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2011: Europe: Three Tours
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"Yes, we scan."

Barack Obama
2013/06/30, USA

2011: Europe: Three Tours

written by Rene K. Mueller, Copyright (c) 2012, last updated Mon, August 19, 2013

Updates

Mon, March 26, 2012: First version with rough description and a few photos, no detailed diary yet.

A brief description of a tour in Europe in Spring & Summer of 2011.

Quick Facts


Between Lleida and Huesca (Spain)

Date: Mid April - Mid September 2011

Duration: 180 days (apprx. 6 months, about 5 months riding)

Distance: 9500 km

Countries: Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia

Cities: Geneva, Avignon, Barcelona, Tarragona, Pamplona, Tarbes, Beziers, Basel, Strasbourg, Darmstadt, Goettingen, Braunschweig, Muenster, Koeln/Cologne, Wiesbaden, Mannheim, Basel, Schaffhausen, Donau-Eschingen, Ingolstadt, Linz, Wien/Vienna, Bratislava, Zagreb, Trieste, Venice, Torino, Genova, Aix-en-Provence, Grenoble, Geneva, Biel/Bienne, Zug

Rivers:

  • Tour 1: Emme, Aare, Rhone, Canal du Midi
  • Tour 2: Rhine
  • Tour 3: Danube, Po, Durance, Rhone, Aare

Bicycle: Longrider recumbent Fateba L1

Camping: Wild (100%)


Three Tours: Pyrenees, Rhine, Danube (9500km)

Tour 1: Pyrenees (3100km)

That's my classic route reaching France: from Zug via Baden, Biel, Morges, Geneva, meeting a friend, then heading to the Rhone valley, down to Sete and then the first time via Perpignan to Spain, rather small climb, then Girano and reaching spanish coast to Barcelona.

Riding through Barcelona, beautiful architecture, worth a few days stay - definitly. Exit Barcelona to south was risky on the highway, along the coast to Tarragona, then reaching into the country to Leila and beautiful scenery further along the Pyrenees, Huesca to Pamplona.

One pass reaching to Hendaya and then France with Biarritz and Bayonne, then Pau, Tarbes and direction Toulouse but avoiding it and then reaching meditarean sea again, Montpellier, Nimes and then going into the valley toward Ales, and further to Les Vans, where I stayed 4 weeks - then continued back to Lyon, Besancon, Basel.

Tour 2: Rhine, Cologone (1800km)

From Basel along the Rhine to Strasbourg, left-hand side heading north short before Frankfurt, and going east - followed local bicycle trails, almost no slopes, Fulda, Bad Hersfeld, Goettingen, riding around Braunschweig and then reach Wolfsburg, to visit relatives. After a few days continue to west, along the Mittelland Kanal mostly a bicycle trail, but with some rough passages not possible to ride, reaching Muenster (bicycle city), further along local channels with bicycle trails reaching Wesel, and the Rhine, returning on the left-hand side again direction south, Duisburg, Koeln/Cologne, Bonn, Koblenz, Mainz, and then Ludwigshafen am Rhein, mostly bicycle trail with a lot of other riders, finally reaching Basel again, to Zug for stopover.

Tour 3: Danube, Po, Provence (4600km)

From Zug, Zurich, Winterthur, Schaffhausen, then very hilly to Donau-Eschingen, the source of the Donau/Danube - from the following all along the Danube. A few passages are hilly as you can't ride all the time close to the Danube, Ulm, Donauwoerth, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, nice ride then rather flat then to Passau and crossing to Austria reaching Linz, where the Danube valley becomes narrow, beautiful scenery to Krems an der Donau, Tulln, and then following the Danube channel through Vienna, just the south exit is hard to join the bicycle trail again, even local people didn't know the way.

A short visit to Bratislava, but then riding south in Austria again to Neusiedl am See, reaching Hungary at Szombathely, busy streets, reckless drivers, no options to ride side streets, no good country to ride the bicycle, reaching Slovenia for a few kilometers, then entering Croatia, much nicer than Hungary, also friendlier people. Varazdin, and then reaching Zagreb. Further to Karlovac, then very hilly further to Tounj, Ogulin, Vrbovsko, Delnice, extremly hilly, one day going 2-3 times 400-600 meters downhill and uphill again, tiresome.

Reaching the sea near Bakar, Rijeka nice city, then entering near Rupa to Slovenia, Pivka, Sezana and reaching Italy and then Trieste, and flat along the sea to Venice, and stayed a few hours there.

Piove di Sacco, Cavarzere, Adria and then Bottrighe and then along the river of Po, low traffic streets, Ostiglia, Borgoforte, Cremona, Piacenza, Pavia, Alessandria, Asti, Torino, Casale Monferrato, Alessandria, Genova just reaching at rush hour, also hard to find a wild camping spot to pitch the tent ... little open space along the coast. Imperia, Ventimiglia, and then entering France with Nice, Cannes, then Vidauban, very nice scenery, Brignoles, very nice ride - reaching Aix-en-Provence, Lambesc, reaching the river Durance, Pertuis, Sisteron, and then turning west Nyons, a bit hilly, long downhill ride reaching Bollene, then north along the Rhone again.

Trying another route to Geneva via Grenoble, Chambery, Aix-les-Bain, Rummily, but then very hilly to Annecy, better would have been to Seyssel, but I went via Cruseilles to St. Julien-en-Genevois to Geneva again, and along the lake to Lausanne, and very tiresome uphill ride and very busy road to Moudon, nice then, Payerne, Murten, riding through Bern, Langenthal, back to Zug.

