47.4979° N • 19.0402° E

Danube Route / Week 2

Susann and Kenneth showed a perfect sense of timing, arriving in Austria on the eve of the country taking over the “rotating” six-month presidency of the EU Council. And their destination, the well-known ski-resort of Schladming near the German border was at the heart of celebrations! No wonder, perhaps – but still complete coincidence! – that they bumped into a group of three fellow #EUinmyregion travellers there, who were on a tour through Austria under their project #wirsindeuropa. They teamed up for the following day, providing for a perfect start to their Austrian leg.

Then it was time to discover the first world-famous Danube metropolis: Vienna. At Gabarage design Susann and Kenneth learned that trend-setting design, environmental awareness and social commitment, can go together like they were always meant to. “Everything – and everybody! – deserves a second chance” is the company’s motto, and our travellers not only picked up some cool items there but also some serious food for thought.

Everybody wants to be down to earth but digging into it in the vague hope to find some age-old artefacts, aka pursuing archaeology? Not so much, our travellers thought, but then came the chance to practice it from a single-engine plane at 400 feet. Now you’re talking!

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia is just a few miles down the Danube from Vienna, but it is only thirty years ago that they stopped being cut off from each other by the Cold War’s Iron Curtain. Our travellers first destination was a recently re-established connection between the two countries, a cycling bridge over the Danube. What they encountered on the way, was a different and completely unexpected kind of adventure: stopping for refreshments in the picturesque town of Devin, they hadn’t reckoned on the effect Ken could have on Slovak women of a certain age. One seemed to have fallen head over heels in love with him! Our travellers realised that they had to hit the road again urgently to fulfil their mission of the day…

The final stop on their Slovak leg provided for some more quiet and for getting close to nature, leisurely cruising down a recently restored side-arm of the Danube – until their boat got stuck on a sandbank! With this hiccup overcome, Susann, Kenneth and the crew were once again ready to appreciate their guide Tomas’ explanations how Danube side arms help mitigating flood risks, improve the area’s drinking water and are a heaven for wildlife and plants.

 

Next up: Hungary!

See also

Baltic Route / Week 1

Our first week was... travelling on robot buses, throwing frisbees in the wilderness, meeting awesome people such as fishermen, historians, and pro instagrammers!

(Re)building bright futures in Utrecht

Utrecht offers refugees and asylum-seekers the means to start rebuilding their lives immediately – even before they have a residence permit. A special “Refugee Launch Pad” created with EU funding helps newcomers integrate quickly into Dutch society while also giving them the tools to make it anywhere.

The bright side of dark waters

How can recycling and reusing household waste water at source not only protect the environment but at the same time contribute significantly to a sustainable agriculture by extracting the waste water’s nutrients?