The Route - Grampies Track the Tortes (2019) - CycleBlaze

February 27, 2019

The Route

Last Summer and Fall while stuck in the house with the bad knees we avidly followed the Classens and the Andersons as they meandered around the Adriatic, the Dolomites, and the Alps. You can see very roughly where the Classens were (in yellow) and where the Andersons were (in blue) on the map below.

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We resolved that we too would go to those regions of the Tyrol and the Adriatic as soon as we could. But now that we are about to be freed from the sofa, we are choosing a slightly saner (though in some ways crazy) option.

Our bikes are currently resting in Hochst, Austria, on the southern shore of the Bodensee (Lake Constance).  You can see that area on the map, in red. South of there lie the Alps, and in fact our bikes are very near to where the Rhine river enters the lake, about 200 km from its source near Andermatt and the Oberalp Pass. About 100 km to the north lies the Donau (Danube), running in Germany before entering Austria downstream, at Passau.

To be true to our thoughts from the Summer on the sofa, we would go to our bikes and dive south, into the mountains. Or ok, head east  toward Innsbruck or Salzburg and then dive south. But no, we have decided to more conservatively head north, following the Donau to Vienna and then heading north again from there. That's the saner part, because there are fewer hills to the north and the knees are still unproven. But the crazy part is that after spinning around about 3500 km in the north over two months we plan to return home but then come back in September and dive south for an additional 5000 km.

This is not at all to say that this tour is second best, or boring, or anything like that. It's just different from what we initially imagined, and is Part 1 of a proposed multi-month plan!

So where are we really talking about, anyway? Here is the big picture:

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As you can see this is a circle in the central part of central Europe. It runs through Germany, into Austria, through Czech and back to Germany, and back to Austria. Let's have a closer look at that:

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We are thinking of the trip in eight stages, each of which has its own colour on the map:

  1. From Hochst around the Bodensee and  to the Donau (Blue) 203 kms
  2. Along the Donau to Vienna (Green) (not Blue? hmmm) 884 kms
  3. Vienna to Prague on the Greenway (Yellow) 500 kms
  4. Prague to past Dresden on the Elbe (Purple) 491 kms
  5. Leipzig to Nurnberg, with visits to friends at either end (Red)  491 kms too
  6. Nurnberg back to the Donau (Green) 197 kms
  7. Back along the Donau to Ulm (Dark Green) 94 kms
  8. Ulm back to Hochst (Violet) 186 kms

These 8 add up to  about 3000 kms, on the assumption we stick to the plan and, most unlikely, do not get lost or go in circles.  Each stage is filled with tremendous scenery, the most lovely towns and buildings, ornate churches, and of course, Tortes!

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Comment on this entry Comment 7
Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like a truly tort-urous journey! :-)
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1 month ago
Sue PriceLooks impressive! We are looking forward to following along while we deal with being home - should make for wonderful dreaming of both rides and eats!
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1 month ago
Sue PriceTo Bill Shaneyfelt😳
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonThis looks great! I’m so glad to see a plan like this - it looks more promising as a recovery tour than heading south. We’ll follow along with envy and enjoy reminiscing a bit, particularly in the Czech Republic. We biked through southern Bavaria and Moravia 25 years ago, and would love to see it again. You’ll be there at a beautiful time, with the rape fields a brilliant yellow.
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1 month ago
Rachael AndersonYou plan to do two different trips is a wonderful idea. Looks like a great spring trip. We really loved bicycling along the Danube and we also really enjoyed bicycling in the Czech republic. I know this is the Torte trip but be sure to try the palachinkas. They are like crepes.

I look forward to reading about your trip.
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1 month ago
Susan CarpenterLooks to be a great trip and I look forward to following along. I plan on including the Vienna-Prague Greenway on my route this fall, so am especially interested in how you find that section of your journey.
Enjoy!
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1 month ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Susan CarpenterWe have heard both good and bad things about the Greenway and Czech. - i.e. Anderson's loved it, and some other friends from Kamloops hated it. We will try to trip over and report on any obstacles for you before you get there!
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1 month ago