The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Riding in Bavaria

Good evening from rainy Bavaria.

I told you in my last blog about leaving Salzberg, Austria, and riding over the high pass through the Tyrol Alps on my way back to Italy. I decided to go on into Slovenia since I was right next door to it anyway. You will remember that it was a communist country, a part of Yugoslavia, just 25 years ago or so.  I expected it to be run down with old cars on the streets and no food on the store shelves.  It was not that way at all. People were hard at work; stores were packed with customers; factories were humming.  However, it is very, very boring. Most of it is flat and hot. The north is green and wooded and hilly though. I like the north.

I am sorry, but I did not take a single picture of Slovenia. There just was nothing to see. I am glad I made the trip, but I would not recommend going there on vacation. I can report, though, that the prices are very cheap.

I did have an interesting place to camp in the wooded north of Slovenia. It was the way I think camping should be -- in the woods with nobody around. There was only me and a young couple down the way in another tent. It wasn't all that great, though, because the shower was outside from a garden hose.  Brrr!

I rode across the mountains of south Austria and back to Salzberg.

And from Salzburg I rode the 10 miles or so to Bavaria. I wanted to go to Hitler's home at Obersalzberg by Berchtesgaden. He lived there for many years, but it is all gone now. The American's blew it all up. The only thing left is the bunkers under the ground.

This is a machine gun nest guarding the entry into the bunkers. The machine gun is gone now, obviously. But look at the little window on the right. That is what the gunner was to shoot through.

And this is what he saw. He was to shoot any enemy coming down those steps.  When I looked through this window I said to myself, "I know this already". This is from the WWII game Call of Duty that my buddy Chuck go me started playing.

The museum where Hitler's house once stood was very interesting.  The people back then were in love with him, at least at the start.  They would even pick up and save the gravel he walked on. They came by the hundreds each day hoping to see him.  I guess he was quite the charismatic guy. Too bad his policies were so misguided and evil.

This was his view of Berchtesgaden.

And way up above him, high on the mountain, they built him the famous "Eagle's Nest" as a present.

He only went there a couple of times. I think he didn't much like heights.

Time to camp for the night. And, as seems to be the pattern over the last two weeks, it started pouring rain about 6:00.

Are you familiar with the churches in Bavaria (and Eastern Europe). The steeple has an "onion dome" on it.

They are often very ornate inside. It is called the Rococo style.

The last king of Bavaria was Ludwig II. There is a lot to learn about that guy. He certainly led a privileged life. I wanted to go see one of his three castles, Herrenchiemsee. He built it in the middle of Chiemsee Lake.

Ho hum. Another ferry ride. I thought I was all done with them.  Odysseus has to stay behind this time.

Dandy little shack isn't it? Perfect for a weekend get-away.

No pictures allowed inside. They will break your arm!

Ha. I know how to get one off the internet.

                                File:Spiegelgalerie Herrenchiemsee.jpg

Another castle Ludwig built was Neuschwanstein.  He used to look at that mountain top from his family home when he was just a kid and dream of building a little place of his own up there.  Here it is. I took this picture from the terrace of his daddy's house where Ludwig grew up.

I have been in Neuschwanstein before so I didn't much want to see it again. Good thing. Look at this line. And this was just the line to get in line. It was 3:00 in the afternoon. No way was I getting tickets for today.

I did want to see the family home though. I hear it is much nicer inside than Neuschwanstein.  For one thing, it was an actual home. Neuschwanstein is mostly just a set for an opera.

It is August and all Europe is on vacation. I guess that explains the long lines. It also explains why campgrounds are suddenly so packed. I had to go to three of them last night before I found one that had the tiny bit of room my tent requires. And, of course, it rained again. That is okay because I stay dry, but I sure hate spending an hour in the morning drying my tent's rainfly.

I drove across the top of Lake Constance today, and by chance found the town where they built and housed the big zeppelins back in the day. It was a nice museum, but it did not lend itself too well for pictures.  I did take a picture of the lounge on the ship. Amazing.

Here is one of the engines that pushed the zeppelin along at about 70 miles an hour. That was a lot faster than an ocean liner could do. Sixteen cylinders. Wow!

So much for old things. How about a new thing? Do you suppose this two seater is the wave of the future?

As you can tell, I have fewer motorcycle pictures. The scenery has not been all that interesting, and the roads are pretty straight. In fact, I have been buzzing along at 70 miles an hour on the autobahns. That sounds fast, until another motorcycle or car goes shooting buy at well over 100 miles an hour.  Zoooooom!

I am almost back at my starting point in Heidelberg. Only about 50 miles to go. So, this will probably be my last blog because I fly home in just a few more days. I am anxious to see my family and to take care of things back home.

I hope to start on the Trans-America Trail sometime in the Autumn and will probably blog about that. I will come back to Heidelberg to start another trip next Spring.

I hope you will drop back by then. Thanks for coming along with me by reading my blog.


1 comment:

  1. Wooowww this is so cool...Thanks for the share, I totally agree on your thoughts here.. Same in retirement home community, you have nice point of view.


To comment click on "comment as" and choose name/url. List your name (you can leave url blank). Make your comment and click on "publish". Please keep your comments clean and positive because my students and family also look at these pages. Ron