10 More Reasons to Cycle Europe in 2013
TDA staffer Shanny Hill has been fortunate enough to lead the Orient Express bike tour in 2005, 2006, and 2008. He is looking forward to leading a new group across the European continent in 2013. Participants will enjoy seeing Paris, Vienna, Istanbul and many other famous places along the route.
If you haven’t yet made up your mind, Shanny has put together a list of a few more reasons to cycling across Europe next summer. There may be a few you hadn’t expected…
1. Munster Cheese… in Munster
Munster is a charming French town near the border with Germany. After a tough day’s ride, make sure you take some time to wander the streets, visit the Abbey, and the town hall, but most importantly eat some of the world renowned Munster cheese. More on Munster cheese…
Flickr photo by cwbuecheler
2. Passau and the 3 Rivers
At the confluence of three rivers – the dramatic setting for this town adds to its appeal. Walk the cobbled streets, and listen to the sound of world’s largest cathedral organ in the world. Learn more about Passau and its organ.
3. Ulm = mc2
Ulm is both the birthplace of Einstein, and the home of the tallest cathedral spire in the world. This busy midsize city has a great pedestrian area for shopping, strolling, and relaxing on your rest day here.
4. Medieval Regensburg
By the time we reach Regensburg, you’ll have already seen the tallest cathedral spire in Ulm, the world’s largest organ in Passau, now you can say you have been to the Pope’s hometown of Regensburg. If you are all churched out, then enjoy Regensburg for other reasons – its beautiful town centre and its Stone Bridge – still oozing medieval feel is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Read more about Regensburg on Wikipedia.
5. The Danube Cycleway
Starting in south western Germany, the Danube Cycleway extends all the way to Budapest and beyond. We have the pleasure of cycling on large sections of this network of paths, cycle lanes, and marked cycle routes along and near the impressive Danube River. Businesses have grown along its shoulders to serve passing cyclists ice cream, coffee, spare tubes, pastries, and beer.
6. Bratislava is the new Prague
Quickly becoming another hotspot destination. It’s like Prague without the crowds (well, smaller crowds anyway). Bratislava is full of busy restaurants in the Old Town, and great views along the river. Our stay in Bratislava is at the unique Boat Hotel parked on the Danube River and right next to the cycle path we will follow out of town.
7. Budapest and all its Treasures
A fabulous city with a complicated past. Here is an excerpt from what one writer experienced in that grande city. “On the day before my departure, I slink greedily back to the Central Market Hall and soon thereafter find myself engaged in a crawl not only of the city’s cafés but also of its magnetic markets… And it seems to me that for all the attempts to truncate Hungarian civilization down the ages, elemental evidence persists that it remains not only unbroken but in some ways appetizingly infinite. “ Read on…
8. Transfăgărăş Pass in Romania
The ride up the Transfăgărăş Pass in Transylvania thru its 50+ switchback turns will be the toughest and possibly the most memorable on your Orient Express. You will be rewarded with great views, and a long decent the following day on our way to the Romania capital of Bucharest.
9. A new route to Veliko Tarnovo
Avoiding the now busy Black Sea coast, we have modified our route this year to cycle thru the interior of Bulgaria via Veliko Tarnovo. Set in a river gorge, the sights and sounds of this interesting spot will have to be earned through sweat as you cycling up and down the hills to reach it. Read more about Veliko Tarnovo on Wikipedia.
Flickr photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis
10. The Roadside Lunch Stop
The daily lunch is something everyone looks forward to. It’s a midday checkpoint for you to strive for, it’s where you gather with fellow riders, it’s where you replenish your body with well earned snacks, sandwiches, fruit, and water. It’s a break and its a chance to sit on a seat slightly larger than your bike seat.