Guildford Travel Club Presents

Freewheeling from the UK to Vienna

7th January 2020

Paul Gillingham

Strasbourg cathedral

More than sixty years on Paul celebrates his first journey abroad (to Strasbourg and Freiburg) and his first dance (on Weymouth pier to Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz) by crossing France and following the route of the Danube to Vienna – by bike.

The 1300-mile journey allows him to explore WW1’s Western Front, the execution of a king and the creator of an American icon. After climbing the great cathedrals of Strasbourg and Freiburg (as in ’54) Paul takes a cable-car up the Black Forest and descends to the Danube’s source.

Crossing the river by foot, boat and bridge enables him to visit Einstein’s birthplace, the church where 6-year old Mozart made his debut, the German Parthenon, a concentration camp and Richard the Lionheart’s prison. In Vienna he seeks out Johann Strauss and finally gets to dance above the Blue Danube, though sadly not the waltz.

Now retired, Paul taught history in four continents before becoming a TV & radio journalist, travelling widely in pursuit of stories.

Mauthausen memorial
Mauthausen concentration camp memorial, Austria
Passau basilica
Passau basilica ceiling, Bavaria, Germany
Austiran vineyards
Wachau vineyards, Austria
Schönbrunn palace, Vienna. Austria