‘The prospect of cajoling my kids to cycle from Vienna to Budapest filled me with dread – but the only drama came from the scenery’
In the weeks before we left for our cycling trip along the Danube, through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, I felt a rising sense of dread. Attempting to get two teenagers to ride up to 60km every day for six days seemed an increasingly unpalatable prospect. I consulted friends who cycle regularly. “OMG 60km will be tough for the children,” one texted. The weather forecast promised sweltering temperatures. My children said, repeatedly, that this was not the kind of thing normal people choose to do on holiday. Every time I thought about it my stomach contracted with anxiety.
A few kilometres from Vienna on the first morning, I started to calm down. The Euro velo route 6 between Vienna and Budapest follows the Danube downstream, so the track is either flat or slightly downhill all the way.