Sep 29 - Thursday - Day 13
It’s a good day to be outside, if you have an ark. The steady rain of the past three days is projected to continue on. It sure puts a dent in a trip report. I’m already as tired of writing about the rain as you probably are of reading about it.
Nevertheless, it’s time to push on to the next stop, just a short hop away. The Füssen area is always on my list for repeat visits. Not just for the castles. There is just something about the overall feel of the area that keeps me coming back.
I enjoy the combination of open space in the fields around the castles, the backdrop of the mountains in the distance, and the never tiring entertainment of watching the para-gliders coming off the Tegelberg.
On the way over I make a point to stop in at the Wieskirche (doesn’t everyone?).
It so happens that Chuck and Beverly
have booked into the same farm where BB and I stayed in ’03. The “Scholderhof” is located
right next to the church, and sports both apartments and zimmers. We had a great stay here for a couple of days
in 2003. Our balcony overlooked the church, and it is indeed a sight to behold when the floodlights go on at night.
Since our stay, we have both gotten e-mails from people saying they also tried it, based on reading our trip reports.
C&B are scheduled to arrive sometime today, so I figured I would just pop in as a surprise and say hello. Frau Gindhart remembers me, and invites me in. But it appears my timing is off as they have not yet arrived. But then again it’s not even noon yet, and besides I don’t know where they are coming in from, or what time they were due. I was just shooting in the dark.
The Frau prints off their e-mail reservation request and lets me scribble a brief note to say that I was here. Unfortunately we never did cross paths later on. Better luck next time.
A half hour later I am arriving at my next stop the Gästehaus/Bauernhof “Lutz”. This is another of those rare repeat visits to a previous accommodation. Again, the reason is location. When staying in this area I always opt for something on, or near, the Forggensee.
After picking up a few goodies I decide
to brave the weather and head over to a favorite spot for dinner. It is now about 6 p.m., and dark comes early
on a day like this.
When I show up at what I always remember being the “Wienerwald”, I am surprised to find the place has undergone a makeover. It now looks like one of those Greek taverns I remember from when I was in Athens years ago. It has been renamed the “Beim Olevenbauer”, whatever that means. But I’m in luck, because according to the menu they still serve that ever reliable staple Schnitzel.
I end up with a decent salad, main course with Pommes, and a couple of tasty Bier for only E10.
Sep 30 - Friday - Day 14
After a rather chilly night I feel bold enough to still venture out for an early morning stroll around the farm. It helps work up an appetite for breakfast, as if I need an excuse. Surprisingly, the skies have cleared up quite a bit since yesterday. With some luck we might even see some sun later on.
Frau Lutz serves a late breakfast (House rules). Promptly at 8:30 I take my place in the breakfast room at the same table with some of the other guests. We quickly strike up a conversation and I get acquainted with a young couple from Holland who have been here for a week, but are heading home today. There is also a nice german lady from Stuttgart who is retired, and has been coming to the farm for years. She admits to being an avid hiker.
The room is nice and cozy with a crackling fire going in the big ceramic stove which takes up one entire wall. Heck, give me a few Bier and some books and I could camp out in here all day.
I don’t have any hard plans for the day, and since the weather may or may not co-operate, I decide to just wing it. I am especially concerned with exploring the area from Füssen over to Nesselwang. This is great farm country, and I always like to take the opportunity to recon the small towns for possible future visits. Plus, this is the way I intend to head out when I leave in a couple more days, and I don’t want any surprises.
For the past two years there has been major construction in and around Nesselwang. But this time around they have finally finished up widening the roads, and the Umleitung which used to be a pain are no more.
Basically, I am covering a big circle from Füssen to Nesselwang, back over to Hopferau, and then end up back at the castles. It’s a good day for a drive in the country.
By around noontime the weather gods throw me a bone by allowing the skies to clear up. After 5 straight days of rain I’ll take it. As I head back to Füssen my plan is to get in as much video and camera time as possible. After all, I have to maintain film continuity so as not to be in Oberammergau one minute and the next I'm on the Rhine with nothing in between.
