Cycle Tour Tour in the Alps 2013
Dag 9: Schwangau - Steeg
Please wait - map data are loading
Added on 25 Aug 2013
on 31 Aug 2020
Cycle route metrics
Total distance in km
Cumulative elevation gain in m
Avg. slope uphill in %
Cumulative elevation loss in m
Information about rights to the gps-track data
Rights characteristic / license
by-sa: CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-ShareAlike
Link to the description of the license
GPX file uploaded
by Ottocolor on 18 Nov 2013
Track points in total
Track points per km (avg)
Schwangau, Bayern, DE (787 m NHN)
Steeg, Tirol, AT (1127 m NHN)
07 Aug 2013
Still hot and sunny, but less hot than the previous days with more clouds. Almost no wind.
In Germany cycle lanes and roads exposed to some traffic in Fussen. In Austria signposted bike route along the river Lech, first to Reutte and from there on the excellently signposted Austrian cycle route No. 9 Reutte-Steeg, mostly tarmaced on an own track. The trip's best cycle route. Excellent!
Cycling day into Austria. The stage was planned to our place of accomodation in the village of Lechleiten, but it had to be shortenede due to fall of darkness. The last stretch from Steeg to Lechleiten we were driven by car. We fetched our bikes in Steeg the following day by way of a bus trip.
Today it was time to say goodbye to Fridolin and Camping Bannwaldsee. Now it was time to move on to the Alpine tour. Today was Oberes Lechtal, ie the upper part of the river valley along the Lech in the program. Many years ago I had seen on TV a program about a group of men who sailed a raft down the upper reaches of this tributary of the Danube, and since I had dreamed of cycling through this valley. It seemed quite original and natural, without all sorts of tourist hubbub, such as the Alps, unfortunately, is rather marred by my opinion. It would prove to be correct. But first stood in Fussen.
The border between Germany and Austria has a beautiful old town, I wanted to look a little more closely. So Simon and I parked the bikes where the pedestrian zone began. We also want to browse the shops and I got me another gasdåse and looked at a few new shorts in army shop to replace the old ones, which were very worn. In this way went there some time, and we also had to trudge back after our bikes and then drag them down the same road we had gone before. Edit overfed, because we would be missing time later. But then we found finally out of Fussen and a bridge over the Lech. It surprised me that the water in the river was completely brown, but the driver apparently a lot of clay in it. Isar had been crystal clear, while Loisach shining greenish. It was a little disappointing at first. Especially the waterfall Lech Fall, which I had been looking forward to seeing was very unimpressive. Simon asked emerged even what we were doing here when there was so much more and the time had passed dinner. The gorge through which the river flows through was kinda narrow, but it was not something big waterfall and that was domesticated in a number of major steps, plus the water was so fucking brown. So it looked like something that is more of a sewage treatment plant. Well, it was better in every way. The weather today was not so hot, and it was really nice after so many sweating, we had tried in Germany. Now we were namely in Austria, Tyrol, and was immediately signs of bike routes much better! I had not expected. But there was very neat signs with kilometer indication of Reutte, the first and only major city, we would pass. Here we would shop for lunch and then lubricate sandwiches, since I had not bought bread in the morning.
The gorge through which the river flows through was kinda narrow, but it was not at all a big waterfall and it was forced into a number of major steps, plus the water was brown like shit. So it looked like a part of a sewage treatment plant. Well, it turned better in every way. First, the weather today was not nearly as hot, and it was really nice after so much sweating in Germany. Now we namely were in Austria, Tyrol, and immediately the signposting of the bike routes was much better! I had not expected that. But very neat signs with kilometer indication pointed to Reutte, the first and only major town, we would pass after Fussen. Here we would shop for lunch and then make sandwiches, since I had not bought bread in the morning.
We followed the bike signs to Reutte, although cycling route 9, the Lech valley route, continued along the river. It resulted in a moderate climb, and now, we felt we were hungry. So it was very welcome to find a supermarket in a quiet part of the center of Reutte right across from a park with picnic tables and benches. This was ideal for us so we shopped and filled us with bread and sausage in the park. There was also a playground, but everything seemed completely deserted and quiet. Excellent! After a little rest it was time to go down to the river in order to find the bike route again. There was more life here and we crossed the Lech on a busy bridge with shops on both sides. There was also a church on the other side, and in Denmark there is always a toilet in the like, but here there wasn't. The modern church was open, but we had to leave it unrelieved. We managed later in a sort of flying café next to an airfield with a grass strip. I had a cup of coffee, so we had a right to use the toilet. While I drank my coffee, I was peppered by questions from the curious cafe guests, obviously all regulars, and they did not drink coffee. They spoke a funny dialect, they called Walser dialect. I had to listen carefully to understand it. They thought we had turned a large broke up for the day when we were going all the way to Lechleiten by bike, and I looked nervously at the clock above the bar. It was almost four and indeed, we had only cycled 25 of today's stage of 75 km. So now we had to speed up. And so we did. The weather was perfect cycling weather and the route was perfectly signposted and proceeded on a path in a separate layout, mostly covered with asphalt. On both sides high mountains rose, the Lechtaler Alpen. The mountain ridge to the right followed the German-Austrian border, which we neared during the afternoon. Sometimes we crossed the river on bridges. In between great bike bridges, other times small roads also for cars. The river was, true enough, still brown, but the setting was as natural and beautiful as I remember from the TV broadcast. There were only few villages, and they were all small, quiet and cozy. The only thing I regretted was that we had so little time to enjoy the beauty and tranquility, but had to trample into the pedals. Simon mostly went in the front, and thanks to the signs we never had to look for the road. I just followed Simon's red jersey and could enjoy the nice trip. We cycled up the Lech, so it went up all the time. It was more cloudy now and also cooler.
