|Rest area on the Donausteig|
|Designer bench on the Donausteig|
I hiked about 150 km on the Donausteig and still it is difficult to say whether I liked it or not. The Donausteig offers some really spectacular views, especially at the Schloegener Schlinge, where the Danube creates an almost 180 degree bend. The banks of the Danube are very steep and very high - and also being heavily forested wild camping is very difficult due to the steepness of the terrain. But because of this steepness the banks could not be used for agriculture or any other commercial purposes and therefore present a wilderness feeling that I did not expect at all in this rather densely populated area. Of course there is a lot of culture to see, too, especially in churches and monasteries, but I think I have seen enough churches and monasteries for the next couple of months...
The biggest problem of the Donausteig is the trail surface which varies wildly. There are almost wilderness sections with small overgrown and steep trails, there are trails directly along the river that were used by horses pulling ships upriver against the current - but there is also a lot of walking on pavement. About 1/3 of the Donausteig are on pavement and this is the highest percentage of my whole hike. None of the paved sections is along busy highways but still they are very bad for your feet.
|Voest Alpine chapel|
Intellectually recharged I embarked onto the last station of my trip and took the train to Krems and my UL hiking friend Sabine. We spent two days talking trail and UL equipment. She showed me all her tarps and even let me paddle around in her new packraft which will probably be the piece of equipment on my wish list.... but that is another story. And finally, after 1,150 km of hiking and 5 weeks on the trail I flew back to Berlin where I have now 4 days to pack and prepare for my Yukon adventure.