Published: July 2nd 2006June 2nd 2006
View of Fussen
Not allowed to take photos inside of the castles you can snap out of the windows
June 3 to June 9
Riding into Bavaria, with lots and lots of rain gave me a quick dose of BMWs in featured commercials, f**** fast, not crazy just fast. Except for a guy in a Fiat that gave me a thumbs up as he passed, followed by a look of his two huge eyeballs that rotated a full 360 degrees at me, that's plain scary.
After five minutes riding the entire length of Liechtenstein, shamelessly to add a country to the list, even though all it took was crossing a river, I hit a long stretch in Austria to the tip of Lake Constance. On the lake shore I watched an Asian kid with the legs like like lightning, legs that Keven Bacon would be proud of. A row of a hundred paper cups spread 18 inches apart and kid crazy legs rotates through every one, then he did it one legged, then backwards, then one legged backwards - you get the idea. If he was on ice skates instead you would see him on TV or at least in a Disney show.
Fussen and King Ludwig's castles in south Bavaria was my goal
Leaving Switzerland I crossed the Zurichsee lake, this walking bridge presented a long horizon from my bridge that really took me
for a long and wet day riding. I was ready for a good dose of kitsch and lederhosen and cheese, not the kind you eat. I got it, the castles, (one that inspired Disney's sleeping beauty) and his childhood castle still stand perfectly though the inside of the spectacular Neuenstein has more gift shop space than original interior. They stopped work when King Ludwig was sent to the bottom of a lake with his doctor. Only way to see the castles is via guided tours, run like clock work and a completely automated robot for a tour guide, he had the rare gift of stressing words and phrases at the completely wrong time.
Walking behind an older couple with only 3 knees between them in the spiral stair case of the tower, I had to listen to friendly, naive banter between BIG, PROUD Americans and Kiwis. Clad in a high school lettermen jacket with the "Simpsons" sewn on the back, yes, Bart on one shoulder, Homer on the other, the conversation, seared into my memory forever........
"New Zealand huh? Is that an independent country? Don't Australia own you guys?" Kiwi: "Ha Ha I suppose they would like to
but we are our own country" USA: "Wow, that's kind of like us, where we come from we get to fly our state flag same height as the stars and stripes cause we were independent too." "Yep we fought the Mexicans, the Spaniards, the US, the Germans and the French to keep our country." Kiwi: "Wow, the Germans???" USA: Yep we beat em all, except for the US, when did NZ fight the Australians for independence?"..... With that I bowled over the old couple lumbering up the stairs and ran for it.
I was impressed with every aspect of the area anyway including Fussen, the village closest to the castles, the main church is vivid Baroque, scores of fleshy angels flying around the ceiling.
With the ride into Munich the day before the world cup without reservations wasn't smart but, that's what I'm good at. I rode a good portion of the famed 'Romantic Road' a series of small villages spanning several hundred kilometers just begging for a fast car, picnic basket and a lovely lady at your side. Me and the bike thought so anyway.
There are more photos below