Cycling with Bavarians
This is my third time doing the Orient Express trip and each time I find the Bavarian people peculiar, in a very pleasant way of course. It’s the only place in Germany I’ve seen where you can witness someone walking down the street in traditional dress (imagine a costume that blends a classic waitress uniform and a wizards’ robe, minus the spell casting wand) My favorite though is the old German game of “How high can you pull up your pants”, of course with the sturdy suspenders available today the game can become dangerous at times.
Some of the oldest breweries in the world have their home in this German province and the people are more than proud of the fact. Beer is king here and it’s a perfect accompaniment to the local roast pork knuckle. You don’t see so many non-European Tourists in the area but let me tell you there should be, as there are many similarities to other cultures. In some ways it’s like the southern U.S., it would not be shocking at all to see a small wooden raft floating on the Danube with a bunch of banjo players on board.
Back to some news about the ride from Ulm to Regensburg, where we are currently enjoying a rest day in the heart of the old city… We stuck to the Danube cycle way on our first day out of Ulm to Eggelstetten, this day once again provided warm and dry riding conditions. Our meal that night in camp was Ricotta Tortellini with Arugula Pesto and skewered Pork and Beef barbecued on our new gas grill. At camp people compared the distances on their cycle computers, as with the many options available on the trail it seems no two people ever cycle the exact same route, though somehow the distances are usually close to each other.
The next 2 days to Regensburg we decided to leave the Danube for a taste of another of Germanys myriad cycling trails, the Altmuhltal trail. This took us to the very scenic town of Kipfenburg; a UNESCO world heritage site due to the ancient limestone trade which took place in the area. However few riders had the time/energy to explore the town as most of the day was spent in an unseasonably cold rain. Francoise, the fastest Quebec cyclist on Tour, even stopped in a local church to warm his hands over the burning candles inside. The rain didn’t let up till just before dinner and made us all wish we were cycling in a greenhouse.
The day into Regensburg was spent on the Altmuhltal trail until reaching the Danube again in the town of Kelheim and then turning east towards Regensburg. The day went smoothly with some scattered showers but nothing like the downpour of the previous day. Most of the cyclists had dinner in Regensburg with our 2 German guests, Mark and Nadine, who are leaving back to their home in Hamburg later today. Everyone enjoyed a classic Bavarian feast!
Our next stretch is 5 days of cycling to Vienna. There are some great towns on route like Passau, Germany and Linz, Austria. We will stick to the Danube pretty much the whole way. Till then, happy trails.