Saturday, May 24: Fussen - Murnau am Staffelsee: Mr GPS, please don't lead me astray... - Achtung Baby: Bavaria with a GPS & Some Great Canadian Gear (Tour 13) - 2014 🇩🇪 🇦🇹 🇨🇭 - CycleBlaze

May 24, 2014

Saturday, May 24: Fussen - Murnau am Staffelsee: Mr GPS, please don't lead me astray...

... I am putting today's ride in your hands.

With an absolutely perfect morning with that soft golden hue to the sunshine, I had my breakfast with the two Japanese fellows that shared the room. Though not really hungry, I was in no need of another 'proud' moment. Then I was away just before 7:30.

With the wonders of the i-net I can get photos and messages from home. Encouraging me along is my wee Alex, "I love you, too, Dad, to the moon and back." xo
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My plan for today was to key in my hotel in Murnau am St. on the gps and whichever way I turned, it would guide me to the hotel. Hopefully. That was the plan. Backing up and out on the gps map it seemed to lead the right way, too. Looking promising, so far.

Through Fussen I went, then along the Amazing Race pit stop field though I could not determine the exact location. All along, the two castles looked down from the mountains at me. A few bits of the route I decided to try the highway to keep the day's distance shorter and hopefully flatter. Boring. Plus considerable traffic.

When I saw one bike/hike path leading along a gravel pathway, I followed it. Just like that. Well, talk about an amazing journey. It seemed to be a farming/hunting/logging road. The nice thing is, they seem to log selectively so there are not vast patches of denuded forests. Something we could learn at home, maybe? It was a narrow, packed gravel alpine pathway. Nobody around but me and what sounded like cuckoo birds calling from the forest. Up, up and up it went. I admit, a few spots I had to walk, but it was generally pretty good. The higher I climbed the more the canopy of trees covered the needle-strewn pathway. On the way down I had to ford a couple of streams, but they were tiny. The road eventually deteriorated to a loose stone-strewn and soft gravel trail, but was still ride-able.

The path eventually met a paved road where I veered left while the signpost indicated Oberammergau to the right, about 12 km away. Very cool. There was more climbing but soon came a descent of about 10 km where I had no pedaling to do. Suddenly in Murnau, I came to this nice and new hotel to do a full clean-up of my gear, before heading next door for a traditional Bavarian meal. Or at least that is the plan!

....

Was that something. As soon as I walked in I realized the place is a Bavarian beer hall and brewery. I had no idea what to get so asked, and I ended up with a slice of pork shoulder, gnocchi and stewed red cabbage along with 500 ml of house brewed helles. To die for delicious. To make it even better, when I was about to go, I paused to look over the brewing equipment that was right behind me. And so was the brewmaster. He ended up showing me the brew kettles, the fermenting tanks, and then proudly offered me one of his special brews... a rauchbier which is the first one I have tried. Then he offered me a beer liqueur which was topped with whipped cream. I will have to try to make that when I get home. He seemed quite pleased with my ooohing and aaahing.

Back at the room for a little siesta, I decided to watch the conclusion of The Amazing Race 24. With ten minutes to go, my door opened and there was a couple of cyclists. Apparently the woman had given me the wrong room. We all had a laugh then I settled in to the new room to watch a father and son team win TAR 24. My only problem is that they featured an illusionist who I tend to find hokey. But the rest was good.

My debate now is what to do next. Friends are arriving in Munich over the next few days to cycle to Salzburg. My concern is that I have a carved-in-stone return flight on June 5 from Munich to Toronto to Timmins, and the schedule is a little tight. If I continue on to Salzburg now or train there and cycle back, then I have cushion time to get the bike boxed AND see Munich with any spare time. Otherwise, if I miss the flight... very expensive. I think I know which way I am leaning.

Setting off in the soft morning light I believe I came to the Amazing Race farmer's field where the pit stop mat was placed. Why the fascination with TAR? I love to travel and if I am not currently traveling, then I dream about it. Amazing Race allows me to dream about visiting so many new spots around the globe and also shows me ones I have been to on previous trips.
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So civilized. All over Bavaria the roads are paralleled by cycling paths. Yes, they sometimes seem like freeways themselves since there are so many bikes on them, necessitating a mirror and a bell/whistle, but still, you have the freedom to travel without worrying about someone texting at the wheel.
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One of the final glimpses of King Ludwig II's castle on the hill, the inspiration for Disney's castle.
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One of the ever-present churches, with the Alps as a backdrop.
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From flat farmland along a busy roadway...
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... to the start of climbing hills. Even the cattle have chairlifts. When the grazing gets better in the peaks, the cattle ride the lifts to the greener pastures.
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... then up to really steep, gravelly mountain bush roads with zero traffic. At least with the gps I could check to see where I would come out, and yes, it was where I wanted to go. I did not see a soul on this climb but the views of the Alps and meadows were breathtaking.
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Even on the descent, there were some interesting items. Here was a 'corduroy' bridge to cross a gushing mountain stream. I didn't chance a fall so got off and walked across.
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And did the same here. This is a stream that actually crosses the bush road. I would imagine that in the spring the water must be quite a lot higher making the fording of the river much trickier. Here I was able to step from stone to stone and not get my feet wet. Dragging the bike along was a bit tricky, though.
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Finally out of the bush paths and mountains, I was in my guesthouse in Murnau. A delightful place right near the town's old centre and about 30 m from the local brauhof and biergarten.
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Pookie had his raincoat just in case the drops fell. Which they did not, I must add.
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A delicious lunch of pork in sauce, gnocchi, and red cabbage. The pork was extremely tasty. The dunkel that went with it was tasty. The place had a great atmosphere, and the staff were really helpful and friendly.
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Being a homebrewer myself, I had to take a few pics of their copper brew kettles. This was right in the beer hall/eating area and right behind where I was sitting.
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'Reinheitsgebot' - the German purity law which stated that beer can only be made with four ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast. This meant that the brewers had to think up pretty clever ways to modify ingredients to vary the flavours. One example is to smoke some of the grains to make rauchbier, or smoked beer. The brewmaster had me sample some of his rauchbier - the first I have tried. I was quite impressed.
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Here is the brewmaster surrounded by some of his equipment and a pile of growlers. He was so pleased to hear that I was a homebrewer that he proudly showed me around the brewing equipment and had me sample his rauchbier and his beer liqueur. Both delicious. He told me that he really likes American pale ales so is going to make a super-hopped cascade beer in the next few weeks.
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A view of the brauhof and biergarten as I returned to my guesthouse 30 m up the street.
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Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 313 km (194 miles)

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