Day 4- The Blue Danube

Well my visit to Blautopf didn’t disappoint. In the side of a hill, water flows forth from an underground karst spring, welling up with microparticles of limestone, giving it a turquoise blue colour. This is the source of the Blau River that joins the Danube downstream. It is hard to describe how blue the water is in this 21m deep spring without seeing it at first hand; it is certainly worth travelling to see. Geologically this feature is similiar to the spring at Cong, Co. Mayo, but without the colour.

I was fortunate that I visited the site just before it began to rain, for the thunder showers arrived. I sheltered for a short while but decided to move on. Cycling in the rain is not a novelty for an Irish cyclist- and at least it was warm rain.

The spin to Ulm,a city about the size of Limerick, the first large city on the Danube was uneventful- I put the head down and just got into a rhythm to cover the distance. Managed to get hopelessly lost in Ulm – managed this a couple of times! Ulm is the first place you get the sense that the Danube is growing into a mighty river. Getting wide here, and plenty of people out using the river – boating and paddling on it.

The rain stopped in the afternoon, but it never really dried- it was one of the most humid days I experienced for a long time. As I cycled I noticed the drying soil gave the air a metallic, pungent small- very unlike the sweeter, organic small you get from soil at home.

In a mixed beech and oak wood that I cycled through, I noticed quite a bit of butterfly actiivity so I stopped for a while. Large fritillaries (they probably were Silver-washed, but like everything else in Germany, they looked bigger) and white admiral were flying around in sun spots. I tried to photograph some but I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. Clearly exotic pasty white flesh was too much of a treat for them to pass up. Lasted here no more than half an hour before I fled to safety on my bike.

In the afternoon downstream from Ulm I passed into Bavaria, giving me a sense of progress. Stopped for the night in Dillingen having covered 112km.