|Swimming in the Danube - I'm the one |
on the right.
|Earlier in the day I enjoyed a poppy-seed|
ice cream cone, another activity for
which the weather was not appropriate.
After the Austro-Hungarian Empire disintegrated in 1918, Austria's control of the river was reduced from 2,840 km to just over 300. Austria, now a landlocked country, shed its navy save the intrepid, if silly, Danube Flotilla, which continued to sail up and down the river protecting nothing until it became too comically irrelevent to maintain, in 2006.
The Danube has since become a major destination for international tourists as well as Austrian bathers allured by both its beauty and the utter lack of bathing alternatives. I'm told that, in the summertime, the oddly California-sounding Vienna City Beach Club is extremely popular with Austrians both clothed and nude. The Donauradweg bike path runs more or less the entire length of the the river and Austrian portion of the route is supposed to offer a fabulous ride, especially when done downhill, from west to east. I have ambitions to one day bike the 340km portion from Passau to Vienna, although I may not get to it this year, as my bike is about half the size it needs to be for me to use comfortably.
Overall, the Danube offers a number of enticing activities, although these do not include March skinny-dipping, which remains ill-advised...