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      April 2011 > Bikes, beer - and bandages - in Bavaria
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Bikes, beer - and bandages - in Bavaria

Cycling in BavariaThe first challenge of my adventure to the magical Bavarian hills was to wake up at quarter to five in the morning in time to meet my cycling buddy, Alison, so that we could get to the airport on time. But I needn’t have worried - everything went smoothly: the plane was on time, we caught our rail connection from Munich to Füssen without problem, and the sun was shining! In fact, it all went so well, we had already sampled our first famous Bavarian beer before we checked into our first hotel.

Herr Tramp, the amiable owner of the Hotel Zum Hechten, was great - eager and willing to help, showing us the best way to start our routes and telling us all about the Bavarian castles and villages we were about to see. ‘A fount of all knowledge’ is certainly no understatement when describing him! Having discussed the routes and filled ourselves with a traditional hearty dinner of Bavarian pork, potatoes and cheese, we went to bed, our minds buzzing with excitement and anticipation as to what lay ahead.

Collecting our bikes, Fussen, BavariaEarly next morning, we collected our two-wheeled mounts (right) and we were off, maps to the ready to cycle route number 1 around the Lake Forggensee. Captivated by the lovely scenery and ‘chocolate box’ villages we passed, the thought kept popping into our heads as to how great it was to be asked to write the notes for this holiday - especially as we couldn’t have asked for better weather. What’s more, on the latter half of this route we got to see the famous castles of King Ludwig: the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau (below right), perched high in the mountains next to each other.

Sampling Bavaria's famous beerWe were well into our stride, by now, and all was going well as we arrived at our hotel in Bad Bayersoien, where we were greeted by the welcome sight of customers sipping beer and wine on the terrace overlooking the lake. It would have been rude not to join them - so we locked up our trusty steeds and ordered two of their very best thirst-quenching beers. Just the job! Over dinner later that evening, we were entertained by an 8-year-old German boy playing his guitar and singing Brian Adams’ songs to his family. It was quite entertaining - even when mum, dad and grandma joined in - but rather surreal, all the same.

Cycling past the NeuschwansteinThe next day was ‘The Big One’ - the longest day of our bike ride exploring the castles and hills of Bavaria - which we were now really looking forward to. All went well until we reached one particular junction, where a kindly couple pointed us in the right direction. As we set off, so did they - and we rode together for the next six kilometres along the road. Eventually, they turned off, though, not long after, we decided to turn round ourselves. We had been following our pre-planned route which turned out to be a major road that we felt would not be ideal for Inntravel customers. We had little option but to retrace about 10km and find a new, more suitable, route. This is what we're here for, after all.

Cycling in BavariaThe following day we cycled to Murnau without event, though our luck started to change on the circular route through the marshlands just below the town. The heavens opened as we made our way through the forested foothills, though it did not stop us from admiring the stunning and dramatic scenery that towered around us. Back at our hotel, we showered and changed and, as the sun had come out again, we decided to take a stroll around the town. Feeling suitably refreshed after 'kaffee und kuchen' (coffee and cakes) in a lovely little café near the tourist information office, I suddenly ‘fell off’ the smallest of steps you could imagine - and my ankle just gave way. This ended my fledgling cycling career, as the next morning I was unable to walk. I couldn’t carry on and so had to resign myself to sitting in a taxi with the luggage while Alison (left) cycled back to the hotel in Füssen on her own.

So here I am, in my hotel room, writing this blog with a map in front of me and mobile phone by my side getting regular updates from Alison as she completes our challenge alone. Things didn’t quite end the way I’d planned, but I can certainly say I shall definitely be back to do it all again. Bavaria is such an idyllic place to visit and the people are the friendliest you will ever meet, always happy to help and quite justifiably proud of their homeland.

The 'Romantic Road', Bavaria

Posted: 26/04/2011 14:39:53 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: cycling, gastronomy, Germany, nature


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