Cycling the Romantische Strasse

Day 5

Sunday, May 23, 1999

Nordlingen to Donauworth

Today we slept in until 8:30 a.m. Since we had a short ride of only 30 km to complete today, we decided to tour the city. The morning weather was mostly sunny and 16 degrees Celsius. We walked around the city via the city walls, and toured a very simple museum built into one of the towers on the wall (2.50 DM, including colourful brochure). Afterwards we went back to the hotel to change. We left for Donauworth at about 1:30 p.m., after a lunch at McDonalds - I know, totally "un-German," but hey, we were in a hurry.

Tom made it about 3 km before his knee started to give out. We went our "separate" ways at this point – him via train, me via bike. We agreed to meet in Dachau sometime on Wednesday, and stay in touch via my friends who lived near Munich. The first 16 km of the ride were very easy over flat terrain, and with a light wind. The weather was sunny now, with a temperature about 16 to 18 degrees. The hills started at this point, with the usual up, followed by down. Harburg, about 2/3 of the way along was a castle high in the hills. There were a few detours in town because of "hoch wasser" once again, and also because of a local church ceremony, so I had to walk the bike part of the way through town, and ride around some water donated by the Wornitz River. The bike path up to this point was very good, and paved the whole way. Afterwards, it turned into a muddy tractor path which I followed only because of other bike tire marks heading in the same direction. After two km of heavy slugging, mostly uphill, I turned around and headed for the road. There was one more hill to climb before town, followed by a 4 km descent. Donauworth initially seemed very big and spread out versus the usual compact German towns we were used to. I cycled through the "downtown" area and the square (marktplatz) looking for zimmer frei or pensions, but could find none. So, I went to the bahnhof (train station) in search of a tourist information booth. Here I obtained a brochure listing the various accommodations for the town. I went outside to peruse it. While sitting down, I sensed someone looking over my shoulder. As I turned around, there stood Tom Jolliffe in all his glory! He had taken the train to Donauworth instead of Munich, and was willing to give it another shot.

We tried one pension, but it was full. We finally settled on the Gasthof Feurle – Ragusa. After a shower, we settled in a bit, then went for a beer, and a town tour. The Danube was very high, and many locals were out to view it. We ate dinner at the Gasthof. It was very good, and included a generous portion of salmon, broccoli, potatoes, salad and beer for 26 DM.

Total distance for the day: 38 km in 2 hours, 10 minutes, for an average speed of 17.5 kph.

Kevin with Hotel maitre'd





Downtown Scene in Donauworth



This was actually where the bike path was ... before the flooding

One of the city gates in Donauworth

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