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Dienstag, 15. Juli 2014


HIER, Chapter 1: KREMS
Hier: along the Donau from Vienna to Greifenstein, Tulln & retour

OOooohhhh ...... the blue old church from Dürnstein .... is a dream!!!! And the ruins ..... and the old city .... and the Belvedere over the Danube .... and the music coming up from a luxus ship ..... Dürnstein is a special corner of the Wachau Valley, on the long Danube Bike Road. 
In September 2007 I had a job as Cruise Manager on a Luxus Cruise Ship on the Danube. The ship started in Vienna and ended in Passau, then I reached Budapest on a different ship and landed in Vienna again. Two weeks along the Wachau Valley, about 2 days blocked in Vienna because of the high waters. 
Then was the time I first saw the wonderful blue church situated in Dürnstein. Since then I could not forget the flair image of Wachau Valley and I did not dare to think about coming here again and touching with my own hands the old walls of this charmant village ..... 
The other central point of this old city is the ruin of the Castle situated about 400 m higher on the hill. An amazing place, well preserved, really well preserved!
Dürnstein was first mentioned in 1192, when, in the castle above the town, King Richard I Lionheart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V of Austria after their dispute during the Third Crusade. Richard had personally offended Leopold by casting down his standard from the walls at the Battle of Acre, and the duke suspected that King Richard ordered the murder of his cousin Conrad of Montferrat in Jerusalem. In consequence Pope Celestine III excommunicated Leopold for capturing a fellow crusader. The duke finally gave the custody of Richard to Emperor Henry VI, who imprisoned Richard at Trifels Castle. Dürnstein Castle was almost completely destroyed by the troops of the Swedish Empire under Field Marshal Lennart Torstenson in 1645.
I left Krems about 10:30 a.m., not sure. Time became irrelevant for me, in a way.

I stopped to wear on my new SPDs, the first real try in my life to cycle with these crazy shoes.
 I normally wear 39 up to 40, but when you choose such a specialized shoes, think about at least one size larger, otherwise you get big toes pains!! My left foot is a bit longer and has 25 cm, so here I am with size 7 / 41!
 The road leads you throug soft hills and vineyards, all is soo peacefull.....
A corner of paradise, for sure. No cars, even later the bike road leads along a motor road.
Sometimes I also left the main bike road for short intermezzos, but always returned to it. It is amazing how flexible can you be while riding. You can do what ever you want.
From Krems to Dürnstein there are no more as 8 km, as I rode through the city.
The road is very good and easy to ride, mostly sunny, I think there are one or two places, tiny places where you have the chance to stop and to drink a refreshment.
Entering the old part of Dürnstein - no idea if there is a new part too - is a real touristic experience, as there are hundreds of tourists from all over the world.
I do not remember if it was in Krems or in Dürnstein as I thought back to a different old place and I was amazed about the huge difference regarding the general atmosphere: here, old and new together, full of life, colorful and there: poverty and sadness all over the place (Ighis (Medias, Romania)
Dürnstein City an der Donau: 936 inhabitants, situated about 600 feet above the sea level.
1019 mentioned for the first time in a document, town since 1476. 
The name "Dürnstein" - in earlier days "Tirnstein" - originates from the rocky area, "dem dürren Stein", where the settlement was founded. Dürnstein has kept its historic character and is regarded as the most romantic place in the Wachau. The villages Oberloiben, Unterloiben and Rothenhof, situated east of Dürnstein - along the road to Krems - have been part of the town since 1971.
During the Middle Ages Dürnstein was an ideal location. The steep rock riverbanks gave protection against floods and left enough space for settlement and fortification. In this narrow part of the valley, road and river can be closed off easily. This was of great importance of the local ruler. The dukes of Babenberg as liege-lords granted Dürnstein and other parts of the Wachau to the Kuenring dynasty, descendants of Bavarian and Saxon nobility. 
From December 1192 to March 1193 the English King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned at Dürnstein.
1231 Rebellion of the Kuenrings against the Babenberg Duke Frederic II. who finally conquered Dürnstein and Aggstein
1289 Parish church "St. Kunigunde" is mentioned for the first time.

