11 May Munich to Augsberg
Our first day of riding. Well we didn’t expect to be in a heat wave. It was well in the mid thirties and felt hotter on a tar road. The locals assured us it was unseasonal and would be cooler tomorrow. The distance was meant to be 66km, which is manageable. We ended up doing at least 100km (odometer is faulty and cuts out half the time).
The reasons for this – 1) leaving the city in the wrong direction. Kris navigates a lot from the sun and hasn’t adjusted to the Northern hemisphere yet (although this gave us some more views of Munchin). 2) the marvelous cycling paths are actually a little longer than the motorway. 3) In a number of places we took unplanned detours by following signposted cycling paths . For instance we visited Luttenwang, way off track.
- Cycling through the rural towns – each with a church and a maypole.
- Talking with an older German lady on a bike who had a little dog (black maltese) on the back in a homemade basket. She had taken the dog swimming as he was feeling the heat.
- Seeing a little old German housewife sweeping the public pavement in front of her house. And a little while later another vigorously cleaning out the gutters in front of hers. This explains something about my mother in law.
- Pouring water over ourselves in Luttenwang when the lady there allowed us to use her tap. Feeling body temp drop a few degrees.
- Christ statue on a wooden cross between two trees on side of road
- getting directions from the Germans. Kris is doing very well and understands what they say mostly while I catch the odd word. They are very helpful and will repeat the directions several times to make sure you understand. One or two wanted to chat.
- Going to a bike shop to buy electrolyte replacement powder and bike bell and having the salesman tell me I don’t need to wear my high viz gear in Germany.
- Buying my new camera in Munich. (photos to come)
- All new houses being built in Bavarian style with high pitched roofs.
- Many homes with solar panels, usually more than one.
- Kris breaking a spoke and replacing it in the heat.
- My gears slipping again and Kris having to adjust. So we got pretty dirty again. Not able to go into first gear without chain slipping. Despite expensive bike shop service!!!
- Worrying that Kris had heatstroke on last few km into Augsberg. It was still stifling hot even though after 6pm
12 May Augsberg to Landsberg
Did around 70 km today. 20km were riding around Augsberg seeing the sights and then trying to find the right route out. Thankfully a lot cooler.
- Old city in Augsberg with narrow cobbled streets with canals running along one side of the street.
- Augsberg city hall
- Cycling along the river going out of Augsberg
- Hearing the churchbells ringing on the hour in the towns as we pass through.
- Arriving at our accommodation in Landsberg. Our best yet. It is in the middle of the city right behind a the cathedral, on a cobbled street. And we have our first on-suite bathroom.
- riding in the rain – my first experience of this. However not as bad as I thought it would be as it is not that cold and there is no wind. However the bikes were filthy when we arrived with mud etc. Luckily I had our clothes in plastic bags so they stayed dry.
- coming off my bike – on a railway line – luckily this was beside the river and away from traffic. Also I fell well. Only damage is skin off my elbow, grazed knee, cut on my lip and chin. So I am OK.
13 May – Landsberg to Shongrau to Peiting
An easier day today and a lot cooler. Overcast. Altogether did 69km. 10 km sightseeing around Landsberg and around 12 km going back to Shongrau for sightseeing.
- Landsberg cathedral inside. Amazing alter.
- Leck river beside the town with fairy tale like towers beside it. Riding alongside the river.
- Some houses in Landsberg built over little canals diverted from the river.
- Tarred cycle path all the way through lots of rural land – jersey cows.
- Riding around city wall in Shongrau.
- Accommodation with a bath – great for tired muscles.
- Dinner at Gasthause. They brew the beer themselves. Had asparagus – the same huge ones we have seen sold on side of road. Five men walking in to eat dressed in lederhosen, braces, hats etc – the full Monty.
Our first day of not pre-booking accommodation. When we arrived in Shongrau it was pretty dead being a Sunday and everything closed. A passerby recommended a place when he saw us standing outside the closed tourist info office.
So we we found it and they recommended we come through to Peiting only 2km away and gave us some names. The place we found is great with big room and bathroom. Not many other people staying here but crowds of locals eating Sunday lunch in downstairs restaurant.
14 May – Peiting to Fussen Weisensee
Did around 80km. Took a slightly longer route as more scenic. Our earliest start yet at 7.30am. Chillly strart – cold hands. A clear day with the air still cool (probably as we are near the mountains) Found accommodation around 3pm.
- Hearing the church bells ringing throughout the night and early morning – every hour (still not sleeping through)
- Seeing the Alps come closer and closer as we rode.
- Cows with bells and the smell of fresh cut grass.
- Long straight bike paths through meadows interspersed with little towns
- Seeing small children in one town being fetched by mothers on bikes
- Getting directions from a little old man who would have been a gnome if he were shorter – white beard, curly mustache, traditional hat and jacket.
- Riding over the Echelsbacher Brucke- built in 1928 over a huge gorge.
- Riding through forest next to lake on way to Fussen
- Approaching Fussen over a bike path on an open field well away from the road. Lots of other people out on bikes too.
- riding around Fussen old city – the city wall was built in 17th century and an amazing baroque church.
- Riding along the lake at the Weisensee
- Drinking beer in the sun in front of a cafe on the lake after finding our accommodation. The locals sit there for hours nursing a beer.
- Buying nice bread, cheese, sausages, tomato and eating them as a picnic supper on the lake shore, with Alps in the background.
– Again accommodation not pre-booked. No problem getting a place. We got list from the tourist info place at Fussen and chose to come a bit out of the city. We are in an old house that looks a bit run down on the outside with unique decor – rather ghoulish dolls and religious statues in the hall. Shared bathroom and toilet. We are paying basically the same as the youth hostel but have big room with washbasin. Everything is spotlessly clean. The owner is friendly – this house was her family home. Her career was as a ski instructor.
- Third day without access to the internet – Kris getting withdrawal symptoms.
- Going around with a huge scab on my top lip from bike fall – luckily nothing seems to be infected.
15 May – Fussen Weisensee to Sommerberg
About 80km. Early start at around 7.45am, found accommodation around 3pm. More hilly than previous rides. Beautiful weather in morning – sunny with cool air, beginning to rain just before found accommodation.
- Riding through Heidi type scenery with mountains, meadows, alpine type villas, cows with cowbells
- Riding past some of the ski fields and looking down on the landscape
- Seeing a deer run across a meadow
- Struggling to find the way on the cycle path at a highway intersection before Immenstadt. A passing cyclist stopped to help. He said it is too difficult to explain – just follow me.- he then took us right through the city through convoluted bike paths (including through a quarry!) and showed us the right path on the other side. We would have struggled for ages to find this way otherwise.
- Riding alongside the Alpsee (huge lake with mountains in the background and sail surfers on the lake)
- Our accommodation – Gasthaus Rudolph – chosen because it was starting to rain and i was feeling too tired to ride further. Very reasonable rate and we have basically a whole flat (as it is not being used). It consists of a hall, living room, large bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. It is in an old family home just about in the middle of town. The decor and furnishings are beautiful. Modern bathroom, wooden floors, etc. The lady says they have been upgrading the place for generations. She is very house proud. Some parts of it (a door) are 500 years old. At some point it was destroyed by fire and rebuilt using as many of the original structural elements as possible. Kris has enjoyed watching English CNN on the television.
- still no internet, evidently as we are in the mountains. Hope for some tomorrow.