Sunday 25th Farewell Wachau Hello Konigstein - Retyrement on 2 Wheels - CycleBlaze

August 25, 2019

Sunday 25th Farewell Wachau Hello Konigstein

We bid a final fond  farewell to what’s been our home in Wachau for the last 3 days. We’re loaded up and ready to go after our final breakfast, in which Elisabeth serves us up a thickened juice made from the red berries we have been seeing in the forest and presuming to be inedible. It’s deliciously sweet and plum tasting.

Elisabeth and Rudolph have kindly agreed to take us to the heights above the Elbe, at Pillnitz, going by a route familiar to them. Before leaving Wachau, they show us their Lutheran church they have helped to restore. The interior wood has been painted a muted green and looks beautiful. When Rudolph offers to let Ann play a tune on the organ, she instead hums one of the hymns she plays, and recognising the tune they sing a verse together- they in German, Ann in English. 

Our home In Wachau
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We cover all kinds of paths on our way to the river, but much of it is in the same forest path we took to Dresden on Friday. Eventually, after nearly 2 hours nonstop cycling we are above the river Elbe glistening below. It’s sad farewelling people we’ve learnt so much about  but maybe we will meet again on the trail. Our final choice is whether to take a left or right turn to the river. We take the left, worried that the rough track will disappear but, in fact, it takes us steeply and directly to the ferry which transports is to the path on the opposite side of the river.

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It’s a busy Sunday with great numbers of families out cycling. The same thing may happen in NZ one day- who knows? It does require care though, and bell ringers are having a field day. Following lunch we head for Konigstein, about 30 kilometres upriver, where there’s camping. We break for lunch and an iced coffee- 2 in 2 days!

The river is alive with traffic also- huge paddle boats, ferries, inflatables, kayaks, canoes and rowing shells. At Pirna there is an historical re-enactments in full swing, with 18th century frock coats, gowns and wigs in abundance. There are also soldiers in costume marching to drums. It’s the same on the river where costumed rowers move oars to the beat of a drum.

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Above the river just beyond this is the fearsome Bastei rock. There is a small bridge linking the rocks high up. It’s massive above the river and impressivei in its dominance. Soon we reach camping at Konigstein , select a plot and just after getting our tent up suffer a minor inundation - it’s five o’clock thunderstorm time! It doesn’t last long though, and we are soon able to sit out and enjoy Ann’s omelette.

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Bastei Bridge
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Today's ride: 73 km (45 miles)
Total: 1,263 km (784 miles)

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