Bicycling Through Bavaria

{September 20, 2013}

See if you can follow this: For the month of September, we stayed in an apartment underneath the landlord’s house. We found the apartment using airbnb and it was a lovely place. The surprise to us was, each week included cleaning, fresh linens, and our land lady was gracious to leave us fresh tomatoes and plums from their garden. While we were on “holiday” in Germany, our landlords were headed to Belgium for their holiday! It seemed as if no sooner had we arrived, and they were leaving. However they had planned ahead and arranged for a friend of theirs to come to stay above us in their house and take care of things. So we all were house sitting in a way. :)

So, for the majority of our time, Doris lived above us, and kindly did the cleaning, answered our questions and best of all, played tour guide for the area on bicycle! We were able to use our landlady’s bike for myself, and ended up meeting another neighbor to borrow a second one for Daniel. Doris rode her own e-bike, and pulled Natasha in her cart that attaches to the bike. Usually she pulls luggage in it, or her dog rides when he gets too tired.

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So for our first outing, we headed over the vineyards behind Eibelstadt to the very neighboring village of Theilheim, about 5.7 km. away. The little festival was called “Herbstflair”, which according to Google Translate, is translated as, “Fall Flair.”  It was delightful! Local artisans came with their homemade wares, local food, (like chocolate, breads and fruit), crafts and artwork to display for a couple days. The whole festival was tucked in an cobble-stoned alleyway and decorated with a mushroom theme.

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A few of the shops were on an “upper level”, so you could climb the metal stairs and look down on the activities below:

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Or, across at a wine tasting booth:

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A short walk up a landscaped hillside, was a tent with wooden toys, mind games and puzzles. Natasha was very good at this little heart puzzle. The lady keeping the booth spoke English and was kind to let us try the little games. She tried to get a small wooden rod with a looped string, through my buttonhole, but I think I surprised her by being familiar with that trick! Are you? (Sorry no picture…growing up we called it a “dumb stick”.)

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Next door were some delightful fabric softies, small gifts, knitted items and so on.

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Natasha enjoyed watching a watercolor card being painted too.

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There were snacks nearby, brats and pastries, but we settled on some fresh grapes before leaving. I simply adored the mushroom decor, and was intent on finding a red mushroom growing wild on our bike ride home. Alas, I never saw one, still am not sure if they actually grow in the area, but it was so magical to think about the possibility. :)

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Natasha absolutely loved the bike cart. She instantly fell asleep and simply rode along all snuggled up.

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And for once, I don’t need to label this Europe outing “walking”! For we cycled instead! It was glorious…as long as we weren’t going uphill. Daniel and I huffed and puffed up the hills, while Doris just peddled ahead, leading the way to the top, barely working up a sweat, despite pulling the cart with Natasha’s 18 kg! Doris’ e-bike was deceiving! You didn’t really know it had that electric capability to assist the hill climbing, till you heard the little motor purring. It was humorous though, when we coasted downhill in preparation for an upcoming steepish hill, Doris would call back to us, “Make speed!” :)

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