After a long break and many training rides, I started my journey again from Bern on Wednesday the 27th of March. As I had all my stuff back in Bern I have decided not to continue from Mainz, but to cycle some hills and mountains towards Vienna through Switzerland and the Allgäu.
In these first days, I had some heavy climbs through the hilly Toggenburg Region, which ended with an 8 minute downhill to Gams in the Rhine Valley. On this particular Friday, which was my 29th Birthday, I continued cycling along the Rhine (also border to Liechtenstein) to Oberriet where I could set up my tent in the garden of my friend’s colleague. This sunny day, on which I cycled the most high-meters so far and had my longest downhill, ended with a great barbeque and great company with Reto, Miriam and Ben.
The next day I left Switzerland and reached the Allgäu after a short ride through Bregenz in Austria. For the second time I left my home country with a fully packed bike, not knowing what lay ahead, but this time without any physical discomfort. I felt nervous and excited at the same time, ready for a change, ready for the adventure and to explore the world.
When I cycled through the Allgäu region, the landscape did not change a lot compared to Switzerland. There were still a lot of hills and my legs were slowly but surely getting tired from all the altitude. What did change however were the forests with tall firs as found in the Schwarzwald Region in south Germany so as the restaurants with the Bavarian flair.
After a week I was back in the simple life of bicycle touring. Waking up at 5.30 where the birds take over the role of the alarm clock, eating breakfast, cycling all day until the sun starts to set and finally finding a place to camp and spend the night.
What I’m still trying to do if possible is to ask people if I can camp on their property/field. This way I had a lot of great talks with locals, learned something about their region or even had the opportunity to use their toilet or to get some water to fill my water bottles in the morning.
After 4000+ meters of altitude cycled, my legs definitely needed a break, so I found a great camping place at lake Grüntensee and decided to take a day off.
When I brewed my morning coffee in front of the tent, I suddenly heard a bicycle coming along the lake, followed by brake noises and a loud “Heeeeey!”: That’s where I met Anna.
Anna from Germany, who had lived in Australia for over a year, started her own big trip a few weeks ago with the intention to cycle from Germany back to Australia. She was the first long-distance cyclist I met on this journey and as we both wanted to cycle to Füssen to see Neuschwanstein castle, I was happy to have a cycling partner for the next day.
Cause it’s not allowed to cycle up to the castle, we asked the guard man whether we are allowed to push the bikes up the hill, what he affirmed with a smile. 20 minutes later, passed by several tourist-laden carriages, we found ourselves a bit sweaty but happy on top of the hill. When Anna wanted to see the castle from the inside and did a guided tour, I looked after the bikes, had a cold beer and took some pictures of the surrounding landscape.
Though it’s a very touristy place, we both think it was worth the effort pushing up our loaded bikes to see this beautiful Castle, which was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria.
In Füssen, Anna and my paths have separated again as she made her way through the Austrian Alps towards Italy. My original intention cycling to Salzburg, however, resulted in a detour to Munich, as I wanted to visit the Bavarian capital as a great end point of my time through southern Germany.
Once again, in Munich, I had drawn the right lot and landed at the two Warmshower super-hosts Gernot & Elena. These two lovely people have specially furnished a cellar-room with shower, toilet and everything else a cycle tourer could wish for after a long day on the bike. I stayed for two nights and cause the room has its own entrance, I was able to explore the city for a day in a relaxed way.
After a generous and super delicious breakfast on my departure day, Gernot, who himself had crossed Africa from north to south by bicycle, joined me a full day by bike to the city of Landshut. From there I followed the Isar river which flowed into a bigger river, which is well known for cycle tourism and offered me some enjoyable and easy/flat kilometres.
More in the next one 😉
Special thanks to all of you in Switzerland and Germany for being part of my journey: Cristina, Reto, Miriam, Ben, Hans, Monika, Anna, Gernot, Elena & Gordula
Howdy! I'm Fabian, a Swiss adventurer, photographer / filmmaker who loves exploring and capturing our beautiful planet. From March 2019 - April 2020 I cycled 20'000km from Bern Switzerland to the pacific coast in Vietnam, trying to inspire others to do the same, to travel more, going outdoors, enjoying nature and get to know our amazing planet wi live on.