Auto Ads by Adsense

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

June 27th: Schliersee to Prien Am Chiemsee

Breakfast at the hotel was served at 7:00am, which meant we could get an early start. Our route today would mostly follow the Bodensee-Konigsee bike route to Fischbachau. We departed at 8:48am, rolling along the Schliersee before leaving the lake and heading inland. There was a bunch of traffic and Xiaoqin got impatient with Komoot/Garmin routing and decided to switch us to Google routing near Bad Feinbach. My theory was that the the route gave us a busy road for climbing so that the descent would be on a fast paved road where traffic wouldn't be an issue at speed. But I wasn't going to argue over the finer points of descent optimization with someone riding an e-bike who probably didn't care that the hard won climb should be paid back with nice descents!
Indeed, the quieter google-provided route gave us a gentle swooping climb and then a steep descent via a dirt road down into Bad Feilnbach. The descent was so steep that I stopped on two occasions to pour water over the rims in an attempt to cool the wheels. When we got to Bad Feilnbach, we got onto the proper Bodensee-Konigsee bike route, and there we finally saw the hordes of cycle tourists that this route should be attracting.
The heat up till this point had been bearable because we'd mostly been going downhill or in the shade. But once in the exposed country side the warmth built up. A group of cycle tourists passed us, heaping "Bravos" and "Super" on our giant ass bike. I noted that they all had e-bikes, and there were a couple of leaders in the group who seemed to know the route well, so it might well have been an organized or commercial tour.
In Atlenbeuern, we stopped at a supermarket, bought food, and then visited a cafe to eat out of the sun. After that, we continued climbing  up to Pinswang, which surprisingly had a little bit of shade and even a bit of wind to cool us off, making what could have been a miserable day quite a bit less painful.
Nevertheless, Bowen was feeling really hot. "Dad, we should just stop at the next hotel. You can use mommy's e-bike to get to the train station to buy train tickets." I contemplated the idea, and then replied: "Ok, if we stayed somewhere here, though, you won't have a swimming pool, and you'll not have many places to eat. If we get to Prien Am Chiemsee, we'll get a place near the lake so it'll be cooler, and you can swim." I was saying this entirely on faith --- my earlier check of that morning had shown no lodging available, but my experience is that if you just show up the tourist information center can frequently find you places that aren't listed on In any case, that response quieted him up for a bit, so we could finish the climb and begin the descent in earnest.
Soon enough, we were in Prien Am Chiemsee, and I found the tourist information center right on the main road! We stopped, I walked in, and while Xiaoqin took the kids to the bathrooms, I asked about lodging for a family of 4. The woman behind the counter clicked buttons on her computer and said, "I can put you on a farm a little further away..." "How about right next to the lake?" "That'll be very expensive!" "How expensive?" "180 Euros?" "Oh, no problem." "Are you sure?" Because we had shown up on a bicycle, she assumed that we were on a tight budget, but of course, I'd had to pay more than what she was asking recently, and the heat was such that a good location was well worth the money.

The place she found for us was right by the water, and when we arrived, it looked a little old and musty, but the rooms were actually quite good, with separate bedrooms, though of course there was no AC. I moved the bags while Xiaoqin took the kids across the street for some lunch. By the time I was done moving stuff, I was so cooked that I didn't even feel like lunch: I settled for a Banana Split ice cream and called it good.

I borrowed Xiaoqin's e-bike and rode it to the train station, where both ticket agents were free. I laid out my desired itinerary, and they pointed out that the bike reservation for July 3rd was taken, so I had to find some other route. All other itineraries on that day would deliver us into Zurich much too late, so I opted for the July 2nd. We explored all alternatives, but could only take the one that left at 7:56am from Salzburg and deliver us (with no change of trains) to Zurich main station at 1:20pm. The cost was 220 Euros, so I made the executive decision, bought the train tickets, and left.

I returned to the hotel, changed both kids into swimming suits, and then walked them to the local swimming pool/swimming beach, which integrated both indoors and outdoors sections. We paid for 2 hours and went in. This pool featured a high water-slide that was completely dark except for some lights on the tube, feeling almost like a sensory deprivation chamber. Bowen would later tell me that it was his favorite slide of the trip. Of course, Boen refused to do the slide and opted to play in the baby pool, so I had to watch him while encouraging Bowen to enjoy the German water slides while he could. After we got home we'd try a local water slide park but it was so much worse an experience than the European equivalent that I can't imagine why anyone would prefer the American version.

By the time we were done, Xiaoqin was done with her nap and met us at the exit of the swimming pool. We went out for an early dinner, but after dinner while playing at the playground next to the lake I noticed that there was an e-boat rental place that was renting boats by the hour! I asked the kids if they wanted to try it and they did.

Both Bowen and Boen got to try steering the boat and enjoy the feeling of being in control. They had a great time though obviously the boat never got very far anywhere. Bowen even docked the boat all by himself with very little help from me.

I noted that the ferries running the lake could go all the way to Chieming, but the only ferry that would do that leaves at 9:00am. It wasn't clear if they would take the triplet, but if we wanted to try we had to try to make that ferry.

That night, I looked at the forecast and noted that the next couple of days would have decent weather for riding, with nothing into the 90s, but the days after that looked horrid, with 100 degree days in Salzburg. I booked June 30th->July 2nd at the Arte Hotel in Salzburg which boated air conditioning, a rarity in Europe. Then I thought about what the best itinerary looked like. I noted that if we were willing to ride a little longer, we could make Salzburg tomorrow. My original plan was to ride into Mattsee and Seeham, meander over to Mondsee, and then make it into Salzburg, but that plan had significant climbing in it, and I reasoned (irrationally, it turns out) that we could just ride into Salzburg and do day rides into Mondsee and/or Mattsee as needed without a load, and that would be more palatable than trying to do big climbs with panniers. That was an irrational thought, because given a choice, the kids will once again (as our spring break tour proved) choose to take the bus or public transit or even taxi, rather than ride! Nevertheless, with that in mind, I booked 2 more nights in Salzburg at a separate apartment without AC, since those 2 nights weren't going to be murderously hot. I'd nailed down the final days of the tour and locked in the rest of the trip, for better or for worse.

No comments: