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|08/17||Salzburg, Austria to Munchen (Munich), Germany
Today began on a difficult note. The challenge was, again, due to differences in goals with the car. We wanted to get in to Munich in the early afternoon - Joan wanted to ride later. We couldn't agree on a pickup time that would work for both desires, so we went radical.
The solution was that we all drove out of Salzburg so Joan wouldn't have to ride out of the town. We parked the car and L&J rode on route from there. Since they also didn't want to ride into Munich, we agreed to take the car and park it at the Munich City Limits sign for them to pick up, then we would ride into town from there.
After resolving that, we hopped on our bike and rode bike paths and country roads in a large loop that led back to the car. Along the way we stopped in a positively charming town for a coffee and pastry. We enjoyed visiting with the townsfolk. Then we headed back to pick up the car.
We drove the Autobahn to Munich. We hit several "unlimited speed" sections. We were going 140 KPH (about 94mph) and had to stay in the right lane so we didn't hold up traffic. (We did pass an occasional truck though.)
We arrived in Munich about 12:30, parked the car for L&J to pick up, then biked into the city. We meandered through the downtown. We rode VERY SLOWLY through a very large ped mall area that was PACKED with people.
A rollerblader come up behind us and pushed the bike. (I thought Lisa had given a hard crank on the pedal, but she said no.) Then he came up again and tried to pull the bike over. I turned and shouted "KNOCK IT OFF!" He stopped.
We rode through the downtown to the railroad station where the Tourist Info office was, and where a bike tour of the city was supposed to start at 2:30. While Lisa looked for the bike tour start, I met three tour guides. One young woman was from Los Angeles and had been here only four weeks. The young man was from England, and the other young woman was from Australia.
I found out that the guy gave bicycle tours of the city. His next tour started at 4 o'clock. It covered four miles in four hours, including an hour at the Hauf Brau.
The gal from Australia gave three hour walking tours. The next one started in 10 minutes. We said we'd like to take her tour, but what could we do with our bike and our luggage?
The gal from California came to our rescue. She lived in a hotel a half block away and she was sure they would store our bike and luggage for us. She took us over there and they did.
The walking tour was very interesting. We saw a few of the older and grander buildings, but of more interest to us was her talk. She tied each building, square and neighborhood into the political history of Munich and Bavaria.
She showed us Munich's eternal flame. It burns in honor of the 55 million deaths worldwide from WW II, including 20 million Russians and 6 million Jews.
As we walked, she gave us some of the safety rules. One is Germans don't cross the street against the "Don't Walk" signals, even when there's no car in sight. When asked why, she said, "perhaps they're law abiding, or, perhaps there's some other reason." Another rule is "No bicycling in the downtown pedestrian mall." (OOOPS!) Still another rule is "Don't walk on the bike paths. You'll get yelled at and you might get run down."
Bikepaths are EVERYWHERE! Every street either has bike paths painted on the pavement, or, bike paths on either side next to the sidewalk. The protocol is to ride to the right, whether in the street or on a bike path. That means, the bike path next to the sidewalk is one-way, depending on which side of the street you're on.
We ended the tour watching the famous, 100 year old glockenspiel in the tower of the "new" (100 years old) city hall. It IS a pretty neat clock.
After the tour we walked back to the hotel that was storing our bike. I was a little worried about the well-being of our bike after Donna's and Adrian's experience. They had left their bikes locked in the lobby of a hotel right next to the reception desk overnight. In the morning, they were gone! The hotel, of course, disclaimed any responsibility. Now they are out their bikes. Bummer!!!
Well, ours were there along with all of our stuff. We loaded up, hopped on and headed for the hostel. Before we got there it started sprinkling. We found Cammy and Barb on the way. They were lost so they followed us. Then it started pouring. It was only about a 15 minute ride, but it was really pouring! We rode on the sidewalks under the trees and next to the buildings to try to keep dry. It worked! We didn't get TOO wet. And anyway, it was still pretty warm out. (It was 98F today.)
We got in in time for dinner. Our bed for the night was in a hostel that is in a building that was built to house athletes in the 1972 Olympics.
We checked in our room and found we were assigned to share a room with Hewes and Susan Agnews (from Minnesota) and with Dave and Mary Moulds (Florida), two other tandem teams on the trip.
The room had a SMALL shower in a TINY room (the faucet was the type you had to hold on to keep the water flowing) and a VERY SMALL room with a toilet and a tiny sink. It had six beds crammed into a room that was built for three Olympic athletes. Fortunately, however, Dave and Mary never showed up -- so at 9, we spread out.
Love to all,
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