So here we go.
In one week I am going to take a 10 day sea kayak tour from the German city Passau to the capital of Slovakia – Bratislava. The journey which is 361 kilometers long starts under the dam on the river Inn, then it continues through the whole Austrian part of the river Danube and next to the Devín castle it crosses the Slovak border. After a few more kilometers the hourney ends in a shipyard in the city quarter called of Bratislava – Karlova Ves.
As I want to go to more challenging kayak expeditions behind the polar circle I wanted to choose a longer journey. I practiced under in the temperature under zero for the entire winter. During the summer I need to work on my physical condition. Since I don’t want to wander trough the country alone, I recalled an idea from a friend of mine who told me about TID (Tour International Danubien). It is kind of an annual international kayak and canoe journey from the German city Ingolstadt to the Sacalinu island in the Black Sea. The journey is more than 2550 km long and you need to paddle for more than two months almost every day. Except for thencompany of whole Europe kayakers TID offers also a possibility to sleep on arranged places free of charge, mostly in camps. I like sleeping in a forest far away from cities and people, but in Austria and Germany you are likely to be fined because it is illegal. In other “Danube” countries it is also illegal, but nobody gives you a fine unless you are very loud or you break the rules of zero footprint. Another big bonus is the fact that you don’t need to move kayaks trough the land because of dams. I will go over 10 dams! Normally you have to follow operating hours. If you hit the right moments, it does not necessarily mean that you can go in. You also need to wait for bigger ships, because the dam control will not open a dam gate for your kayak.
Head of the Slovak branch of TID gave me a hint that it isn’t possible to go to the water by car. In Passau city there is a meeting point of three rivers- Inn, Danube and Ilz. The two bigger, Danube and Inn, are crossed with a water powerplant. This is my tip where it is likely to embark with kayak. Google Maps are also optimistic. The asphalt road leads to the water in both cases. My assumption is based on the idea that every dam can be crossed on foot and there is also a secure place to jump in to the water somewhere under the dam. I have chosen the river Inn because it flows trough the nicer – historical part of the city including a university campus. Until I come to the Vienna city I will follow the TID schedule. In Vienna I will have a day off without paddling. Since my final destination will be just a few kilometers away I will separate from the others, because I want be with my girls one day earlier :).