring the countryside. Then another trail deep into the Bavarian forest before entering small farming communities with their large wooden houses and triangular roofs, not unlike a chalet.
After a brief stop for the first of many radlers that week, a satisfying combination of beer and lemonade that quenched our thirst, we had another killer hill before riding alongside a creek and the velvety green fields beyond. Finally, we reached the broad bend of the Danube River and pedaled the last 5 miles alongside the water until we reached our home for the week, the AmaLea. The perfect introductory ride to get us excited for the trip ahead, 40 miles with over 2300 feet of elevation. Our reward was pints of pilsner and live Bavarian music straight out of an Oktoberfest celebration at Hofbrauhaus, our welcome to Vilshofen, Germany.