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)

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