Cycle Tour Tour in the Alps 2013
Dag 4: München - Arzbach
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Added on 25 Aug 2013
on 28 Dec 2013
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by Ottocolor on 18 Nov 2013
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München, Bayern, DE (519 m NHN)
Arzbach, Bayern, DE (688 m NHN)
02 Aug 2013
Very hot (26-28 degrees centigrade), sunny the whole day and almost no wind.
Bikelanes along roads in Munich, then wheeled the bikes through the pedestrian streets. Bike path along the river Isar, first tarmaced, then good gravel path. Signposting very poor. One place the path was blocked because of earth slides into the river, but we wheeled through. Steep climp up to Grunwald and a good descent on wood lanes back into the river valley. On tarmaced roads along the river to Wolfratshausen. From there again on gravel paths above the river. Once the river is left with some climbs as a result. Then back down to the Isar and on a gravel path to Bad Tolz and further on a gravel path to Arzbach. In the village to a road up to the camping site.
Sources of information
Bike-atlas Munich (spiralled) from bikeline. Kompass bicycle- and mountainbike map No. 3125, "Bad Tölz, Isarwinkel, Karwendelgebirge" 1:70.000
After three days in Munich with four nights at Haus International and day trips from there without luggage it's now time to pack the bikes and start the real bike holiday with a tent and panniers.
Before Simon and I could throw ourselves out on the bike holiday and down to the Alps, we had first to pack the bikes and pack separately, what we didn't need on the trip as books and other unnecessary items and cycle past the Caddy'en first. It was, however, in the opposite direction, but in return we had been up a little earlier that morning. Still, we spent too much time going through the city centre. Simon did not understand why we had to wheel the bikes through the pedestrian zone, but I wanted just to enjoy the atmosphere at Marienplatz one last time. Furthermore, we had lost each other at the large intersection where we swung into town and since the road was eventually rectified in the uncharming neighborhood between Central Station and Stachus, so it took another detour to get there, Simon was not in the best of moods. It was extremely hot and cycling under trees along a path along the river where you could even hake a refreshing bath was a nice thought. But I wanted first just to sit in one of the outdoor cafes on Marienplatz and watch the town hall tower chimes in action. It was shown at 11 and 12, so it fit nicely with a weissbier and a little relaxation under the parasols. I fell into conversation with a local couple who had been in town to do some shopping, but then we were rightly on the road again. A true Bavarian street musician with accordion on a beer crate was the last attraction, the center had to offer. Through the street Tal and the Isartor we were soon down by the river.
At first we cycled past the huge Deutsches Museum, which we had to give up visiting this time. It is situated on an island in the river. After that we drove over a bridge and swung on down the Isar cycle path. Unfortunately, the signposting along the path is not very good, but as long as we followed the river, it was not hard to find. On our left was the city so the most challenging thing was to dodge the many pedestrians who were on their way such a perfect summer day. Just south of downtown, namely the best bathing spots for local residents are to be found. The river, which is dammed in several places and has two or three streams, some of which are used for hydropower, is broad but not very deep. Large gravel banks characterize it and fast flowing, narrow streams. Now we soon felt hungry and when we came to Munich's zoo of Hellabrunn, which you could not see much of through the trees, but which was easy to smell, a nice footbridge went past the river. On the other hand, people relaxed and lay in the shade of some tall trees. It looked too good, so we crossed the river and retreated down towards the river bank. Simon curiously did not want to swim. He was hungry and went to read and sleep, afthe he had eaten his buttered sandwiches. I let myself happily slip into the stream. It was a little challenging to swim here. Either the current was so strong that you just get carried away by the stream and you had to swim as hard as you could to make it to the bank. Or else it was so shallow that you could not even swim. But to get up and walk was not an alternative because it hurt to walk on the rather large gravel stones. Well, the water cooled nice and I got carried away by the current and walked back on the path that we had cycled on before. Now, it was two, and we had still nearly 70 kilometres to the day's goal in Arzbach, so now we had better to have 'eaten' a few kilometers. Not so easy on such a hot day where people just relaxed and let their soul dangle down by the river. The path was also worse now. So far it had been paved, but now it had a gravel path. On the other hand it thinned out a little in the amount of tour guests on the path, so we came as nicely forward. It was also just straight ahead along the river. Fortunately the trees chilled a bit. A few hurdles we didn't avoid, though. The first were two places where the path was blocked. I looked grimly, because the alternative meant tough climbs out of the river valley. Simon felt we should respect the blocking signs, but I knew there were several steep climbs to come, so I wanted to save my power. So we wheeled through a few places where the trail was washed down the river by some landslides in the spring. I was a bit annoyed by some political messages that had been plastered across the signs that explained the blocking.
