Standing atop the watchtower of the Aggstein Ruins in Austria I gaze down to the Danube River, as it snakes through the Wachau Valley. It’s an incredible vista of forested slopes dotted with tiny villages, castles, monasteries and terraced vineyards.
During the 15th century most of these vineyards were owned by the Church and trade in the region flourished. Paths built alongside the river allowed horses to tow barges loaded with cargo. Today, these same towpaths link the Danube Cycleway – one of Europe’s most popular bike rides.
The Danube River is Europe’s second-longest river, flowing 2780 kilometres from its source in the Black Forest of Germany through 10 countries to the Black Sea. It is possible to ride the entire length of the river but, with limited time and resources, my friend Stuart and I choose to ride the 330km section from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria.