A multi-day bike tour has been on my bucket list for a long time. Maybe my plans were too ambitious (e.g. all around Austria in 4 weeks) or I was being a perfectionist over-planning and over-thinking everything too much. The bottom line is it never happened. This year I don't waste many thoughts and decide to go for it. I find a friend and colleague to join me, which adds some extra commitment not to cop out again. Without a single kilometre of biking before that in 2016, I hit the road. The original plan is to do the classic route from Salzburg to Grado, but this would have required some planning to get reasonable priced train tickets on the way back. So we go for plan B, which turns out awesome: the 310 km long Tauernradweg from Krimml to Passau.
We take a morning train from Salzburg to Krimml on our first day and bike 111 km along the Salzach river across the whole of Pinzgau, past Bischofshofen and St. Johann to Pfarrwerfen. What strikes me are the slow, but steady changes in the landscape. From vast flower-packed fields along the narrow-gauge Pinzgau railway, the mountains on each side. The Salzach valley soon starts to get narrower after Kaprun until it only accommodates the river, a railway and the road. For cars and trains, there are tunnels pushed through the mountains here and there. However, with your bike, you'll have to make detours, which usually require some steep up-hill portions. Just because you're following a river downstream (from Krimml at 1067 to Passau at 312 metres) doesn't mean, you don't have to do some climbing in between. A beer (non-alcoholic) and a good meal conclude the first day. There must be something about physical exercise, which makes them taste a whole lot better than usual. Sleep is immediate, deep and very relaxing.