Liverpool - Passau - Bratislava (solo for now but company welcome)

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Rich76, 12 Aug 2012.

  1. Rich76

    Rich76 Member

    Hi Guys anyone done this trip before? If so any tips?

    My plan is to go in June of next year, I love my bike and all the bits attached to it so i'm not going by plane! I planned to catch the ferry to Amsterdam and there is a train taking me to Munich from Amsterdam. I'm doing it this way so there is no hang ups, read a lot of advice on here about trains refusing bikes in Europe, and has anyone put a bike on eurolines coaches before?

    I'm 36 quite fit and was planning on 40 miles (ish) per day depending on pubs and other distractions, i'm booking a few weeks off work so don't really care if it takes me 5 days or 10 to be honest.

    I'm also going to lug my own gear so that's something else I was looking at, does anyone know where I would find out about european campsites? especially down the Danube or is there a definitive yellow pages type list/website in existence?

    Really any advice would be ace, this will be my first Euro trip so I don't want to balls it up by not preparing.

    Thanks Richie
     
  2. BC BOOTLE

    BC BOOTLE VIKING ROAD CLUB LIVERPOOL

    Location:
    LIVERPOOL
    best of luck with that mate,,couple of us looking at getting into Europe next year,but with motorhome (hire)as our base,we're always on the Wirral riding so maybe we could meet up for some mutually beneficial training miles together,we're all on the other side,Bootle,West Derby,St Helens..usually on Wirral of a weekend,we like the cake at the Eureka cycle cafe :cuppa: but of course if your ever over here give us a shout :highfive:
     
    Rich76 likes this.
  3. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    You might find it faster to catch a a train to London, take a Eurostar from St Pancras to Gare du Nord then a City Nightline sleeper train to Munich from Gare de l'Est before taking the Passau train from Munich.

    I did this journey from Leeds three weeks ago and the transfers are painless.

    Catching the ferry to Amsterdam involves a train to Newcastle, a ride from Newcastle Station to the ferry terminal at North/South Shields, a ride from the Ijmuiden ferry terminal to a fast inland ferry/tax terminal to Amsterdam station then catching a train to Munich. You have made no mention of whether or not you intend to use the City Nightline service.

    There is not problems with trains rejecting bicycles if you book the trains that accept bicycles,. Use the DBB london office to book your bike onto the train after using the DBB website to get train times. The City Nightline service is the cheapest way to get to Munich from Paris or Amsterdam. To be honest I'd miss out the Passau to Vienna stretch it's boring despite being touted as the most popular stretch. I'd extend the train ride to Vienna and start from there and cycle to Budapest. There's lot's more of visual interest and if you stick to the Hungarian side of Danube after Bratislava you will be quickly out of Slovakia and into the territory with more camp sites. There's no need for lists of camp sites if you have purchased the Bikeline books for the route. Another benefit of bypassing the Passau/Venice stretch is that your money will go further in Slovakia and Hungary.

    Coming back gives you the option of using a hydrofoil between Budapest and Vienna or by train using regional trains with tickets bought in Austria - DBB are unable to book trains from Budapest. DBB will cover Vienna to Paris/Amsterdam.

    Don't get too hung up on planning.

    Just get the journey to the start and the journey back from the end sorted plus the locations of the first and last campsites sorted. The rest will take care of itself.
     
    Rich76 likes this.
  4. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    Training miles?

    There's no need for training miles if you have a modicum of fitness. I took a pal with me who had never cycled more than twenty five miles with an unencumbered bike and had one trial cycle camping weekend where the furthest cycled with a full load was twenty miles a fortnight before we left for Germany .

    The route is flat and unchallenging.
     
    Rich76 likes this.
  5. bigjim

    bigjim Guru

    Location:
    Manchester. UK
    I did it last year and got to Munich in an hour and a half on the plane from Manchester. All that messing about on trains, not worth the bother IMO. £100 return on easyjet incl bike. Just wrap the bike up well. My bike got scratched on the train in Germany. Other bikes get leant up against it.
     
    Rich76 likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    Rich76

    Rich76 Member

    Thanks for the replies, meeting up with you fellas in Liverpool would be really good, little bored of cycling solo and no friends that are into cycling.where I am now, I'm actually from Liverpool but emigrated to the dark side 12 months ago so I'm still finding my way around here, hence I haven't been to the world famous Eureka's Cafe yet! (shame on me I know)

    Flights I kind of want to rule out, I want to do the travel thing even if it is a pain, I always prefer train/bus travel to anywhere you get to see so much more instead of departures/arrival lounges either end, plus I've always wanted to go on those trains that you sleep on, I've only ever seen them in James Bond movies! and I want to be able to take a bit more from it than got on a plane got on my bike rode to Budapest got a flight back.
    I think I will go from Vienna instead and into Hungary, I've been through there before on a hydrofoil and thinking back it was mostly just fields with the odd village.

    I also do need training miles, it may be flat and easy but I'll be carrying all my own kit, and i'm amazing at making reckless decisions ( ask any ex girlfriend) but I don't want this only to then fail because i didn't check if i could constantly ride 25/35 or even 50 miles a day with all my kit.

