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Wachau valley is located on the banks of the Danube river. It is the home of ancient towns, vineyards, cobbled stone streets, orchid farms, bike trails, …. I saved this post for the last because it is my favourite. This is one place where we pushed ourselves a lot to experience the place. This region lies between the town of Krems and Melk. It became popular in the 19th century, attracting artists from all over the region. It also became popular for filming and region serves as a backdrop for more than a dozen films. Apparently, the lighting condition and feel of the villages worked as a charm for all these artists. I totally see the appeal.

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And we were going to bike it all. Town hop from Krems to Melk. 50 kms. Harsha wanted to bike both ways and was really excited to do it. The realization that i am married to a younger guy with a lot of energy hit me hard. And i was holding him back.  We were reaching the end of our journey and the fatigue had set in. I negotiated a one way bike ride and he agreed. We found a boat that would let us carry our bikes for 3 euros each. It was a beautiful day to sit back and watch all these castles pass by on either sides. We saw the bike paths along the river, the bikers and couldn’t wait to be on our bikes again.

2014-09-15_0005 What makes an awsome bike ride? Enthusiastic happy people. Pretty bike basket to rest the camera. Free food magazines that decorate the basket. Fruit that you find along the way. And cold lemon beer, that you save to celebrate half way. And a bike path with a view. We had it all. There he was, zooming ahead. And me struggling to keep up.

2014-09-15_0004 Above: The topography of the bike ride: Vineyards. Old towns with cobblestone paths. Elevated valley paths with a view. Orchards with a variety of fruit. Fellow bikers from all over the world.

2014-09-15_0006 What dampens a beautiful bike ride? Someone with a camera who wants to stop and click pictures by the mile. Thats me. But Harsha managed to contain the photobug by making me keep up with his pace. He did catch me sulking from time to time and I was given photo-stop coupons that i was asked to use wisely. And i did….. when we spotted …… the horses chilling out by the bike trail. The sunflower farms. And the fruit farms that are famous for making Snapps. But my favourite view is the beautiful path with this guy ahead of me, setting the pace and challenging me to ride hard. We both were really exhausted by the end of it, but it was all worth it.

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This is one of the last Europe travel posts. I realized i do not want to over share and make a post for every place we have been to. These are a select few. I want to make one more post talking about the tools that helped us plan the trip and helped along the way. And about some travel wisdom acquired. “Are you a changed person?”, i keep getting asked. The answer is yes. Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as i loved making these photographs and writing about my/our experiences.