Search This Blog

Sunday, June 24, 2018

AlpenX Light: Tegernsee - Kalterer See

Perfect weather, perfect start for a little ride through the Alps. Just not that tough this time, but still, bikes are not riding themselves, and a few mountains are in the way too. We started our first stage in Tegernsee, and five minutes later we found ourselves having a little break at the turquoise water. 

We moved on, passed Achensee and stayed overnight in Jenbach. The Airbnb was more for longterm stays, but well-furnished and cosy, offering a great view over the village and the valley.

The next morning we already knew what was coming. Zillertal at first, to warm up, before steep slopes needed to be climbed up to the Schlegeis reservoir. The "Kaiserschmarrn" at the "Alpengasthof Breitlahner" helped to get over it. It was too big though, but so delicious. Then, some more turns, and we reached the "Dominikushütte" on time at 5 pm, to see the world champinionship game Germany - Mexico [0:1]. Would have been better to keep on cycing.

There is nothing good at getting up early, bu even worse is riding uphill in rain. But frankly speaking, I did not expect anything else. It's my third time on "Pfitscher Joch", the weather always got its own ideas. The same this time, quite cold temperatures, dark clouds, light rain and wind. The heavier the way up was, the better the break was at "Pfitscherjoch Haus". And the simple "Flädli"-soup was well deserved.

Next stop: Sterzing. Not difficult to get there, just let it roll downhill. Pfitscher Joch was saying good bye in the same way as it welcomed us - with heavy rain. When approaching Sterzing, the weather changed, it was getting really hot, and down there we were sitting and zipping an Aperol, while checking on our next place to stay.

And here it is: Panorama Hotel Post. We booked it, but didn't pay much attention where exactly it's located. Thus, it was not in Brixen, it again was up the hill, 400 additional meters of hight, in St. Andrea. First, we thought there must be something really wrong. The restaurant was closed (permanently), the door locked, no staff member around. The door bell buzzed, but no answer. A few door bell signs later, someone did open the door, obviously surprised and giving the impression that he didn't expect anybody to show up today. Well, we did, and weren't in the mood the search anything else, so we stayed in that rustic hotel where style and furiture was definitely coming from the 80's.

The next day was hot, very hot. And almost no shade while riding. Meanwhile, one of us had to quit, so only three kept on pedalling. Todays destination: St. Ulrich. Hotel Garni Snaltnerhof is worth a visit, totally modern in a wooden design!

We took it easy the next day. The gondola was taking us up to the Seiser Alm, offering a perfect view of the Dolomites in all directions.

And still perfect conditions, nice and sunny days, blue sky and good company while riding through South Tyrol villages.

"Karer See" was definitely one highlight, the water was crystal clear, surrounded by spectecular mountains and rock formations.

Always keep on smiling, not matter what!

And then, we made it, found our way, stayed one last night in Montan before heading to our destination "Kalterer See".

The last kilometres ... towards Bozen, some strong winds from the front. And finally, we reached it. Proud, and happy! Time to celebrate with Pizza, ice cream and wine. Let's see where the next trail is leading us to.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Lunch in Segovia

One day, I think it was short before weekend, we decided to have lunch somewhere else. I thought the colleague meant another restaurant. There are hundreds around the corner. But no, would have been to easy.

We took the car and went to Segovia, about 70 km away. There were quite many things to see and do, so it did not make any sense to schedule some more works for the afternoon. We preferred to  concentrated on the intercultural experiences that could be made.

Food was one of those things. Segovia is famous for their suckling pig. Every restaurant is serving this. Most of them for the tourists, because they read about it in their tourist guides. In our case, we were told about it by locals knowing tourists who came to Segovia for, guess what, the suckling pig. It's all going around in circles.

But indeed it was delicious. Too bad I was too full to try the octopus sold on the streets. Maybe next time!

Last thing and a must-do, a visit of the Alcázar de Segovia, a restored 12th century castle. Thrown back in time, it still offers picturesque views of the surrounding. 

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Day trip to Toledo

Just a stone's throw from Madrid, there is Toledo, a beautiful small and ancient city, set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha. For its monumental and cultural heritage it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

Streets are narrow, and fully packed with tourists. After turning left or right a few times, entering back streets, we could walk for ourselves, not being pushed back and forth, but taking the time we needed. 

Toledo is paradise for me: one of the city's most famous food productions marzipan, the so called mazapán de Toledo, which is, in my view, extremely delicious.

People put linen or blankets between house walls, to protect themselves from the sun. It makes the streets look unusual, but in a way interesting as well. Or it's just meant to be decoration.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Madrid's Plaza de Toros

When being in Spain, they said you have to see this. So we did, ordered some tickets, cheap ones, sitting in the sun, dazzled with light. But still, the view was good enough for the things that followed. Plaza de Toros - arena of the toreadors. I didn't expect much, knowing what approximately will come. The more you go into details, the more you understand what all this is about. Long traditions, the fight, and the victory, of the human being against the weak. But it's the fashion, the manner, how it's gonna be presented. One by one, six battles in a row, no break, no pause for a moment. It's tough, and although it's Spanish tradition for centuries, it goes deep and I left deeply grieved. I've seen it now once, and I think it will not happen again, and I do understand all criticism about it.