Day 16: Lots more up...and then some more up... Oy
Friday July 12 - Day 16 - 45miles - Total 652miles
Well here we are in Fussen at the end of the day...we are in a Biergarten drinking Bavarian beer and waiting for our wurst to come out of the kitchen.....
We started today with a delicious breakfast at Pension Wagner. We tried buttermilk yogurt with sour cherry jam, many delicious cheeses, hand churned butter, and much more sturdy bread... and coffee.. must have coffee...
We headed out after chatting with the nice lady who runs the Pension, she and her husband have a tandem bike, which we later found out has a Rolhoff gearing system like ours! Cool. With a "Bon Voyage" - in German we set off into the morning sun (with lots of sunblock) off towards Neuschwanstein Castle and a town called Fussen (with two little dots over the U).
And again with the ups and downs and 12% grade hills. Just down the way we saw a bike shop. Hurray! Bruce's handlebar bag has been sagging for some time and we needed to get a new part to get it fixed. Let's say that this bike shop wasn't really ready for us... they really had no idea what Ortlieb panniers were or how they worked and without confidence we weren't letting any one touch our bikes! So we left there unfulfilled. We followed and followed and followed the route. Stopping only to restock in a town along the way called Immenstadt. The route tried to make us bypass the heart of the town, skirting along the edge of course up another hill. But we were so happy we made it into the Zentrum (town center) because it had a beautiful little downtown with artisan shops, green grocers, and everything. Why didn't the route pass though the center of town? Why did it try to make us bypass it on yet another hill? Immenstadt sits just on the side of another small Alpine Lake. We wanted to dip our feet in to cool off, but the only place that wasn't inhabited by people was the roost for a goose. So Bruce shooed away the goose, much to its dismay... it squawked and watched us the rest of the time we were in its spot (no nest... we checked). After cooling off in the ice freezing lake, we headed off yet again for more hills. By the afternoon, it got hot and hard and we were swearing something fierce at the sadists who constructed this god-forsaken bike route!... okay... so after we go that out of our system... we had a snack of yogurt at the top of a long climb in the shade of a Lutheran church in Rettenberg. After some more ups and downs we looked at a map and found out that the walking routes (which are also well posted at intersections) follow the contour lines more than the bike route did. Trying to avoid yet another hill we decided to follow the walking routes to Vordersburg (the next town on our route). We bumped and rolled down tractor tracks, having a great time without traffic and other cyclists. We then noticed that these paths continued to Petersthal (the next next town on our list) so we bumped along even further. Noticing that we could avoid a hill by cutting across a fallow field, Bruce gave Andrea that follow me look and we cut across the open fields. Note: Grassy fields are not as flat and pristine as you think they are... with 3 foot high grass and mud that tries to eat you and your bike at the same time. But we made it across (with a little more respect for cows) to the next road sign... which pointed up yet another hill... this is hard...
So in the end, we avoided many hills but we didn't avoid them all... In Petersthal (after swearing some more) we had sandwiches of sturdy bread, cheese, pesto, and red peppers at another church for lunch.
By the time we reached... wait for it... the town of .... OY! We needed ice cream. So we had some serious ice cream in Oy. Bruce had a Nutcracker and Andrea had a Schwarzwaldkucher. The Nutcracker is obvious but the other one was filled with cherries... but not the Maraschino kind... they were sour and alcoholic... not what I was expect but it was better with every bite.. slurp... gargle... hiccup...
There was a cold fountain in Oy (which was nice) and a way off the bike route. We could follow the road out of town and over a bridge (...to grandmother's house we go...)but the bridge was a big one and it was under construction, so we had to lose a lot of elevation to go down the old road to a little bridge and huff it back up the other side, which would have been fine, except that all the traffic that would have been going over the new bridge was diverted onto our route. Not terrible but not great. We followed the main road into Nesselwang, with a bike path down the side and no steep inclines (nice!). The bike route was meant to veer off into the nearest group of hills but we stuck to the main road (with a separated bike path!) where there were far fewer inclines. We saw a group of people walking in front of us, one of whom was a guy in a kilt! There was obviously a renfair going on, since we saw a troop of little walking cardboard castles cross the parking lot to out right (Macbeth anyone?)
We passed a town called Wank (we didn't go there but it needed a mention... see photo)
We tried following the bike lane under the main road but after a small tunnel the lane stopped abruptly into the woods. Small backtrack and on the road for a bit but we followed the main road (the 310)into Fussen with a bike path on the side most of the way into town. As we came closer to Fussen, some of the Austrian Alps came into view. Now anyone who knows Andrea, knows that she is nuts about rocks and these are HUGE awesome looking rocks! Oh yeah, there was a lot of wowing and yelping all the way in. At the very end of the main road into Fussen, there was a very steep downhill that just kept getting steeper and then ended in gravel... which would have been fine if Andrea could have kept herself upright... which was the plan by the way...
Just a small road burn on leg... no broken skin... 1 tear... a couple of sniffles and all is well. We followed the gravel path around the lake shore into Fussen.
A couple of miles in, we saw a McDonalds... which is usually free internet haven for weary travelers. The path didn't go there so we had to cut cross country (for about 100 yards) to get there (through more mud) and then... no free wifi WTF!
By following small road signage, we found a small Pension B&B, which we are staying in now.
For dinner we walked down to the historic old town of Fussen to find a biergarten, which was found and thoroughly enjoyed (thank you Eric and Jocelyn). The entertainment for the evening was brought to us by a group of drunken footballers, who serenaded the city center with their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, a-cappella.
Back to the pension and into bed. Another day, done.
The World is Ours!