Photos


Start in Steinhausen (Switzerland)
 
Wangen an der Aara (Switzerland)
 
Forest along Bielersee
 
Along Bielersee
 

Near Rolle (Switzerland)
 
Geneva / Genf (Switzerland)
 
Two bicycle computers: 1) showing time 2) speed (km/h) and distance of today - riding always with sandals
 
Rhone river near Seyssel (France)
 

Rhone river near Seyssel (France)
 
 
Camping at the Rhone, near St. Genix sur Guiers
 
Reaching Vienne (France)
 

Near Donzere at the Rhone river (France)
 
 
Meditarean see near Sete (France)
 
Beziers (France)
 

Reaching Girona (Spain)
 
Meditarean sea near Callela (Spain)
 
 
Barcelona (Spain)
 

Barcelona (Spain)
 
Barcelona (Spain)
 
 
Tarragona (Spain)
 

 
 
After Lleida heading to Huesca (Spain)
 
 

 
 
 
 

Around Murillo de Gallego (Spain)
 
 
 
Approaching Pamplona (Spain)
 

Reaching Hendaye (Spain)
 
At the Garonne near Bayonne (France)
 
 
Cooking pasta with a gas stove
 

 
 
 
 

 
Around Montgiscard at the Garonne river (Canal du Midi, France)
 
Canal du Midi before Beziers (France)
 
Canal du Midi before Beziers (France)
 

 
Near Sete at the Meditarean sea (France)
 
Sete coast line of meditarean sea (France)
 
 

Near Nimes at a local lake (France)
 
 
Near Les Vans (France)
 
Near Les Vans, Ardeche river (France)
 

Near Les Vans, Ardeche river (France)
 
 
Ardeche river (France)
 
Waterfall in Glandieu (France)
 

 
 
 
 

Near Besancon on bicycle trail along Les Doubs river (France)
 
Les Doubs near Besancon (France)
 
Camping aside Les Doubs (France)
 
 

Basel (Switzerland)
 
Rhine / Rhein river near Basel
 
Rhine / Rhein river near Basel
 
Rhine / Rhein river near Basel
 

Rhine / Rhein river near Basel
 
 
Rhine / Rhein river near Worms (Germany)
 
Rhine / Rhein river near Worms (Germany)
 

 
Regional bicycle trails in Germany, near Fulda
 
 
Broken alumium hub of the back wheel, new hub and spokes required
 

 
Cologne / Köln (Germany)
 
Cologne / Köln (Germany)
 
 

 
Reaching for Donauenschingen, start of Danube / Donau bicycle trail aka Eurovelo 6
 
 
At the Danube / Donau river (Austria)
 

 
 
 
Golden sunset at the Danube / Donau (Germany)
 

Donauweg / Danube bicycle trail (Germany / Austria border)
 
One of the few hills along Danube bicycle trail
 
Danube / Donau before Vienna / Wien (Austria)
 
 

 
 
 
 

Before Ravna Gora (Croatia) (very hilly region)
 
Heading to Meditarean sea near Bakar/Rijeka (Croatia)
 
 
Trieste (Italy)
 

 
 
Venezia / Venice (Italy)
 
Bicycle trail along Po river (Italy)
 

 
Eurovelo 8 along the Po river, near Borgoforte (Italy)
 
 
 

 
Bicycle trail along the Meditarean coast line (Italy)
 
 
Reaching Menton (France)
 

 
Rushhour in Cannes (France)
 
Rare rainy day on the tour (France)
 
Heading to Aix en Provence on bicycle trail (France)
 

 
Near Pertuis at the Durance river (France)
 
Boulders in Malijai (France)
 
 

Camping at the Rhone (France)
 
 
Bicycle trail along Rhone between Grenoble and Valence (France)
 
Before Grenoble at the Rhone river (France)
 

Art sculpture "Ascension" in front of an insurance company, Grenoble (France)
 
 
Camping in the forest near Olten (Switzerland)
 
After 6 months underway back in Steinhausen (Switzerland)
 

Diary

I wrote a daily diary, but right now don't have the time to type it in . . . maybe later.

Summary

  • French Rhone valley I rode often, and prefer the west or right-hand side of the river - narrower roads, but less traffic. France is good mostly, respectful car drivers (thanks to Tour de France), along the coast little space for wild camping.
  • Spain was nice, most autoroutes bicycles were permitted, wide shoulders.
  • Germany has very good bicycle trails, well signaled, except one part where I had to lift my recumbent on staircase-bridge, biggest non-sense on my trip.
  • Austria was nice with the Danube bicycle trail, but not all was flat, also some hilly parts.
  • Hungary was bad, reckless car and truck drivers, narrow and very busy roads, not recommended at all.
  • Slovenia and Croatia nice people, respectful car and truck drivers, Croatia in the south and along the coast very very hilly, nothing flat there (except tires perhaps).
  • Italy along the Po was nice, low traffic road, not really bicycle exclusive, but good - friendly and helpful people.

Rhone, Rhine, Po and Danube are largest rivers in Europe, and a nice opportunity to do long rides with the bicycle.


.:.




Copyright 2007-2014 © by René K. Müller <spiritdude@gmail.com> / Google+
Illustrations and graphics made with Inkscape, GIMP and Tgif