On the outside chance that the Tegelberg will be open I make my back over there. I’m in luck. At the ticket window there is already a line forming waiting for the cable car up. However the only thing I’m here for is a ticket for a ride on the Sommerrodelbahn. Fortunately they will be opening in about twenty minutes. Rides are E2.50 each or five for E10. One of these days I am going to go all out and go for the max.
and finally another visit to the Internet
Café. At least I can say this day was well rounded.
To cap off the day I head over to a favorite spot for dinner. Along the Romantic Road (B17) at Münchner Str. 5 in Schwangau is the Gasthof zur Post. BB and I first tried this place back in 2000, and I have made a point to stop here ever since. Today’s treat is a huge stuffed pork cutlet, finely breaded and pan-fried to perfection. Topped off with a generous serving of german potato salad and a couple of “Kalten” Bier, it’s a meal to die for (or from).
To work off the meal I do a final drive by at the castles. It is dark enough that the floodlights are on, which forces me to stop long enough to try and get a decent night shot at a distance.
Back at the farm I revisit the plan for tomorrow. I intend to head over into Austria for my obligatory Stroh Rum run. Plus, I want to pay a repeat visit to another favorite watering hole made famous by Rick Steves, with a little help from the man himself... King Ludwig.
Oct 1 - Saturday - Day 15
Well so much for the teasing from the weatherman. Sometime between my last Bier for the night, and this morning, someone snuck one in on me (yes, that is a word… if you happen to be a Texican).
At breakfast it is raining so hard it sounds like rocks on the roof. Frau Lutz doesn’t help matters by informing me that this is the order for the day. Tourists beware.
By now I am used to this routine, so I figure nothing ventured nothing gained. I’m going to go for it. Fortunately, I was able to get everything done yesterday, so today I can afford as a throw away. In retrospect, I should probably have moved on and just stayed somewhere on the Bodensee, but I decide to stick it out.
The castles are completely obscured and I don’t even bother making the drive. Instead I head over to the border crossing into Austria, where I make my umpteenth visit to the newly renovated rest stop that has been there for years, the “Weisshaus Stub’n”.
Back in the good old days, when there were real border crossing points, this one was always good for a nice Stau in both directions. I used to get my passport stamped here. But now it is just another point in the road, with only the blue Österreich signs to tell where you are.
Nevertheless, I make a stop for my annual rum run. I always get the 80 proof stuff, just to ward off the winter chill, plus it also makes a good varnish remover if it doesn’t eat up your stomach lining first. (The building in the background is the remains of the former border guards offices. Now they are just a warehouse.)
The next stop is one I first visited in 1994. Located in the tiny community of Unterpinswang, on the way to Reutte, is the "Gutshof Zum Schluxen”. Formerly known as the “Schluxenhof”, it was a large farm in ancient times. It was also a favorite hang out for King Ludwig on his often midnight rides about the countryside. His room, number 5, is still rented out and during my stay here in ’94 I tried to get in, but unfortunately it was already booked.
The place has also been made famous by none other than our boy Rick Steves. He has put them on the map by mentioning it in all of his books which deal with Austria. And so as a result, these days, it is not unusual to see tour buses stopping over for a night or two, even though it is out in the middle of nowhere.
Today is no exception. I arrive to find not one, but two, buses parked off to the side. The outdoor tables are full so I retreat inside to grab a seat near the bar. The kitchen is humming as they ferry plates of food back and forth. I just order up a Bier.
By the time I am ready to leave, the rain is waiting to escort me back to Füssen. I know when to throw in the towel, and so I plan to call it a day and get on back to pack up for heading out tomorrow.
There have been numerous roadblocks, detours, and challenges these past few days. But thank goodness I have yet to hear those dreaded words “you’ve been eliminated from the race”.
But the end is in sight. With only six more days to go, I hope to stay fit for the final sprint to the finish.
I think I’ll polish off a jug tonight, just to help limber up the old bod.