Kevin, Tom and Brent's
Cycling the Danube Bike Path
From Vienna to Budapest
September 11 to September 22, 2011



Photographs on this website were taken by Kevin Rodger, except where noted.

Map shows our route

Greetings from Vienna, Austria!

Planning for this bicycle trip had commenced about two years prior to our departure. We had cycled part of the Danube bike path several years before on our sojourn from Prague to Vienna in 2004. At that time we had planned to cycle from Prague to Budapest at one time, routing through Vienna, but time constraints prevented us from doing so.

As a cyclist, I aim to give future cyclists who aspire to do this trip a bit of peace of mind. It is an easy trip to do, and it is an easy trip to ride (i.e. - it is flat for the most part). The things that most concerned me prior to the trip were: 1. Accommodations, 2. Food and, 3. Whether to bring bikes, or rent once we arrived.

Accommodations never proved to be a real problem on this trip. Each night stops in a town that just happens to be on a well travelled bike route. There were plenty of accommodation options in each town. We did have to look for them on more than one occassion, but we found that the locals (even in rudimentary English) were mor than willing to help us find our way. Food was never an issue, either. Again, the towns are never far apart and one can easily find a restaurant of some type, or a grocery store to buy food without straying far from the path. As far bringing your own bike, or renting, consider this: most airlines charge to ship bicycles overseas. There are not many that offer free shipping of your bike. Air Canada, for instance charges $50 CAN each way for your bike. Now here's the catch - the bike counts as your ONE piece of free luggage. A second bag can be checked for the low sum of $70 CAN per leg. That will end up costing you $240.00 just to ship your bike there and back, with a duffel bag to carry your panniers. Austrian Airlines on the other hand charges 70 Euros per bike each way, but your second bag travels free, for a total of 140 Euro (about $196 CAN). To rent bikes is generally cheaper. Plus you have the convenience factor of not having to pack your bike before each flight. Of course, you could always invest in a fold-up bike, which went no charge on Austrian Airways. It might still incur charges on other airlines. This is the route I took (Bike Friday), the other two members of the tour elected to rent, and I believe they were happy with their decision in the end.

The other piece of equipment I would recommend is the Danube Bike Trail Cycling Guide (Part 3) by Cycline. This book gave blow by blow maps of the route, and descriptions of the various town along the way. It also has a listing of accommodations in the vsrious towns along the way, as well as contact numbers for each. While the route is well signed, and you will not require stsring at a map for kilometer upon kilometre, you will get lost. And the book will prove invaluable to get you back on the trail once again. The book is available in various travel bookstores, as well as on the internet from www.esterbauer.com.

Our crew consisted of Kevin Rodger, Tom Jolliffe, both from London, Ontario, Canada, and Brent Irvine, from Cochrane, Ontario. Our Austrian Airlines flight 072 originated in Toronto. The days seemed to tick off so slowly until with only a couple days to go, the time literally flew by. Kevin was kept busy at home buying a new lawnmower to replace the one who's handle broke just two days before the trip. The lawn was now freshly cut, and the luggage was loaded into the car for the trip to Toronto. Kevin was to pick up Tom on the far side of the city of London, but now the car would not start (it had to be replaced when Kevin got back home). It was decided that Kevin would take the other car to Toronto, leaving his wife to fend for herself while he was gone.
Upon arrival at Pearson International Airport, we met up with Brent (who had been at the airport for the past two hours due to miscommunication with Kevin) and checked our bags in for the flight. We then proceeded to the gate, after clearing security. We were pleasantly surprised when we found out we were upgraded to business class. However, we were told they did not have any meals available for us. Not a problem - we would simply buy a few sandwiches to tide us over. After we boarded, however, we were told first that they had economy class meals for us, then the chef (yes, they have a chef on board their flights) came by and advised that he would have no problem providing us with a nice meal. The meal was very nice, to say the least, and the flight progressed very rapidly. Upon retrieving our luggage in Vienna, we proceeded to the S-Bahn train which would take us downtown to our hotel. The train ride into the city took approximately one hour and cost 3.60 Euros. The train station was a mere 15 minutes from the Hotel Nestroy. We were pleasantly surprised when the hotel said we could check in this early in the morning and our room was ready. After setting up shop, and unpacking a few required items, we set out to explore the city.

First item on the agenda was checking on the rental bikes. The bike shop was a short fifteen minute walk from our hotel towards the Prater.

Tom and Brent at Flughafen Wien, the Vienna Airport - waiting for our luggage.

Park on the way to Pedal Power

Brent waiting for his bike

The Vienna Rathaus - City Hall

Ursuline Convent

Brent and Kevin enjoying their first beer of the trip. Prost!!!

Vienna dish of sausage, kraut, and potato pancakes