JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Bicycling Along the Danube Through the Wachau Valley

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Recently, I had the opportunity to go along with the cycling excursion from Melk to Dürnstein, along the Danube River in Austria.  (To read my post on the lovely village of Dürnstein, CLICK HERE.)

This particular excursion isn’t offered very often on our ship.  Milos had already done it earlier this year and suggested I grab the opportunity while I could.

In these kinds of situations (going on a midday excursion), it means working the early morning shift at 7am until leaving for the excursion, and then coming back and working again until the day ends at 9pm.  But sometimes you just have to push through a long day to get the chance to take advantage of a great little side trip. (One thing to note – this was not a laid back leisurely bicycle ride.  It was 30 km – about three and a half hours of actual cycling, with a lunch break as well.  Guests were told that they needed to be physically fit enough to handle the ride, but of course there were people who did not heed the warnings and they had problems.)  A truck with extra bikes and supplies also drove along the route.

We started just near the town of Melk.  The weather was pleasant – a few clouds here and there (more overcast at the beginning), but overall sunny and warm as the day went on.

The first segment of road was not right along the river, but set just a little further “inland.”  Also early in the trip, we had our only uphill segment of the trip.  Nothing like living and working on a little ship to get your body out of shape! (I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in years.)  I made it up the hill, but had to do it all the way down in 1st gear.  (Hanging my head in shame…)  I was definitely feeling the burn in my muscles!  After that though, we had a nice river-side bike trail to ride along for the rest of the way.

It wasn’t too long into our journey that our ship caught up with us and passed us…

Along the route, we passed all kinds of natural beauty, including groves of Apricot trees and other fruits, like pears, plums, and apples.  (The area is well known for its wines and its apricot products.)

We had a 30 minute lunch break on a stone-finished open area along the river, with a nice view of a castle and village on the other side.

We also had a quick bathroom break while in this little town.  But then it was right on to continue the trip!

Along the trip, I got to have some friendly chats with several of our lovely guests.

We eventually made our way to the spot where we were going to cross the river via ferry.  We had an especially long delay here due to the boat traffic on the river, but after about a half hour, we were finally able to cross.

We took a nice little ride through Weissenkirchen, and then on through the vineyards as we made our way to Dürnstein.

After long, we could see the ruins of Dürnstein castle up on the hilltop, so we knew the ride was almost over. I made sure to make a quick stop at the ice cream place along the water’s edge in town so I could get their special apricot ice cream – SO GOOD!  (It was closed the last time we had been through.) A few minutes later, and we were back at the ship.

I have to say the best parts about the trip were being out and about on a lovely late summer day, being physically active outdoors, and enjoying some pleasant company.


Don’t forget to read about some of my other great excursions!  Just visit the pages at the top labeled River Cruise Specialist and Europe & Croatia Specialist!




Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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