Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bavaria Biking


Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany
Does it look familiar? Walt Disney modeled Disney Land/World's landmark castle after Neuschwanstein. The castle is just one of many attractions in and around Bavaria, Germany. We were fortunate enough to spend two weeks exploring Bavaria, Munich, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Liechtenstein.

We stayed at the Patton Hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen which is located in the southern part of Bavaria, Germany. We did not have a commercial tour lined up until the third day, so on the first full day we were there (surprise, surprise) we rented bikes. The bike rental place was just on the outskirts of Garmisch so we were in the countryside as soon as we hopped on.

There was a small paved road going toward the mountains so we just took off. Everywhere we looked it was breathtaking beauty. We rode until it was getting late and headed back to our hotel.

The next day we took off again.We had only a vague idea where we were going so everything was a new discovery.

On one of our jaunts we rode out to Lake Eibsee. Our boys were receiving kayak training and the initial training was on the lake. Christine, being a nature lover, took a lot of shots of some ducks in and around the lake and shore. I shall spare you and show only one of the pictures.


 After the lake, the boys were transported to the Loisach River and ran the rapids close to town. The next day the boys were to learn rappelling, so Christine and I hopped on our bikes and rode out to the rappelling site. One the way we paralleled  the Loisach River. The river did not look deep and did not have rapids at this point but the boys had assured us that the place they had gone down the river had plenty of rapids.

The river also ran through Garmisch so we were able to enjoy it from several locations.








No matter which road or trail we took, the country-side was beautiful.


Just a sample of some of the German houses. Everything was well maintained and colorful.


We were told that the rocks on the roofs are to keep sheets of ice and snow from sliding off the roof.

Below was not on one of our bicycle rides. It is the clock tower in Munich. I just liked remembering the elaborate display at noon.

Back to some of our bike touring...not far from Garmisch was the little villiage of Ober-Grainau. The pastures are not fenced so we took a path that overlooked the village.


Cows were grazing in the pastures and many of them had bells on their necks.


The setting was serene and so stereotypical with the cow bells jingling as they grazed. It was idealistic and so country German. Then we heard a roar coming up the hill and a man on a three wheeler circled around the cows and herded them presumably to the evening holding pen. I guess I would have been just as astonished if he had ridden up on a horse and was yelling yippee ki yay.


We rode up the mountain as far as we could go, but soon there was a gate to a path that lead up into the gorge. We turned around, besides, the terrain was getting too steep for us. The leisure adventure was becoming work.
Two more views of the area.

On some of the level rides into the country side, we would pass picturesque farm scenes.




Farmers would be working in their fields, and as we would pass by the next day would see their progress. A lot of the small farm work we observed was done by hand such as cutting hay with a sickle.

There were beautiful churches all over the land.


Example of some of our bike paths.


The views would not stop. The Zugspitz is the highest peak in Germany. On the top, one side is in Germany and the other in Austria.

View of the Alpspitz from our balcony.

The fitness level and exercise enthusiasm of the Germans we saw were amazing. Everywhere we went young and old would be hiking up some rugged mountain or walking on a scenic path. On our tour of the Zugspitz, we got to the top by way of a cog train. The railway was so steep that a regular track train couldn't make it up. At one point, we looked out the window, and on a road beside us was a German lady riding uphill on her bicycle. She looked as if she were out on a leisure ride. No "three pound" carbon road bike with special climbing gears. Just a bicycle.

 Lake Eibsee from the cable car on the way down


Looking down on Grainau and Garmish from the train.

We had lined up a lot of great tours to see more sights, and, as mentioned at the beginning, we were able to visit parts of Austria, Switzerland, Venice, and the small but great country of Liechtenstein. (I got my passport stamped there for the thrill of it.) All too soon, another biking adventure was over.


There are so many other beautiful pictures of our trip, but they would be about touring instead of our bike rides. Right now, I am sticking to bike rides.



21 comments:

  1. wow your pictures look like there from another world looks like you had a great trip

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  2. Wow, great wievs! The river picture looks like it could be from Finland, I like it the most (:

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  3. Your Bavarian pics thrilling,want to get up and go.Recommend English Lakes too.Mountains tamer,but,not tame.

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  4. Those views are spectacular! You've made me want to take a trip to Germany. Thanks for posting some spot-on pics.

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  5. That's amazing my parents used to live in Germany and I've always wanted to visit that part of the world. I think I'm going to subscribe to this blog even though I'm not much of a cycler. I recently started a blog myself, you can find it at www.adiplomaforwhat.blogspot.com Thanks

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  6. wow. the views are breathtaking. it would be a dream to live in a place like this.
    i envy your long adventures.
    =D

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  7. @satu. You have an interesting blog. Let me know when you post pictures of Finland rivers.

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  8. @kenny8blog. We have a cat that acts just like Jasper. I like the outdoors, let me know when you post some pictures of English lakes. Have only been to England once and didn't get to travel around much.

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  9. Wow, very beautiful. I am from the States but was in Holland last year. Holland is beautiful but does not have gorgeous mountainsides like I see here, amazing.

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  10. the pictures are nice. it must be a nice place for vacation.. :)

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  11. Amazing tour!
    I love those parts of Europe.

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  12. These pictures are amazing. I may have to go see these places now... :)

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  13. The photo of the gorge is wonderful! Looks like you had a great time. Lots to see.

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  14. hello blog of note congratulations on your acheivement

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  15. Just say no to crack.

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  16. those photos are gorgeous! magnificent view, its really breathtaking!

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  17. These are beautiful. Great work!

    www.photography-kirsten.blogspot.com

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  18. I love your blog. It is amazing so naturally I decided to follow!

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  19. Beautiful pictures. I am so jealous of your biking trips. Inspires me to do more with my biking.

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