Bavaria

So it’s come to light that many of you read these. Here I didn’t think many did. I thought if I wrote a couple paragraphs “Had a tail wind from A to B, stayed in city X, had a sunny day” most of you would skip the meat. I’d been tempted to put a couple “Jack saw the knife” in there. Now I’m going to have to write this with some clarity, some conciseness. At any rate, I’m delighted that some of you follow along. I haven’t been great at putting anything up here lately, as I’ve more or less been in a rush the last couple days.

I’d have to say that Munich is my favourite city so far. It’s more like a big village than a city. Oktoberfest skews the perception, exploring the city itself is very rewarding. I rolled around most of the city, and was especially amazed with the Olympic park. Despite the fact that it was built in 1977, it’s still very stylish. It makes me think of how sadly bland our Calgary ’88 olympic buildings are. If only it were built as timeless as expo was.

Olympic Park, Munich

I also visited the BMW world, which was obviously built to fit into the theme.
BMW World

I stayed in Munich with friends of Adrian Schumacher (visited us in Calgary). Admir and Anita had a spare flat in their building, as they had just moved. I joined them and friends for a night out, some Indian food and a night out at a local bar.

A night out in Munich

I really appreciate Adrian for bringing out to a local bar on a Saturday night, and hanging out with the locals. It was a pretty cool bar. Foozball obsessive. It felt a little like the university years again.

Although the Wiesn (Oktoberfest) is very fun, it’s more or less all the same. A dozen beer tents, with a carnival. In a way, a lot of the same you’d find at the Calgary stampede, or a lot of other big festivals.

The Wiesn

At 9 Euro / Litre of beer, it isn’t cheap either. Oddly, it works out to just a bit more than a “normal” beer in Canada. What the heck, it’s a party. Something I’m known to do. It was fun, but I do think it would have been more of a blast with Chad and San. I guess we’ll have to come back. At least I got to put a few back with Sepp. That made it all worthwhile.

Sepp and Olga

The other side effect of 7 million visitors in 17 days, there’s bound to be an illness of come kind. A mild cold this year, not bad. A bit concerning for me, as the forecast for Prague reads rain every day. So now that I’ve postponed my departure, I’ve got 400 km to cover in 3.5 days. I split the 4th day, as I had Sepps phone from our Wiesn outing, and hung around to return it to him before leaving. Consequently, it was 3pm by the time I left the city. The following day was also hard. Wild camping in a field, I woke up to pouring rain. For most of the day, it never abated. I had planned to stay with Sepps friend near the border. Being sick, in the rain, I was a slow moving train. Never made it. I wild camped again, and managed to find a really nice place in the Bavarian forest. My sister had booked a hostel in Prague, so I was intent on making it there in time. The last day to Prague was a big one. On the bike at 730, cycle hard all day, off the bike at 730 pm. Pilzn wasn’t really that impressive. A 90 year old lady waved her cane at me and uttered something in Czech I can only assume wasn’t friendly.

Seeing my sister in Prague was one of the best things I’ve enjoyed in several weeks. That was refreshing. The rumors are true, it is one of the nicest cities in Europe. However, I don’t think the sun ever shines there. This is what the weather reports would have you believe.

I picked up a bunch of new gear in Prague. I finally bit the bullet and bought a spare tire. I need to take measures to hedge my luck. My sister brought me some new rain pants, and I picked up some new booties. If I’m to ride in the rain, I’ll be a bit better prepared for it.

On the way to Vienna, I’ve managed to lose my tent poles. I had ripped the bag, and the straps holding them failed somewhere near Tabor. I managed to get a hostel, drop my gear off, and cruise back up the road looking for them. No luck. Well, a new tent it is. Likely it will be expensive, but I think the Big Agnes I have is a little to light weight for something like this. I’d like to get something a little more tough.

It’s almost been 4 months I’ve been gone now. Hard to believe how fast that’s gone. I’ve ridden 6500 or so now, and am feeling it. I think a couple good days of rest in Budapest for the legs and I’ll be ready to go again. I’m still undecided if I’ll go to Greece via Italy, or through Eastern Europe as I’d originally planned. At least I’ve got a week of rest in Budapest to figure it out.

-JB