At Grünwald, one of Munich's fashionable suburbs where many celebrities live, we had to necessarily leave the river valley and cycled up eroded hairpin turns through the forest to the suburb. When we were up at the train station where the tram line ended, we took a rest in the shade. It was a little hard to ride a bike in this heat in this terrain, but it helped to drink cold water in the station toilet. Now we cycled on a bike path along a pretty big way. Unfortunately, it still went upward. Soon a path swung, however, into the forest again, and it became more even. Also the signposting was now okay after it had been very weak in the river valley. A bench in the woods at a spectacular vantage point where you could see far out over the landscape, including a monastery in the distance invited for a short rest. Now it would go steeply down to the river again, and we agreed to drive down separately with some distance between us. There was also some narrow hairpin bends, but then the woods was over and we were down by the river on a nice and quiet tarmac road again. The river was channeled here and did nok look inviting. It stood totally still. As did the air too and it was incredibly hot to ride here without shade from the trees. We hoped that we soon reached a good bathing place again, for now it was about to be coffee time. We found one about ten kilometers further along. At least the road was quite smooth and good to drive on. The bathingplace was on the other side of the river. To get there we had to cross the river on a strange covered bridge with stairs up and down, which made it impossible to get the bikes with us. Instead, I took everything with I needed to make coffee and we found the riverbank. There was an underwater source, where the water welled up and formed spirals. We could drink it directly and it tasted just great. And soon we were both out bathing and let the Isar fresh waves cool us down. The current was very strong, and it was also deep here, so we had to watch out. Afterwards we made coffee and tea on the gas cooker and felt ready to ride on.
We were approaching now the medium-size town of Wolfratshausen, which is the administrative center of the county of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen. Here the river Loisach flows into the Isar and nearly doubles its volume. From here it is popular to sail the raft down to Munich. It must be a challenge to keep oneself and the stuff dry on it, for the currents are strong, and the size of such a raft mus be limited if it is to get through the dams. The river Loisach we should get acquainted with later. So far we cycled further along the Isar. The fact that it flowed so fast means of course that it falls a lot, and as we rode up the river, it meant that we constantly cycled a bit uphill, except for the sections where the river is canalized and where the fall is compensated by locks. Near Wolfratshausen began a beautiful section of the Isar cycle path through a forest on a good path through the forest. Also the signposting was good here. At the same time, the temperature had dropped a little, so we felt we made good progress now. Until a point, where we realized it was still a long way to go yet, so in the small town of Waldram we left the bike path and went in search of a supermarket where we could get something to eat and drink. We succeeded with the help of a friendly boy who showed the way, and the cold and very cheap drinks were bottomed with great joy. I had a plate of muesli with ice cold milk. As we approached the Alps, we could anticipate a few more climbs, so it was important not to bonk. At one time it was my suggestion to avoid a long, boring detour along a major road to the village Königsdorf and instead be near the river. This involved a fairly steep climb on a rather small forest trail. The reward was a nice view overlooking the Isar bends down in the valley. But the climb cost a lot of sweat and 'put a nail into our coffin', as they say. So maybe Simon was right that the long detour had been preferable? At least the Alps lay now right ahead us and as the road to Bad Tölz was not long anymore. After a few more ascents on small, almost car-free paved roads and a quick descent to the river, we hit a wide dirt road into the town of Bad Tolz. As the name suggests it is a spa town. This means that it must comply with certain health criteria, here air purity is in focus and the authorities may in turn charge a spa tourist tax of its guests. It is an amount that is added to hotel bills and everything else of tourists' expenditure. And all 'Bad' villages are very proud of the addition to the name. There were plenty of people who are relaxed down here by the river, sat and grilled on the shore or out on the large gravel banks of the river and many had a swim. As the Isar consists mostly of snowmelt, the water is quite cold, even on such a hot day like today. Simon and I agreed that when we had reached our target in Arzbach, we would also have a dip in the river.
