I just finished graduate school and I am currently very fortunate to have about 2 months free from April 20 to the end of June . Although I am from the states, I am currently living in upper Austria (I don't speak German! ) living right on the Danube! (I'm in Linz to be exact). This will be my first long distance tour, and I'm looking for suggestions for places to go, and on how to plan the specific routes. Here's my idea so far:
1) Ride Danube cycle way up river from Linz to its source in Donaueschingen Germany. Before getting to Donaueschingen I think I should stop be Munich (80 km south of Danube).
2) Donaueschingen is at the edge of the Black Forest, so perhaps the Black Forest is worth a cycle through? Need two days or more?
3) From Donaueschingen I will head south down to the Bodensee (big lake) near Switzerland, Lichtenstein. I'm not sure if there is much to see here but I got the impression it was nice there so I would cycle around the lake.
4) The Rhine river is close by and I would take the Rhine river north all the way up into the Netherlands of course visiting Frankfurt, Dusselsorf and ending up in Amsterdam.
From here my plan is wide open. I could go to France and Belgium. I could take a boat somewhere else?
To be honest the above plan comes from the fact that I have bought three books, one about the Danube cycle way, one about cycling the Rhine river, and one giving cycling routes in Holland. I just linked the three together. I am almost completely new to Europe and have no real idea of where to go what to see. If my plan above looks good, let me know. If I've missed some sights worth seeing along the route, also let me know. I am also open to completely different routes as well! I really just chose the above plan arbitrarily!
Some info. about myself:
I am in "o.k. shape" I would say. I have bike (brought from US), Ortlieb panniers (2 for front and 2 for back), tent (REI), sleeping bag (20 degree) and sleeping pad as well as all the other little items needed. I am looking to camp/hostel my way around.
Thoughts off the top of my head: I am interested in nature scenes as well as famous cities. I know the Alps must be very beautiful and I am interested but I am not sure I am in shape for it. I could use some trains to help get around maximizing my time, but I am interested in the journey as well, not just the destinations. I have thought about following the tour de France, especially because materials would be easy to find, and I like wine country
Let me know what you all think, any advice/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Riding partners for any length of it would be welcomed as well.
Thanks so much!