1289 Foundation of the order of St. Clara Nunnery
Around 1330 construction of the Roman-Gothic charnel house at the cemetery
In the 13th and 14th centuries the town wall with towers and gates was built
Around 1330 the church of the Order of St. Clara - nunnery was erected
1347 Dürnstein is recorded as town for the first time
1355 The Dürnstein dynasty of the Kuenrings became extinct
1356 The Habsburgs acquired Dürnstein as sovereigns (Duke Albrecht III. of Austria)

1410 Foundation of the monastery of the Order of St. Augustine ("Augustiner-Chorherren") and erection of the gothic monastery until 1440
1476 Dürnstein receives municipal coat of arms from Emperor Frederic III.
1547 Alteration of the Town Hall in the renaissance style
1571 The order of St. Clara's nunnery was dissolved, the Augustinian monks took over their convent
In the 16th century most of these houses were built, which still determine the character of the town
In the 1630 the New Castle was built
1710-1740 Erection of the baroque monastery
1714 The "Wine Cellar Castle" was built ("Keller-Schlößl")
1788 The Augustinian monastery was dissolved by Emperor Joseph II.
1805 Battle against the French
1850 First free election of the mayor
1909 Opening of the railway-line along the Danube.
1958 The new Wachau road was built with a tunnel, that diverts most of the traffic from the small town.
1986 The baroque Tower of the monastery was restored and painted in the original blue color of the baroque.
I tied my bike somewhere and I run uphill to the bow, where the ruins are. This was the trail running section of the day :-)
 Normal duration of the steep ascent would be 20 minutes, in no longer than 10 minutes I reached .... the history on the hill above the Danube ..... wonderful!!
 Like a goat I climbed the rocks, going back into my childhood ... again!  There were moments today when I just turned 30-35 years back, as I frolicked all over and without any limits and my mother didn't look to worry.
I feel really connected in such of historical places and I saw some over the world. And I still believe that we all live through the humanity history, even the modern times encourage us to enjoy only The Today and not to worry about tomorrow. It is not such a good philosophy. WE BUILD THE NEXT HISTORY and we should build a good one, so that the next generation will enjoy what we let behind us .... this should be our tribute to the world.
 I have lingered about 20 up to 30 minutes here, then I descent, doing the second chapter of trail running. For a few moments I had the image of the Himalayan stairs ....
I took my bike and started to investigate the interior of the site, as I call Dürnstein not just a Danubian Village, but a historical site.
 It is a beautiful place. Just beautiful. Glad to be here by bike.
I descent to the shore again and from here I continued my ride to Weissenkirchen through large areas of vineyards. It was already 12:40 p.m.
Before entering Weissenkirchen I decided to return. I didn't want to ride in the dark and, on the other hand, it was Sunday, not Saturday, so I needed my sleep for a new working week.
I choose the other side of the Danube, of course. In Mautern  it was a cyclo cross race
I knew about the competition from a guy who was competing here. A harsh race, I have to say!
So, next month I will be in the same position, as technical official, in Weyer (ITU Duathlon) :-) look at the yellow vests!
Enjoying the panorama from the other side of the river, I saw the dark clouds coming .... from now one about 90 km riding expected me :-)
But I still had a plenty of time to ride in a more or less relaxed way .... 
At about 2 p.m. I stopped again for a break, eating my second apricot cake ..... hmmm
The long road invited me to ride further ...
 As I became alergic to large amounts of people, this here was my paradise!
So, still 18 km to Tulln, from there back home only 50 km ... piece of cake :-)
 As I reached this point I was very thirthy and it was very hot. So I decided to stop for a drink ...
 ... or three ...
One beer, one wine (I do no recommend, too much water, I didn't like the drink) and an espresso.
 I didn't order anything to eat this time.
 I visited the toillett ....
 I said "Good bye!"
 I took the wine in the bottle on the bike :-)
 I check-ed up the time and I started again. Rain was close ...
 So, on the road again:
 And here started the rain, so I stopped to put something on.
and continued my ride.
Nothing special to story from now on, only the pictures actually.
 I stopped for about 10 minutes in Tulln, to enjoy the atmosphere ....
 After Tulln I stopped again, on a bank, just to take a respiro....
to eat my last peach
and to enjoy the water for few minutes.
To be honest, I was delightfull about my new shoes. I dream about these moments since two or three years and now I am here following my dream, riding along a large river, wearing SPD-shoes and being proud of not falling :-)
Here it is meant: cyclists please ride slowly! as there are homes on the right part and inhabitants are coming in and out from their yards.
 Crazy pretty idea, right?
 Run road made by the local authorities in Klosterneuburg .... every 100 m such a label .... so, enough place for everybody, really! With the suitable correct communication, respect and involvement!
Here back on the Donau Insel, as I wanted to prolongue a little my long ride today.
Excellent trip, excellent day, low costs, new stuff seeing, discovering, learning. I have to do it again!

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