The last fortnight has absolutely flown by, and we've had a blast in Bavaria. It's gone quickly but not so fast that we didn't enjoy every minute of it. There's been new experiences, lots of sights and scenery, quite a bit of food, more beer than wine and I'm now a big fan of dunkel (dark) beer, four hotels, six bike rides covering 260km, a couple of well, let's call them "detours" (rather than getting lost) and many, many photos. And either side of our time in Bavaria we've spent some time on the allotment, so it really has been jam packed!
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this holiday though. When I saw the pictures of the Bavarian castles in the brochure back in January I knew how pretty it looked, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so breathtakingly beautiful. Nor was I expecting to fall a little bit in love with Bavaria and its "living simply, but living well" ethos, as well as their bread. Oh the bread... And the pretzels...
The amount of cycling was an unknown; beforehand 224km sounded like a long way, and it is. Even though I was pretty certain I could cover the daily distances I wasn't looking forward to the 49km day. Although in the end that turned out to be shorter somehow at just 43km, we don't know how but I was pleased even though MOH was disappointed. But on the last ride we notched up a 52km ride through choice and ended with the last few kilometres up hill, again through choice and I was more than ok with this. So with all our "detours" we cycled much further than the brochured amount.
Our hire bikes were good and for the first time in a long while I had 27 gears at my disposal (my own bike has just seven) and I made good use of 18 of those with the rare foray into the highest gears. I didn't need the precautionary gel saddle cover I'd taken with me and my new cycling-ish sports tops worked a treat too. I've come home with a shopping list of bike-related items including a waxed Ortlieb pannier for both my bike and (two) for MOH's, a new waterproof jacket and another cycling holiday in the Loire Valley!
Knowing some German was handy too although I wasn't quite prepared for the speed and volume of the spoken language, but we adapted. While our efforts weren't perfect we were understood and found ourselves doing that strange thing you do on holiday when you speak in the language of the country you're visiting and they reply in English!
Germany was a friendly country and its people pretty relaxed and easy-going and I was impressed with the amount of beer they could drink and still stay upright. The rail network was easy to use both in and around Munich and going further out on the regional services to Füssen. We quickly mastered our way around the busy Munich Hauptbahnhof (the central station) after missing our train by a matter of minutes following a lengthy delay leaving Gatwick.
The weather was mixed, there was some rain most notably on the day we visited the castles in Schwangau but the mist that came with it added to their allure. We had some sun and warm days and thankfully the large thunderstorm happened overnight rather than during any of our bike rides. The following day though the instructions to "cross two dry river beds" on our ride weren't quite so accurate!
Over the next few weeks I'll share more from our trip to Bavaria including our bike rides around the beautiful countryside, our days in Munich as well as some of the smaller towns we visited too. There'll be some photos of the architecture and of Bavaria's well known attractions including the Neuschwanstien and Hohenschwangau castles, the Weisskirche - all of which were stunning, and from our trip to BMW World and Museum, which was a totally captivating day out.
Here on the blog while I've been away it's been a little quieter than usual but in case you missed any of the posts here they are:
- Cycle routes: May - a look back at where we've got to on two wheels
- Day 1 at the allotment - clearing, digging and some planting and hoping they would survive our holiday
- The Old Post Office at Tintagel - a look around the small but full of interest National Trust property in Cornwall
- Cerne Abbas and its Giant - a look back to our January visit to the chalk figure in Dorset
- The lock at Albert Island - some photos from one of London's less developed docks
- Things in 3s: MOH's pick of Chelsea - the post that's subtitle could be the three things I had to drag MOH away from at the Chelsea Flower show!
So what else happened while I've been away?