Saturday, June 30, 2012

Days 6 - 8 (June 28 - 30)

Days 6 - 8 (June 28 - 30):

We spent the past few days following the Bodensee-Koenigssee cycling route through the forests and farms of Bavaria.  The rolling countryside was magical and particularly pleasant to experience by bicycle.  It has been hot, and it’s easy to get sunburned if you’re not careful.  We cycled to Lindau, then took a ferry to Konstanz on the southern shore of Lake Constance.  While my sister Becky watched the kids, I had the pleasure of swimming out into the deep, pleasant water of central Europe’s third largest lake.

We watched the Germany vs. Italy Eurocup soccer game in a bier garten in Oberstaufen, making friends with strangers as we cheered the exciting game.  The German fans were disappointed, but could not deny that Italy deserved to win the game.  We plan to watch the final between Spain and Italy in Zurich on Sunday night.

Sho (age 11) and Lucas (age 14) have played soccer whenever they can, and coming across a soccer field is usually an excuse to take a break from cycling.  They played an exciting pick-up game of soccer with some local kids in Lindau (see pic).

Saya sits on the trailer cycle behind me and as we ride she often makes up silly songs and asks me random questions.  As we discussed the difference between carnivores and herbivores, she suddenly said, “Wait, how come I know more than you?”  When I suggested that she draw a picture of a horse in her journal, she said, “I don’t know how to draw horses.  I only know how to draw unicorns.”

Here are some pics:

Soccer friends in Lindau:

Waiting at a train crossing:

Saya with sheep:

Saya with flower necklace:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Days 3 - 5 (June 25 - 27)

Days 3 – 5 (June 25 – 27):

It’s been a good trip so far: 4 out of 5 days have been sunny and warm.  We got rained on for a few hours on Day 3, which gave Saya a chance to dress up in her stylin’ rain gear (see pic).  We’ve followed the Bodensee-Koenigssee cycling route, which I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys outrageously gorgeous views of the Alps, pleasant – albeit sometimes challenging – riding through farm country, friendly people and good food.

Sho has had to walk his bike up some of the steep climbs, but is getting stronger by the day.  He loves the fact that the Eurocup soccer tournament is underway and is following it closely.  We'll watch Spain vs. Portugal tonight and Germany vs. Italy tomorrow night.  Sho predicts Germany vs. Portugal in the final on Sunday.  Saya makes funny observations while sitting behind me on the trailer cycle.  My favorite: "Treat me like a dog."  Context: she was crawling on all fours and barking, hoping that Sho would play fetch with her.

It's been wonderful to have my sister Becky along.  She speaks beautiful German and is a beloved aunt to Sho and Saya.  Since she lives in Nashville and I live in NYC, this is a rare chance to spend time together.  Lucas, her 14-year old son, is a talented soccer player and has been teaching Sho some impressive moves.  After 6 weeks of cycling and Lucas's tutoring, Sho expects to enter the fall soccer season in excellent shape.

Here are some pics:

Saya ready for rain:

Saya the goal keeper (Lucas and Sho in the distance with no chance to defeat Saya's wall of steel):

Becky, Lucas, Sho and Saya with a friendly Bavarian couple who gave us drinks on a hot day:

Sho and Lucas competing for attention with the incredible view:

Crossing a stream:

Becky and Saya with Castle Neuschwanstein in background:

Saya has been collecting flowers in meadows along the way.  Here is one of her bouquets:

Pausing in a beautiful meadow on the way to Mittelberg:

Monday, June 25, 2012

First Two Days (June 23 - 24, 2012):

The night before leaving Munich, my sister Becky, my 14-year old nephew Lucas, my 11-year old son Sho and 5-year old daugher Saya and I ate dinner with my old friend Henrik von Voigt in a crowded bier garten in Odeonsplatz, a large town square.  We watched Germany defeat Greece 4 -2 in the Eurocup quarter final soccer match, sitting among a crowd of rowdy fans.  Becky took the kids back to our hotel, while Henrik and I stayed to enjoy the post-game street party that lasted well past my bedtime.  Rowdy crowds waved German flags and encircled cars, rocking them back and forth before letting them drive off (see video).  It was a wild party.

We spent the morning of Saturday, June 23 packing our gear into panniers and loading our bikes.  My old friend Henrik and his six-year old son Tristan (see pic) came by to help.  Henrik paid for our hotel and stored our suitcases in his office, then led us on bikes to the start of our ride on the Isar River.  What a great friend!

We spent much of the afternoon cycling along the gorgeous river, enjoying a warm, sunny day.  I accidentally led us on to a mountain bike trail that had some challenging hills -- our legs are already getting stronger!

A colleague from my days at Intel, Klaus Konrad, hosted us for dinner at his home in Icking.  We arrived hungry from our ride and appreciated the excellent meal.  He has four children, and we spent a few hours chatting and getting tips on our cycling route while our kids played in his yard.  Finally, he led us on a 45-minute bike ride from his home to a hotel beside the stunning Starnberger Lake.  He saw us off and cycled back to his home.

Obviously, we have been spoiled by such generous friends!

The next day, Sunday, June 24, we cycled along the lake for an hour before taking a break to swim in the chilly water and play soccer in a nearby field.   We ate lunch at a nearby restaurant and were served by a silver-haired man wearing lederhosen.  He seemed the stereotype of a local Bavarian, then we learned that he was a stock broker in New York City!  He had returned temporarily to take care of his elderly mother.

We cycled throughout the afternoon enjoying another wonderfully warm and sunny day and stopped for the night in Murnau, a small market town nearly 900 years old.  The craggy and intimidating Bavarian Alps loomed just south of the city.  We checked into the Griesbraue hotel, a large stone structure that reminded me of a medieval monastery.  We stayed up late to watch the England vs. Italy soccer Eurocup quarter final on a big screen in the hotel's bier garten, joining dozens of others.

We're making our way to the west toward Lake Constance and Zurich.

Party after Germany beat Greece in Eurocup soccer semifinals:

Henrik and his 6-year-old son Tristan:

The start of the ride in downtown Munich:

Cycling out of Munich

By Starnberger Lake

With my friend Klaus Konrad

Swimming in Starnberger Lake

Cow traffic jam on the way to Murnau:

My sister Becky with Saya in Murnau (notice the Bavarian Alps in background)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We're in Munich testing out our bikes (before we officially start riding on Saturday) and visiting with my old friend Henrik von Voigt.  He took us to a bridge over the Eisbach River.  Just past the bridge, there is a 1-meter high standing wave that local surfers use to practice their skills -- amazing to watch.  Check out the pic.

While riding in the Englischer Garten yesterday with Henrik, we were caught in a heavy downpour.  We sought refuge under the tents of a bier garten, where Sho and Saya decided to perform their version of Singin' in the Rain (see pic and video below).

Sho and Saya watching a river surfer:

Saya lets you know what she thinks of the rain:

Sho and Saya singin' in the rain:

Friday, June 1, 2012

             Welcome to Europe Tap Tour 2012!

I'm Sho Scott, age 11.  And I'm Saya Scott, age 5 1/2.

For six weeks this summer, we will cycle through Germany, Switzerland, France and England with our dad.  But we won't just ride our bikes.  We will bring tap shoes and dance whenever we feel like it!  Maybe in a plaza in Munich's city center, on the shore path beside Lake Geneva, beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or outside the Olympic Village in London.  We'll make sure to share pictures.

The ride starts on June 23 and ends August 2.  Check back here for updates.