Day 13: Donauworth to Ingolstadt - Grampies Track the Tortes (2019) - CycleBlaze

March 31, 2019

Day 13: Donauworth to Ingolstadt

We got the impression that we were all alone in the large and quite new Hotel Promenade. I went down to the bikes for a moment around 9 p.m. and had to make my way in the dark through the totally silent rooms. I did search for light switches, but no.  These were not motion sensors either, but controlled from some mystery central box.  In the morning, the place was equally silent, but there was hope, since we could smell breakfast.

The breakfast was a full on ten jammer, and laid on seemingly just for us. Aside from all the normal ten jammer requirements, it was strong on savory vegetable items - like artichokes hearts, olives, and sun dried tomato. We puzzled over how all this could be put out just for us, but in the end realized that once the hotel was going to follow through with breakfast it really could only do what it always does.

Not only did the hotel put out a large quantity of all the normal items, but it also had the slightly rarer antipasto type things.
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Soon we were back on the streets of Donauworth. As the photo shows, there are streets with rows of beautifully constructed and decorated houses. On the other hand, we did not spot a square, which could have a lively cafe scene. On the other, other hand it was unlikely to find any sort of lively scene early on a Sunday morning.

Decorated houses did not show up well in the morning light.
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Although Easter is three weeks away, the town is clearly preparing. We found the fountains each decorated, in one case with eggs but in another with stuffed bee puppets. This is a unique practice we have not seen before, though easter trees, hung with fabric eggs, are quite common.

Easter decorated fountains
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If you zoom out, you will see that Donauworth is directly north of Verona. From here we can go to Italy!
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One big thing about Donauworth for us is not about the town itself but about where you can go from here.  Donauworth is the northern terminus of the "Via Claudia Augusta", that runs from here to Venice.  This route reflects the desire of the Roman emperor to have a route over the Alps and to the Donau. A related route, the "Romantische Strasse" also heads south, with some minor deviations from the Claudia, I recall, but also continues north, to Wurzburg, on the Main.

Even though we are out here, maximizing the excitement by riding the famous Donau Radweg, we are such radweg junkies that just crossing another one is a thrill. So we avidly read the trailside material, and babbled about how and when we would take this other great route. (Of course, we have already done that once,  but who's counting!).

We ran into the trailside material for the Claudia Augusta
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The Claudia starts here and filters down to the Adriatic. In so doing, it crosses two passes, the Fern Pass and the Reschen Pass.
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With a bit of effort, you should be able to read the story of the Claudia
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The Romantische Strasse shares some of the routing with the Claudia. Here you see its signage - bi-lingual!
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Our route east continued with pleasant paths by the river, through tilled fields, and in forests. One puzzling "crop" that we saw in two spots was trees, poplars?, planted very close together and growing straight up. Does anyone know what is going on with these?

What's the idea with these?
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Scott AndersonPlease elaborate. Are you surprised that they’re growing straight up (which, after all, is what poplars do) or that they’re planted close together?
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2 months ago
Ben ParkeI saw an episode of, I think, Die Sendung mit der Maus about this. They have tree farms where they grow this trees and trim and transplant them multiple times before they get planted in their final location. Thus, my suspicion is these are baby trees in the early fledgling stage.
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2 months ago
Marvin PaxmanI wonder if they are Lombardi poplars? We have seen Lombardis used as protective windbreaks for crops in Washington.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonWondering about the spacing mainly. Ben Parke seems to have a good rationale for the planting.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Ben ParkeThanks Ben. This makes sense given the spacing and location near a farm field.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Marvin PaxmanHey Marv. Your notion ties in with Ben Park's idea of these being baby trees in a nursery for later transplantation.
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2 months ago
Forest path is always pleasant
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Here is a special shot for Scott Anderson. It's not one but three wood "tortes", this time with icing.
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Scott AndersonNow, we’re talking. A true three jammer.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesOh good, you are paying attention.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesOf course. I thought about describing it as a tree jammer but wasn’t sure you’d get the joke. No one ever understands my sense of humor.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonSteve didn't get it, but Dodie apparently shares your warped sense of humour.
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After passing through quite a bit of forest, and also climbing to a respectable height above the river, we reached a point where we could see the massive schloss of Neuburg in the distance. When we drew into town, we could see that the buildings were larger and more splendid than expected. We passed through a narrow tunnel/gate and entered the precinct of the schloss. Now mid-day on a Sunday, we had all sorts of people around, enjoying the environs and sitting at cafes.