    Right then back to my maps...Vienna to Budapest by boat & train, on a bike with a tent.

    Honestly thanks for everything...like I said first time doing this outside UK so what might seem obvious too you, might not too me.
     
  7. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    You won't be able to do anything about booking the trains until three months ahead of the date that you want.

    Buy the Bikeline books.

    The Route on the Hungarian side isn't always adjacent to the Danube and is better for it.

    My pal had never ridden more than two consecutive days of more than 20 miles and coped with sixty and seventy mile days with a full camping load. The secret is to eat enough and drink enough.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Rich76

    Rich76 Member

    Thanks Vernon that sounds much more what I was after, did you stop at any good places on the way that you would recommend or is there anything that I really need too see?.
    I wouldn't mind picking your brains a bit nearer the time about the trains too, I've gone through the DB website I've got a German friend though so I might get her too book it for me.

    This forum is ace by the way...Ive spent the last few days trawling through everything on here! can't believe i've never come across it before.
     
  9. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Location:
    Meanwood, Leeds
    The Prater in Vienna is great for people watching.

    DBB can not book trains to/from Budapest. The Austrian rail system, OBB, can.

    Bratislava is worth a day or two. Budapest is worth a week or two - there's no point rushing around in temperatures up to thirty eight degrees. I missed so much because I had a touring partner and I had to compromise on what I normally do i.e. see something of interest - stop and take it in which meant that a couple of significant places were overlooked on the way in to Budapest.

    I'm going back next year - solo - to do my own thing at my own pace.

    Don't get me wrong, I had a great time but there were times when I wasn't able to be as laid back as I wanted to be regarding how some days were going to pan out.
     
  10. Bodhbh

    Bodhbh Veteran

    Estrogom is worth holing up in for a day or two. I had an enforced stop there for 2-3 days after I came down with man flu, but apart from the Basilika there's good walking in the hills behind the town. The big peak behind the town (500m or something) has a bar at the top. The campsite there is fairly easy going with a mid-afternoon check-out time.

    The cycle path into Budapest can be a little rough in spots and easy to loose. I met up with some Germans trying to rush into Budapest doing a 130miles in one day. By teatime I had enough at Estrogom and let them go for it. It took me nearly another 5days to do the rest (see above!) but I'm glad I took the time. I can't see how they would have pulled it off anyhow - with the rough path and urban sprawl the last 25miles into Budapest and finding the hostel alone took me from morning to mid afternoon.

    It's natural to bang out the 40 miles or so from Vienna to Bratislava too, but there's some interesting stuff on the way and I'd be inclind to give it 2 days if I did it a second time. Won't see much of Austria outside Vienna so might as well make the most. And if time is not limiting too much, I'd be inclined just to go *somewhere* for a bit after Budapest. Most people cycling the Danube route finish there, but after that you can just have a bit of a nose into the Hungarian country.

    Like Vernon said, the Bikeline books are well worth getting as well. If you have trouble getting the right ones in English, the German ones do the job even if you can't understand it (maps, camping, accomadation and points of interest marked). But a Michelin or similar map is also good, so you're not a slave to them.
     
  11. Durian

    Durian Über Member

    As I mentioned previously on one of Vernon's threads a visit to Szentendre is worth doing, it's slightly north of Budapest and could almost be classified as a suburb of Budapest so it's easily do-able. If you go east beyond Budapest there's a great place called Eger, make sure you go slightly out of Eger to vist the wine caves in the 'Valley of the Beautiful Women'.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Rich76

    Rich76 Member

    Cool thanks for all the replies, I'm nosing through now looking for stuff along the way, I love Bratislava having been before so I'll definitely be stopping there, and any town that's quite decent I'll just stop off if it feels like it's got potential, Szentendre I'll have a look at definitely.

    On a seperate, matter unbelievable that there's no Ferry to Norway, I fancied a 4 or 5 day stop over there in Sept, but no boat !
     
  13. paulrw

    paulrw Active Member

    Location:
    leeds
    i cycled from leeds to vienna 3 years ago via the hull rotterdam ferry. i camped all the way and followed 5 rivers; through holland to the rhine to mainze;the maine river to wertheim; the tauber to rothenburg; the altmuhl to kelheim and the danube via regensburg and passeau. it took me three weeks, averaging about 50/60 miles a day. it's mainly flat on cycle paths. i had no training and am a bit overweight and was 56 at the time. campsites were not a problem and i can tell you where if you wish.
     
    Rich76 likes this.
  14. aitch

    aitch Regular

    there's a lot of talk about coaches and trains rich76 how much of your trip is going to be cycled also i live on the wirral so would be happy to meet up for a cycling day and a coffee at the eureka
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Rich76

    Rich76 Member

    Haha most of it hopefully I just need to get landed in central europe somewhere! If your on the Wirral that would be really good, I don't know anywhere over here, done the wirral way thing, and right now I'm in seacombe on my way to new brighton then west kirby. 07712 476 647 let us know when your abouit...thanks Richie
     
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