Sunday, September 24, 2017 Kleinberghofen-Dachau
It was a beautiful, early fall day, the best we have had in about a month.
We spent a half hour walking through a flea market, one of the few we have come across in Germany. Great treasures. No room in the panniers
Because it was so nice, we took an indirect route of 35 km through farm country and small villages
to the city of Dachau which is 20kms northwest of Munich. More trees are turning to their fall colors and the farmers are busy harvesting their crops and tilling the soil in preparation for next spring. We arrived at the Dachau Concentration camp just after 1 pm. Going to the camp is just as sobering as it was four years ago. It does not get any easier with time, which is the way it should be.
The sight is huge. The barracks have been taken down, but the concrete foundations survive to represent the camp. The following picture is an attempt to show the length of the foundations. \There were two rows of these foundations. The picture only shows one.
The many memorials are very moving.
We left the camp about 4 and rode the last few kms to our hotel which is owned by an Indian family who also have the restaurant on the first floor. The food smelled really good and drew us in later that eve.
Monday Sept. 25, 2017 Dachau to Munich
Another warm sunny fall day for our 20 km ride into Munich. On the way to our Airbnb host’s apartment, we decided to divert to the Oktoberfest site to get a feel for where we will go tomorrow. Once we got close, it was no problem following the crowd wearing drindl and lederhosen. Given the nature of the event, we did not enter with our bikes laden with our possessions. We did see the traditional horse carts from the individual breweries filled with beer kegs with the horses and drivers dressed in traditional garb making their way to the sight. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Marienplatz, the huge walking street and historic area of old Munich. While on our route we visited a few churches
and window shopped. After an early dinner we rode to our Airbnb and chatted with our host Tido until midnight.
Tuesday Sept. 26, 2017 Munich
We looked on the internet for things that we hadn’t done or seen in the city and decided to tour Nymphenberg Palace. It is a huge palace complex which built in the 16th century and served as a country hunting lodge for the king and his court. It is now in the middle of Munich. It is impressive. It was one of the many of the king’s summer palaces. We got the combo ticket which included the gardens, 20 or so rooms in the main palace, the royal carriage display, and 3 other smaller palaces on the property. The grounds were wonderful with gardens, ponds (complete with a gondola), and wooded areas.
After spending the morning and early afternoon with the royals, we hopped on the tram and went to Oktoberfest.
It was grander, louder, and busier than we had imagined. It’s a huge street fair with vendors, food, and huge beer halls.
The “tents” are actually very large beer halls. The beer producers in Bavaria each have a hall where they serve their own beer and much traditional German food. The beer halls each hold at least a few thousand people with many of the tables sold to individuals and organizations and are filled by friends, clients, etc. It appeared that at least some of the tables were “rented” by the hour. A liter of your favorite beer costs about $13. Each beer hall has a bandstand in the middle with typically German entertainment, although we are not quite sure why, because you can not hear the music even though it is amplified. There are thousands of drunk or about to be drunk people. Most of the people are in traditional dress of lederhosen and drindl. The kids in local garb are really cute. It was fun just walking around, people watching, and observing the activity in the beer halls. Some of the waitresses carried 8 liter size steins of beer at a time.
We took the tram back to our abode and again stayed up past midnight talking with our host, Tido.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Munich
and rode the 3 km to Hotel Monaco, just 2 blocks from the central train station and where we had left our suitcases in May. We retrieved our suitcases (2 for the bikes and 2 for everything else) and took them to the downstairs rear of the building, cleaned the bikes, removed everything that was removable and packed them in their cases. We started at 10:45 and finished at 3:15, with a short break for sandwiches. We then checked in and packed the “everything else” in the two remaining suitcases which took the better part of 2 hours. Then to dinner and relaxing for a few hours before bed.
It’s hard to believe our 4 month adventure is over. We’ve ridden just over 4000 km and made a huge loop from the south of England to Hadrian’s wall near the Scottish border. We took a ferry to Amsterdam and rode through the Netherlands and along the North Sea coast to Cuxhaven, Germany where the Elbe River flows into the sea. We rode south along the Elbe to Dresden then on to Prague and then south to Ceske Kumlov near the Czech border. We took a shuttle over the mountains to Passau, Germany very near the Austrian border where our friends Hans and Gerti joined us for a few days. We acrossed Austria east to west, and then to Salzburg and Innsbruck before riding to Kitzbuhl and Garmisch and the lakes in the northern part of Bavaria before riding back to Munich.
We’ve met many interesting people and have seen a lot of beautiful country. What a way great way to spend our summer.
Thursday, September 28, 2017 Munich to Grand Junction
We woke up at 6 am before our alarm went off and had an early breakfast at the hotel. Rita and Christine at Hotel Monaco (This was our 6th time staying there.) always give us a send off meal. We left for the airport at 7:30 and were through security including getting our tax refunds (VAT) by 9:10. We had our morning cappuccino then went to our gate. The 11:40 a.m. flight from Munich to Chicago left the gate on time and landed in Chicago early, but our gate wasn’t ready so we sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes which made customs, etc. a little rushed. No harm no foul. We made it to our Denver flight while it was boarding. Both flights were full. Neither had enough space for all the carry on luggage so people were vying for places to stuff their many rolling bags. We minimalists had no trouble stowing two partially filled panniers. When we arrived in GJ as at 8 pm, Palea and Lexi were waiting to take us home. It feels good to be back in Colorado!