The schloss in Neuburg
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In Neuburg
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We bumped into a couple who had noticed our DaBrim visors, and asked if we were American.  That is always a good ice breaker, as we will always hotly deny it. It was then that Norbert, for these were Maria and Norbert, noticed that we had Bosch systems for our e-bikes. He explained that they had cycled (from Ingolstadt, I think) without paying enough attention to Maria's battery charge and the number of hills to be negotiated over the trip. Could we give them a boost?

As it happens we are carrying the Bosch rapid charger, just for this type of situation. We all repaired to a cafe, and Dodie plugged in poor Maria's battery. It was so pooped that at first it could not even manage to turn on a light to show just how pooped it was. But after a bit it began to recover its senses, and happily sucked power for 45 minutes, while we chatted over hot chocolates and beer.

We learned that Maria was from Scotland, but has been in Germany for seven years, marrying Norbert along the way. Maria definitely had a Scottish (though faded) accent when speaking to us in English. But she learned her German in Frankfurt, where, she says, there is a unique Frankfurt accent or dialect.  So people in Heidelberg, where they now live, might think her German accent a little weird, but they are unlikely to pick out Scottish from the Frankfurterisch.

I had seen some ads on the internet here, put out by Scotland and directed to the Europeans, telling them that Scotland still loves them and the EU.  Mentioning this spawned quite a bit of discussion about Brexit (perhaps almost 45 minutes worth). The conclusion was that Maria and Norbert think Britain is making a big mistake. Norbert mentioned especially the large number of banks moving offices from London to Frankfurt. This has caused a housing construction boom in Frankfurt, he mentioned. In 45  minutes or less, our charger had added two or more bars (40-50%) to Maria's charge, assuring that she would now make it back. We too had our date with Ingolstadt, so with handshakes all around, off we went.

Maria and Norbert, we got a charge out of meeting them, and they got a "charge" too.
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In making our way out of town, we ran down a street with a name that is special for us, having clearly been named for grand daughter Amelia (despite the historical sign below).

Look, Amelia
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Here is the actual street:

Amelia's street in Neuburg. Dodie is talking to the lady about the DaBrim, and no doubt, Amelia too.
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We ran into some unexpected animal life on the way to Ingolstadt. First was a very large "free range" pheasant operation. They had an acre or more under netting, with lots of widely spaced pheasants running around inside. It's the first farm like that that we have seen.

We had been discussing earlier in the day how people have seemingly cleared all wild mammals out of Western Europe. But we were not quite right. Here we encountered the "last six" wild deer, standing in a field.  At home when we see this we respond with "Shoo!", but here, it's a photo op!

If you only counted five - good spotting. One has already disappeared!
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We rolled into Ingolstadt, past streets with the by now requisite beautiful buildings and cafes, until pulling up in front of our hotel, the Rappensberger.  At 90 euros with breakfast, this was on the costlier side, but it is right downtown and did have a garage with a lift directly to the room beside where the bikes went. That's a great arrangement.

The room has a good desk and fast internet, but to me the big feature is the fluffiest quilts yet seen. Dodie hates this amount of fluff, and no doubt we will have to sleep with the windows open, but I think it is the ultimate in luxury.

Again I have the eerie feeling that we are alone in this huge building. (By huge, I mean that we cycled half a block from reception to the garage, and the garage lift then opened very near our room. So our room could be a half block from reception?) Tomorrow could be another 10 jammer all for us.  'Till then, it only remains to crawl somehow under that quilt!

Typical street in Ingolstadt
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Across the street from our hotel
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Our hotel
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How is this for quilt fluffiness!
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Laurie MarczakThose pillows also feature quite an impressive amount of loft! fluffiness all round...
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Laurie MarczakJust woke up from a terrific sleep - but windows had to be wide open. The down pillows look good, but they always eventually go flat!
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2 months ago

Bonus: Fun Facts about Ingolstadt

In the 18th century, there was a medical college in Ingolstadt, in a building that is today  the Deutsches Medizinhistorisches Museum ,  a sophisticated scientific medical history collection.  With this background, the English writer Mary Shelley invented Frankenstein - in her 1818 novel "Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus". In this novel,  Mary Shelley has the young Victor Frankenstein from Geneva study medicine in Ingolstadt. He begins his studies and falls for the delusion of wanting to create artificial life.  He finally succeeds and brings his "creature" to life. I think there are scary Frankenstein tours you can take in Ingolstadt today, visiting spots mentioned in the novel.

Also, 503 years ago, the Bavarian Purity Law was issued in Ingolstadt. This is one of the first examples of a food regulation. It provides that beer can have only four ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. There are also beer tours of Ingolstadt - unfortunately, lost on us.

 

Today's ride: 69 km (43 miles)
Total: 563 km (350 miles)

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Michel FleuranceMay be you will have a good price to exchange your e-bike from an Audi freshly built in Ingolstadt ?
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2 months ago