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September 2014

Part 3: From Austria to Germany

Rainy clouds seem like stuck forever over Schlierbach Austria hence despite the exceptional hospitality of the Frommel family and the delicious stuff they kept feeding me on a daily basis I decide to move on. I had previously invited them for lunch at my place in Greece not long ago but they paid it back multiple times during my stay at their amazing house with their vast generosity. So, here I am, dressed like a spaceman with all my rain gear on as they watch me climb my fully loaded bike under rain, starting to make my way West.

After only a few km my phone's gps app leads me to a gravel road which had just turned into a mud pit and when I run out of cursing stuff I find a dry place to stop and check out why. Well, shit happens when the app is on its first trip - one setting can make the whole difference in the world. And this setting was : "shortest route". That explained all the weird stuff I was suggested to follow previously.

Back on normal roads, heading West, it really feels like driving in a swimming pool. On top of it, the last 40km in Germany as I head to my next destination at the lake Chiemsee are done in full heavy traffic. At least it stops raining at the moment I arrive at Chieming. There, Melissa, a US born 'n raised girl with German DNA has reserved a cabin for me at her workplace, a retreat hotel located at a super relaxing location not far from the lake. She was planning to visit me instead in Greece but I was on the road already so it became vice versa. While she is busy working she gets a colleague of hers to show me around. We have a walk around and a lunch together later at the local traditional restaurant and...oh is a thing in Bavaria isn't it? I have this dish for the price of a sandwich that manages to satisfy my survival stomach and my hedonistic stomach both at 150%.

Not that their beer is any worse - served by this huge Bavarian lady with arms twice my thighs combined. She can hold like a dozen of those 1l glasses on each hand. Blame the heavy food, the fine beer, the gloomy weather, the rain I got on the road or all together, I fall like a brick on my bed:

Next morning Melissa has a day off so she grabs a couple of bicycles from the hotel and takes me for a tour around the lake. This place is such a detox...

The view of the calm water reminds me of the idea I had before setting for this trip to put my inflatable kayak on my bike. OK, I only thought about it for a second or two but...I did and now I am missing it. Maybe next time...

Cycling is nice and we sit for some lunch nearby. The chat is interesting enough to order a desert by the end of a delicious pizza we just had in order to extend it.

We come back at the hotel were we meet the rest of her colleagues at the end of their shift and we all agree to revisit the lake in the evening for a drink at a local cafe/club:

It's so cleansing to watch the sunset despite being too cloudy for my Greek standards. We start with a drink which later became "one too many" resulting in the situation below:

As you see the hotel's personnel really did the extra mile considering my entertainment.

The following day we all set for a day trip to Herreninsel, the largest of the two small islands of the lake Chiemsee. We reach it by ferry departing from Prien. At this town they still have in working order their old train as a touristic attraction. Speaking of old it's a 1887 thing! That's only 2 years younger than the oldest train connecting Athens with another city (1885 Athens - Lavrio).

The sound of the train heavy breathing with very slow and slowly escalating pace, the cloud of black smoke that follows and the smell of the whole thing gives you a war zone experience. An absolute time machine. Have a taste (not a smell unfortunately) here:

Herreninsel is really soothing and pleasant. Beside it is the smaller island of Frauninsel for fair play (the latter for ladies, the first for men). We stay on the men's island and prefer to walk though there's more options available:

Our walk brings as to the palace you may know palaces are usually quite beautiful:

Fortuna Brunnen fountain, 1883, copy of the same one in Versailles:

What really catches my eyes though is this:

I keep staring at it:

All the way:

We meet a deer:


And huge old trees:

The day ends with a beer back at the lake:

A truly hypnotising combination after a full walking day so I drop dead on my bed at 9:30 pm!

Time has come to leave the place that kinda offered me a retreat as well among its clients. The clients are as quiet as it gets following the guidelines and I am treated so nicely by its (not as quiet) personnel. Melissa gathers all the guys for a goodbye picture it is:

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