But now we wanted a closer look at Bad Tölz, which has a very beautiful pedestrian zone with many fine houses. It invited for a walk, too, because we had decided to have dinner here. It would be too late to cook when we arrived at Arzbach, approx. 8km further up the Isar. And one eats good and pretty cheap at the restaurants that are named with Rats- in Germany. That's a tip to anyone reading this. They are always in the town hall, which are in most towns and cities located on the Main Market Place. So in addition they are easy to find. And Ratskeller Bad Tolz was no exception. The entrance was pretty special. You had to cross a gallery and down a steep flight of stairs, then the food was served outdoors in the courtyard. Here some retirees knocked cards and drank weissbier. Simon and I were very hungry and were looking forward to a good soup and a pork chop the size of a toilet seat. It is another advantage of the 'town hall cellars': The portions are large, and in particular, there are lots of meat. Frankly put, we both felt we had made a good effort in the pedals today. The bike holiday was just kick-started now. The heat, the many climbs and sometimes bad paths could be read in our faces. We probably both would have liked to stay in this town, but I knew there was no camp site, and Arzbach was only 8 km along the river. But now it was completely dark, so the trip was yet to feel quite long. There were still a lot of bikers on the trail, part of which were drunk and without light. Unnerving! Now we would really like to just find our campsite, but when we came to Arzbach, we had to ask a local man for directions. In the dark it's just difficult to find ones orientation, I think. But soon after we had made it and were welcomed by a small party that was going on Arzbacher Hof, the restaurant of the campsite. The reception was obviously closed, but we were alowed to find us a spot for our tent on the crowded camping site and settle the bill the following morning. Fortunately, there was some light, and we used also my bike light, which is very effective, so we quickly had the tent pitched and threw our mats, sleeping bags and panniers into the tent. Now we were down to the river for a bath. But it turned out to be not so easy, because in the dark we could not really see where there was a good bathing place. Instead we went out on a gravel bank to lie down in the water. But Simon wasn't in for that, because now the air had grown pretty cool. And the water was, as I said, very cold. Well, I tried to think of how much I had been sweating during the day and looking forward to a cooling bath. So I turned wet and cool. But it was impossible to swim. Simon had a bath in the bathroom at the campground when we came back. I would rather attend the end of the party in the restaurant Arzbacher Hof. An orchestra wearing the obligatory lederhosen sat on the bench at the entrance and could not stop playing, even if the party really was over and the waitresses were cleaning up. In particular, the accordionist was lively and kept intoning folk songs, and so the others had to join in. A few other guests could also not make their legs stand up and leave the restaurant, but it was indeed an enchanting summer evening, warm and still. And a very tired waitress agreed to serve a beer for me under strict instructions that it was all I could hope for, because now the party was really over. Before I had finished my beer, which tasted absolutely heavenly after the day's exertions, the musicians had laid down their arms or rather instruments. So now only the song of the cicadas back. Then Simon showed up, freshly washed and smelling well, and it was time to crawl into the tent and our sleeping bags.