Munich, Germany: I have repositioned to Europe. Yesterday I arrived in Munich from Hong Kong. My good friends Sabina and Thomas picked me up at the airport — the TransEuropa 2011 welcoming committee. The best way to beat jet lag is to dive into it, so we headed straight to the tranquil lake, Ammersee. It was a beautiful Sunday to walk along parts of the lake and imbibe German tradition at a beer garden. Later, back in Munich, we toured the Theresienwiese, which is the grounds for Oktoberfest. Although my timing is off by two weeks, many of the mammoth beer halls have already been erected for the world’s largest fair. Fluffy the penguin was spotted in front of the Lowenbrau hall trying to get in.
Before I departed Hong Kong I received an interesting mix of good luck messages. Sandy, with whom I cycled across the US, suggested I add to my Magic Letter a request for directions to the nearest Dairy Queen. Charles, a college friend who just cycled around Iceland with his family, sent me an essay on the power of pilgrimage. Rob suggested I look out for his schoolmate who is also presently cycling to Istanbul from the UK….dressed as Superman. Jenny in Hong Kong gave me a heads up about the heat wave in the Balkan states, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees centigrade. Just a few minutes after that, Patrick, who was in Frankfurt, sent me a note telling me to pack warm clothes because Germany is cold and wet. Which was a good reminder that I have to prepare for every kind of weather condition.
Today I will take the train to Innsbruck to reconnect with Bubba Too (my bike) and my gear. In Innsbruck I will find a bike shop for some fine-tuning, including replacing my 3,000-km worn tires. Tomorrow I start spinning again and will shift into climbing mode as soon I leave Innsbruck. I plan to sleep in Italy on my first night back on tour. Here’s the recap on how I made it to Innsbruck:-
Leg I: Lisbon, Portugal – Innsbruck, Austria summary
Distance: 3,280.77 kilometers
Ascent: 23,293.28 meters. To put this in perspective, Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, is 4,810 meters.
Days: 46, of which 10 are non-cycling days
Countries: 7: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany
Incidents: 2: flat tire on Day 45; police reprimand on Day 2