Monday, 27 May 2013
Black Sea or Bust - Day 9 - Obermuhl to Linz (48km)
The hotel at Obermuhl is one of the best. It's light, bright and the lady owner is cheerful despite the fact that business is abysmal. In fact I have been the sole guest in the last three hotels at which I have stayed. The location is superb, my head on the pillow is no more than thirty feet from the Danube and if I am at my window and lean forward a little I can see a couple of miles downstream.
It's raining again as I set off, I only have to go a few kilometres before the path vanishes and I have to do some more negotiation to do with a ferryman. The ferry is on the far side but there is a telephone link.
"Can you pick me up please?"
"How many of you are there?"
"No. You will have to wait until someone else comes."
I look back up the path as far as the drizzle permits. Not a sign of life and I barely saw a living soul yesterday. Will I have to stay here, get a job, contract a bigamous marriage and have children before I can cross? After ten minutes I try again.
"It's still just me."
"If you pay 4 euros I'll come."
I look at the fares listed on the notice board. The normal fare is 3 euros. Oh for God's sake!
"Yes I'll pay 4 euros. Please come now".
So I progress through a wet morning. Every twenty kilometres or so on the Danube there is a massive hydro-electric dam with accompanying locks for shipping access. Each one looks entirely appropriate for a setting for Wagner's Ring Cycle though, now I think about it, that's been done before.
The landscape opens up once more as we near Linz and it's not far to go as I have allowed myself a half day off and I am at my hotel at lunchtime. I have treated myself in this respect also having booked into the modern, glassy Steigenberger Hotel, where the staff are pleasingly obsequious when I arrive despite the fact that both Doris and I are distinctly mud spattered.
In the afternoon the sun comes out, I 'do' the Lentos art gallery and have a stroll round the town. I have very good salad for dinner and a all in all a good end to the day.