Circling in the sun ... from Ottenhofen to Garching
Wednesday April 18, 2018
Spring has set in fast and furious. Zoom kaboom - within days the tender buds were full blown leaves. It was definitely time for another segment of the circle.
We took the train to Ottenhofen. At the train station they announced that there would be "Schienenersatzverkehr" on part of the train line due to construction. That's one of those compound German words, literally translated as rail substitution transportation. What they mean is a bus. Now why don't they say bus in the first place. We got busy figuring out how we would get to our starting point since we wouldn't be able to get on the bus with our bikes. It turned out that the train was going to skip one stop which had no effect on our plans at all. Much ado about nothing. We rode in a fairly empty train to Ottenhofen and got on our bikes.
We had little traffic on our route and it seemed everything that could possibly blossom was blossoming. "Ooooh" and "aaaah" and "stop for a picture" the whole way.
We had a few little rises in the beginning and then a very flat ride between fields. Some were still brown, others were bright green with the first shoots of wheat.
Before crossing the Isar, we cycled through Ismanning and stopped to admire its Maibaum or maypole. On May first one of the most popular traditions in Bavaria is the raising of the maypole. This custom dates back to the 16th century and has been a symbol for national identity in Bavarian villages since the 18th century. Here's a website with some more information.
We crossed the Isar in the south as it flows towards Munich a week ago. Today we see it on the other side of Munich as it makes its way to the Danube.
I noted on the map while planning our route that there would be a beer garden just before we reach Garching. Our timing was right, we were there around noon. Biergarten Mühlenpark was a delightful little beer garden on a stream and next to a water mill. They served simple food, no frills, just good Bavarian fare. We had beer, a big pretzel, pork sausages, sauerkraut and "pressack" with raw onions and vinegar dressing - which I guess is called headcheese and most people haven't heard of it. Or am I wrong? Anyway, some people find it gross, others love it. I kind of like it myself.
This time we didn't take the city train (S-Bahn) home but used the subway (U-Bahn). The U-6 runs every ten minutes and since we were fairly far out on the line we were sure it wouldn't be crowded where we got on. The U-Bahn has no special compartments or cars just for bicycles, you can get on anywhere, but usually have to stand and hold your bike. Not quite as convenient as the S-Bahn. We were in the first car and from where I was standing I could look through the pane of glass separating the passengers from the driver. I felt like I was almost in the cockpit with our driver.
We didn't go all the way to the main train station but got out at Münchner Freiheit which is a fairly big subway station with two levels, one for the trains and an upper level with shops - and a mirror-like ceiling. So I took some more pictures.
It was just a few more turns of the pedals, about 3 km and we were home. On the way I discovered one last photo op. Couldn't resist. I was a student when the fountain was first erected. We nicknamed the statue Ewige Verstopfung, "eternal constipation", and thought we were very naughty and witty. I see some students are still having fun with the meditating monk.
Just one more ride to come full circle. Stay tuned!