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Published: September 18th 2008
Wednesday 17th September
I am typing this sat under the lights near the bogs of a campsite on the corner of Germany, Switzerland and Austria at a place called Lindau (or actually Bodensee) on the edge of Lake Constance. Quite a scenic spot - Lake Constance that is, not the bogs...
The temperature as ever is about as warm as a greeting when you're late for dinner - what is it with the weather? Have I come in November and not noticed? The camp site owner merrily chuckled, “I hope you have a good sleeping bag, it was 3° at 7 am.” Oh thanks - looks like the great heat exchanger sat on top of my neck will need a hat on in me tent then.
Still it had been a good day so I am in good spirits. With the memory of days slogging it out in heavy rain on the autobahn not yet faded, despite a welcome chill out in Strasbourg, I avoided the BoringBahn at all costs today and plotted a route right through the heart of the Black Forest, or Schwarzwald. Heading south-east out of Strasbourg I left behind France again and with it
any remote chance of making myself understood, down through Offenburg eventually picking up the 294 and other minor roads. My destination was a place called Titisee - for no real reason other than I remembered coming as a young child and it was sort of on the way to Austria.
Anyway it was a good ride, flowing bends, good tarmac and pleasant pine clad hills. The weather was dry if cold, a chilly 7° at the height of the Black Forest, and bright so perfect conditions for using some of that rubber on the edge of your wheels, so neglected on the autobahns. All in all great fun - sportsbike and supermoto heaven. Still one of the reasons I bought the F800GS was because it was quite fun in the bends, so I had a pretty good time of it myself.
I had thought of staying in Titisee - no longer bound to a schedule, but arriving at lunchtime realised it was just too lazy. Moreover, 30 years had not been kind to the place - it was now heavily touristed. So I had a quick wander round, reconsulted the map and decided I would camp somewhere along
the huge Lake (which I think is called Constance!) providing a natural border between Germany and Switzerland, and latterly at this far eastern corner, Austria.
Although I rode till a respectable 5 pm one of the reasons for not crossing the border today was because although I was looking forward to it I simply had no idea what I was going to do in Austria. Norway was an exemplary exercise in project management in comparison. Yes I wanted to see some alpine vistas, ride some mountain passes, do a bit of hiking - but where? So having cooked a supper of frankfurters with my whisperlite (using pre-filled petrol!) my first task was a bit of homework as to where to go. Hmm - another disappointing Lonely Planet guide, basically it was all “nice”, everywhere had walks and for accommodation consult with the local Tourist Office, Well helpful. Whatever happened to Lonely Planet?
My “plan” for tomorrow is to head to Neuschwanstein to see that castle that mad Ludwig chap built, the inspiration for the Disney castle and then head towards Innsbruck and Kitzbuhel - staying, err somewhere. I do want to travel the Grossglocknerstrasse which is supposedly stunning, running between 800m and 2500m. That'll be warm then. More detail tomorrow when hopefully more of a plan will emerge...
Oh - Mileage to date 2554.
Tot: 2.49s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 12; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0492s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.6mb