Flaurling, Austria: Aug. 8-14

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August 8th 2015
Published: July 6th 2017
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Geo: 47.2838, 11.1333

Breakfast in Switzerland coffee in Liechtenstein, and dinner in Austria. The day started out sunny and warm, then after passing through numerous tunnels, we hit serious rain and thunderstorms as we neared our destination of Flaurling, about 20km west of Innsbruck. Flaurling dates back to 763 and just celebrated its 1,250th anniversary in 2013! Saturday night we enjoyed a live “Johnny B Good” rock and roll concert in the courtyard of an ancient church on the hillside a few blocks from our new home. We've enjoyed getting to know our town hosts, some locals at the concert, and the mayor of Flaurling who gave Guenther a bottle of “1492” beer from Salzburg.

Sunday we toured the local area, found a McDonalds in Telfs with Wi-Fi (none available at our lodging) and took the opportunity to kick back and relax. Deb and Gun came upon a Catholic Church in Flaurling with an open door – inside they discovered a beautifully painted ceiling with gilded statues. This area of Austrian Tirol and Southern German Bavaria are known for their beautiful frescoes on exterior and interior walls (see the photos).

On Monday we drove to Garmisch, changing routes to deal with a massive earth mover going up the mountain at 5 mph. In the process of turning around, Dave dumped the beemer, breaking a foot peg, which made the rest of the ride an interesting challenge. Garmisch, the site of the 1936 winter Olympics, sits at the base of Germany's tallest peak, the Zugspeitz. From there we traveled north on a wonderful road up to the Kochelsee and over to the Walchensee, a beautiful azure Alpine lake, where we stopped for lunch. We wound our way back down through the mountains to Telfs, where we visited McDonalds again to catch up on posting our blog.

On Tuesday we visited the BMW dealer in Innsbruck to order a new foot peg, then took a leisurely ride on a quiet country back road through the Alps south of Flaurling, along the way sharing the road with cows and horses, and then stopped at the 2020m summit in Kuhtai for a wonderful Tirolian lunch on the terrace of the scenic DorfStadl restaurant before descending through a beautiful Alpine valley to Otz on the way back to the barn. We hit a little road construction on the way but got to chat with several young riders from Hungary on crotch-rockets. Another great day in the Alps!

Wednesday was our Bavarian castle tour day. In the process, we reached a milestone for our adventure: 3,500 miles traveled so far. After a quick bike repair of the broken peg, we headed north into Germany again, over the Fern Pass to Fussen, for a visit to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. King Ludwig II began its construction in 1868. Sitting high on a hill above his father's Hohenschwangau Castle, it was never completed before his death. Said to have inspired Disney's Magic Kingdom castle, the huge summer crowds made us feel like we were at Disneyland. After a great lunch in Reutte, we traveled along a wonderful winding motorcycle road around the Plansee, a beautiful Alpine lake. Next, we visited Linderhof Palace, King Ludwig's favorite residence. This royal villa was inspired by the French Palace of Versailles, with elaborate fountains, German Rococo style, and English-style gardens. On the way home we stopped to check out the Baroque Basilica at Ettal with its elaborate craftsmanship and ornate detail typical of the mid-1700s. It was a full, but warm, day of touring.The following day, Dave & Janet rode up to the Pitztaler Joch to see the Pitztaler glacier, the tallest in Tyrol, Austria. They stopped along the way to check out another of the larger monasteries, Stift Stams. It was a delightful one hour ride from there, south from Imst along the churning waters of the Pitzbach River up through a valley of waterfalls, to the base of the glaciers at Mittelberg in the Pitztaler recreation area. From there they rode the “glacier train” funicular, which runs underground up to the 2840m base station where the ski lifts begin. Even at that elevation, there were commanding views of the surrounding glaciers. After hiking up to a promontory for some great pictures, Dave and Janet headed back with a fast ride down on a wonderful road with light traffic, sweeping through the canyon and the many villages on the way back to Telfts and the obligatory Wi-Fi stop at MickeyD's. Deb and Gun began the day with a quest to find a schuhmacher (cobbler) to get new heels for Deb's boots. Later that afternoon, they boarded a 1930s open air 30-passenger diesel bus for a tour of the upper Tyrol valley plateau. Their excursion took them through lodgepole forest, lots of corn and potato fields, small villages new and old, and a visit to a berry liquor farm distillery. They also visited the magnificent Stift Stams Basilica, recently restored to its centuries-old splendor. The old monastery was quite large with two massive towers that can be seen up and down the valley for miles from the autobahn. That evening the gang took a short ride up the hill to Seefeld for an entertaining “um-pa-pah” concert of traditional Tirolian music performed by about thirty local musicians, including Joseph, our “landlord.” All wore traditional dress. A fun time was had by all. Friday the 14th was a catch-up day for the group. Between laundry, email, blogs, and a little shopping, it was nice just to have a simple, relaxing day before the long drive to Hallstatt, outside of Salzburg, on Saturday.

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