Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6/30/10 Knopf B&B in Kircheim, Germany

Well we are back at Stefan’s B&B, a little tired but safe and sound. Even though today was just a travel day it was incredibly pleasant in lots of areas as Dad planed a route that took us primarily on country roads and through small German dorfs (towns).

I had a bit of a fitful sleep last night. Not because Dad and I were sharing a bed but rather because, like our beds in Valdidentro, the length of the bed was exactly, if not a ½ and inch shorter than my legs. With Dad so close I really couldn’t spread out to get more comfortable. Once asleep, we were both awoken in the middle of the night by the most intense thunderstorm which sounded as if the lighting bolts were happening in the backyard.

The innkeeper provided us with a light breakfast and we left Pffanhausen about 9:30am. It was crisp outside after the rain cooled things but dry and clear. I was reminded of riding in the early morning thru the farm hills of southern Virginia on past trips with Dad. The little dorfs were perfect and clean and we had no traffic with the exception of farm equipment for most of the day. It warmed quickly and we were forced to take a few Umleitungs (detours) which threw the GPS off terribly and we often pulled over to look at a map. This was ok as it was fun to stop on the side of the road or in the center of a small town and take a few final pictures. This was an area of Germany I would not have normally seen and I was glad this picturesque ride would cap a perfect trip.

We had lunch in Gschwend at a very nice Gasthaus where of course none of the staff spoke any English. Fortunately there was a woman at a table adjacent to us who helped us navigate the menu and another gentleman who helped Dad find our route on the map. It was very hot and humid and the clouds looked a bit menacing so we suited up fast and rode out of town right after we finished our lunch.

More country roads until we hit the final umleitung near Heilbronn and decided to take the autobahn the bulk of the way back to Stefan’s. Not the ideal way to end the trip, but we split some lanes in heavy traffic and cut lots of time off our journey. The GPS got us a bit sidetracked when we got off the Autobahn but it took us through a town where Dad noticed a car at a gas station that had these German flags that we have seen people put on the car side mirrors to support the World Cup. We have looked all over Germany for these stupid things and I went in to the station and they had them and we bought four sets for our bikes at home.

Finally, after a few missed turns we made it safely back to Stefan’s and Dad and I had a long hug and hearty self congratulations. I have packed, and spoken to my Mother and texted Amanda and we are soon going to go to a beirgarten nearby with Stefan and some other guests for dinner.

It has been an amazing adventure and is a bit too soon to put it all into perspective. Andermatt seems like ages ago and even Corvara seems a distant memory. It will take some time for me to process it all.

That being said, here are a few choice memories:

Favorite Meal: Dinner at the Eibsee Hotel
Prettiest Lunch: Lake on Piz Boe
Tastiest Beer: Storchenbrau at Beirgartern in Pffenhaussen
Favorite Hotel Room: La Fontana in Corvara
Best View: Passo de Gaiu
Most Difficult Road: Umbrail Pass
Favorite Ride: Anywhere in the Dolomites
Scariest Moment: Backing down a hairpin on the Furkapass in the fog
Most joyous moment: Hiking with Dad on the Piz Boe
Nicest acquaintance made: Dirk at La Fontana
Quaintest town: Andermatt
Place I most want to return to: Corvara in Badia

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