Travel along the Blue Danube on 1,000 kilometer bike trail between Germany and Budapest.

Logo for The Grand Budapest Bicycle Tour
This bike tour will take four weeks to complete.
This post will grow over the next month with updates. All elements of the reporting is being done with smartphones and small mobile gear that fits in our bike bags.

Map attack

This interactive map gives you a preview of the stages to come on this adventure.

A tour like this always starts with researching the best available maps and apps for guiding you to the bike trails.

I use an app called BikeGPX that allows me to pre-install trail routes with GPS precise locations.

The GPS files for this tour came with our German-language Radfahren guide books.


Mojo Apps

I rely on the native camera app to shoot with and the Photos to edit with. This means that my shots and editing workflow is both quick and ethical.

I do Filmic camera apps in certain situations and many apps to record geo, speed and elevation data.

I also rely on a specialized app for trail guidance.

The BikeGPX app will guide us along the Blue Danube river and indicate elevation, waypoints and distance traveled in kilometers.

I had to download the GPS bike routes from the book publisher’s site and then upload them to the BikeGpx home page.

All I have to do each day is load the trail map into the app and then glance down to see our position tracked in real time.

Grand Budapest Bike tour
Bike trail GPX Maps


Preparation

Map of the grand Budapest bike tour.
The Grand Budapest Bicycle Tour begins in Passau, Germany.

We have been packing for weeks and further on I will share photos and details about what we brought.

But first, we knew we would have a story to tell for the #MojoTrek series and I set about making some show graphics for the videos that we will post on Youtube.

I cut together scratch reels in LF on my phone and use it as my reporter’s notebook.

Then I can start to organize a story for first assembly. For this tour I do it all on the phone. Because we are carrying all camp gear with – no room for any other Mojo gear.

Documenting in short clips and photos is the key to quickly building stories from your reporting.

Jump to anywhere


Heading out

Our next task is to get us, our tour bikes and five bike bags from Berlin to Passau by train.

The German Train Experience

The high speed ICE train we booked has room for only three bikes, so we made this train reservation months in advance not really knowing if we would be allowed to travel on this day.

This platform will be crowded with people when the train arrives.

It now becomes very important to know which part of the long train is actually ours and where on the train platform to position our selves and two fully-loaded tour bikes.

The signs indicate that the train to Vienna will be located between signs A and C on the long platform. The train to Munich will be between D and F.

You must further refer to the graphic posted at the platform to read your train configuration and find your wagon number.

In our case two wagons. We will park the bikes in wagon 24 of the Wien train and then have to walk through four cars and the restaurant car to reach our seats in wagon 28.

Reading these charts in German requires a bit of time and experience, but everything you need to know is here in fine detail.

Having seat reservations in the first class car helps lower the stress of the having to muscle in and stow two bikes and all bags while being trampled by tourists and baby strollers.

The WIFI is also great on an ICE train. The DB portal app shows you very useful real-time information.

STAGE ONE

Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria

In Passau we had the afternoon to toodle around the village and discovered a castle, a hot air balloon and a cafe that was running a blues workshop. We settled into our pub chairs to listen to the musicians workshop standards like “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” for a few hours while taking in the sunset along the Danube.


Off on our way . . .

LINZ, AUSTRIA

Wachau

Wine Region

Danube bridge: Vectoring away from a thunderstorm as we cycle in 42.5 degrees celsius today. We are 75km west of Vienna on The Grand Budapest Bicycle Tour. #MojoTrek #Nogimbal #Handheld #Mojo #NativeCameraApp #oneTake

Originally tweeted by Robb Montgomery (@videojournalist) on August 14, 2021.

A weekend in Vienna

337 Km

STAGE TWO

Vienna to Lake Balaton

We are at the mid-point of the Grand Tour as far as kilometers are concerned.

Leaving Vienna we spent most of the day circumnavigating the perimeter of Vienna airport.

It was a great air show viewed from desolate farm fields.

Bük – 500 kilometers

We are here for the thermal baths!
We are rained in in Bük, so we are prepping today for a 100km ride tomorrow towards the Balaton.

Heviz, 590 km

We cycled 95 km today form Bük to reach Heviz. No cycle paths at all in this stretch and we rode mostly on back-country farm and village roads but also along some busy streets swollen with with lumbering lorries and Italian race cars cracklin’ by at high speeds. Below I show one I captured in slow mo mode at 240 frames per second. (10 times slowed down.)

Day 16 of The Grand Budapest Bicycle Tour.
No, these are not “E-Bikes.”

Lake Balaton

This 100 kilometer section of our trail hugs the northern shore of the famed Lake Balaton.
Lake Balaton is a famous nature holiday attraction fringed by vineyards and beach camping resorts.
Rain is in the forecast, so we plan to cycle 35 km today to reach the Tihany peninsula and find an apartment and make a local tour.

Back to Tihany

700 kilometers

We almost never backtrack while reporting on a #MojoTrek adventure, but we are making an exception here.

Tihany nearly reaches the other side of the Balaton.

We loved the peaceful hillside view and private-cooked dinner overlooking the Balaton.

We have spoken with the owner of the villa to secure a return visit for the goulash and the romantic table.

24 hours in Tahiny.

Tomorrow we will take the ferry to the southern shore of the lake and search there for the bike trail to Budapest.

We camped in an isolated campground.

Lake Velence

Only 85 kilometers to Budapest

Last camp night. Our next three nights will be spent at grand hotel in Budapest. Then we will train it back to Berlin.