One of the most beautiful constructions in the valley was a suspension bridge for pedestrians, suspended high above the river. It looked very shaky and looked like a contraption from the Thai rainforest. And nature reigned all over. I would really have liked to crawl out on it and rocked up and down and perhaps also to the side, but Simon had absolutely no desire for it, and time, of course, didn't allow that. So I had to forget it.
But a cup of coffee had to be. We also needed a rest, for it was quite tough cycling as it constantly went up slightly and we had good speed on the bikes. Somewhere we had inadvertently left the bike route, as there were no signs anymore. But then came the village of Martinau with a tiny square in front of the church with an open well and a bench beside it. I needed water for making coffee, so it was perfect. A lady who had just come out of the church, told us, the water was quite clean and could be drunk. She asked where we were going and looked astonished when I said Warth (which is a bit longer than Lechleiten, but the latter belongs to Warth). "It's a long way to Warth" she said sadly obviously feeling sorry for us. But Simon and I were fine with the prospect of coffee and cakes. Then let the way be long. I was just worried that it would turn dark before we arrived. It was clear to me that we would have to eat dinner beforehand, because cakes alone were not enough fuel for the last 35 km.
After the coffee break it was as if the bike was a little easier to pedal. Soon we found the cycle route again, which wove around the villages and proceeded without any traffic except for a crossing of a road bridge in between. Simon felt quite sure of the route and rode along by himself. It said on the signs, how far it was to Steeg. And when I told him that we would find a place to eat dinner there, he had a clear goal in mind. I had just given Simon a carrot on a stick, and let him 'pull' me, but not literally. I trampled the pedals myself, but that's normal bike terminology that the front rider pulls those behind him.
Now I could tell that route was 'pulling teeth' and had a harder time enjoying the ride. It usually happens when evening begins to fall. Then the cycling itself loses its attractiveness as the fatigue grows. But now Steeg constantly came closer, and then we had to see how we got on from there. With full stomachs we could probably clear the final ten kilometers to Lechleiten, I thought. And with good light on the bike darkness was all right. With these thoughts we arrived at Gasthof Stern in the middle of the large village of Steeg. The beautiful alpine pension restaurant stood just down to the Lech. We parked happily our bikes across by a fence and stepped up on the outdoor terrace. Here were a couple of older ladies about to pay, so we were welcomed to have their seats. It suited us well and it smelled pleasenly of good food, so right now this was the place to be. The ladies were even more horrified by our plan to cycle to Lechleiten that evening than the lady in Martinau. They had been on a hike and were very tired. They said that the bike route was over here, and that there was only the main road back, which even went much uphill all ten kilometres. I felt it could not be so bad, because we still followed the river, but it apparently fell heavily on this stretch. Now I got the idea that maybe we could leave the bikes here in the guesthouse garage and have the hostess from our pension Schrofenwies in Lechleiten to come and pick us up in her car. For a fee that is. Next day there would be a bus service, the ladies told us. They felt obviously sorry for us, probably most for Simon, who they probably thought was the victim of his father's wild plans. Well, it's nice to feel some compassion. So I called the pension and said where we were, and she promised to help us to get up there by car. Soon food was on the table, while darkness slowly descended upon the Alpine village. The waitress had received instructions from the ladies and now took over det compassionate part. While we enjoyed our splendid meal she came out to us and told us that our hostess of pension Schrofenwies could not get her car started. But she, our waitress, had heard from her boss that he had to drive to Warth and was willing to take us to Lechleiten. And we were allowed to park our bikes in the garage until tomorrow. The landlord would call us at our places, so we could just enjoy the food. Now I could very well order another beer, and I could feel I was glad that I did not have to cycle more that day. Simon said he could have cycled ten kilometers more, even if it went up. But I said that on the road in the dark, it was no pleasure. And possibly dangerous. So we accepted the offer. So we rolled the bikes into the garage and unloaded all the luggage. That we might need later and then we did not have to lug it up the mountain on the bikes the next day. Soon after the boss drove a big Audi in front of the gasthof and let his wife and two passengers come in. It was great to go by car for once, and we realised it went up all the time. Especially the last part, the close up to Lechleiten was tough. We had not been able to ride up here with luggage, yes, it turned out to be impossible for me the day after, even without luggage. Luckily I could tell the exact way to Schrofenwies so I could guide our driver there. We thanked him for the kindness and stumbled into the pension hallway. Here Frau Lechleitner, an elderly lady came to meet us and inquired about our transportation up here. She apologized, she had not been able to help us, the sweet one, but that hadn't been necessary, because that had been our problem, we had planned the day a little wrong. We agreed on breakfast time the next morning and were shown to our room on the ground floor. It was great to storm into the room and throw all panniers into the closet and walk into the bathroom and take a hot shower and go to bed. Today we did without our tent and sleeping bags, but could sleep in a real bed, and in the morning we would have our breakfast served. I sent the bikes down the valley one last thought before I fell asleep.