It's a grey morning. Misty and moist. I was up to pee at 4 a.m. and lay long and spoke german with myself. It's often much easier inside your head than in reality. The camp was packed yesterday. The cooker I placed rather close to the tent was almost in the middle of the main street.
The alarms started around 5, do people really get up to leave then? A little past 7 I get to my feet and eat breakfast at a table, where I sat with Bruno and Helmuth. They're there again and have packed already. Are having a yougurt as the last. Their next destination is Melk. There are 3 sites there according to the official Donau Radweg book. Mine doesn't know.
I'm in a pretty open part, where the river is wide and the surroundings low. I meet with the german and stop for a while. When I later stop for lunch, he passes without seeing me, so I have to run to the track and shout: H A L L O....
I get to a rather boring piece of inland deviation. After Grain the river gets narrow and higher forrested riversides rise. The sun is burning off the clouds, and is already peaking through. It gets hotter, but also very moist.
I fight my way to Melk even before 16 o'clock. I took the marked way, which sent me across the river on a bridge one entered by going up a round tower with 4-5 circles. Before that was a boring piece on the main road.
I choose to put the tent up in the sun, so it can dry out, and I don't have to stay inside until it gets dark.
Stift Melk that Markus wrote about shows up to be an abbey, that could be seen on top of the hill in all its sparkling glory from far away.
Go into town to find a "Konditorei". I find one and I have "Mohrtorte" (with currant) and cappucino. A harmonica and a trompet are playing in the street. They're good. Right now it's "Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa...."
Afterwards I ascend to the abbey, which is huge, but it's too late to enter, so I enjoy it from the outside. I thought abbeys were supposed to be modest, this one certainly isn't. Voluminious, resplendent are more covering words I find - thinking of the eremit in the tower.
I've sent some messages to Markus, he hasn't answered the last ones, but they were mere info about how far I'd come. Now I wrote that I'll call him around 21 tonight.
Come to talk to an italian couple, as they are owners of the official Radweg book. I ought to know at which camping site I'll be aiming.
It turns into a long conversation, they're eager to talk and she's pretty good at english. They've come to Passau by car with their bikes and are now on their way to Vienna to go back by train.
I go by bike into town where I earlier found a place to eat. Order beer AND wine. I have to try out the local white wine, wrote Markus. The pizza is called del Porto in stead of Napoli this time. They can't be italian. It's apparently allowed to smoke in restaurants here?
I call Markus and he answers almost immidiately. I speak about camping sites, but he tells me that even the appartment isn't big, they have a sofa, and he thinks I should try it out, then I can go somewhere else later if I find it too crowded.
So I'll head for Gablenzgasse tomorrow.