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I had thought for some time that there must be something funny about Germany because, except for hard-drinking types at the Munich beer festival, I had never heard of anybody going there for a holiday. This was, in my view, the first of two advantages. There are travellers who, when abroad, are delighted to see a fellow countryman. Not I. There are quite eugh Englishmen at home without my wanting to run into them abroad. So Edward Enfield sets off on this enjoyable cycling trip, carrying few preconceptions but plenty of wit. Determining the route he should take from recommendations scrawled on a napkin, he starts by following the undulating 'Romantic Road' through the woods and cornfields of Bavaria - closely pursued by fellow countrymen in the form of a television camera crew. After a solo jaunt around the rural backroads and Mazurian Lakes of Poland, stopping to enjoy the delights of Krakow, it's on to Austria, where he rides along the pleasant banks of the Danube from Passau to Vienna, taking in castles and baroque churches and sampling splendid wine en route. And, as Edward amply reveals in this charming book, there is place from which to see a country that is nearly as good as the saddle of a bicycle.
Edward Enfield has been a columnist for The Oldie magazine since 1992, has written for publications including the Daily Express, The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph, and has appeared on television in Watchdog,the BBC's Holiday programme, Points of View and The Heaven and Earth Show. He lives in West Sussex.