Monday, May 13, 2013 | Anthony Fairweather | Europe
Day 7: Rothenburg to Erding
The final riding day of the tour. We leave Rothenburg after a good night’s sleep and ride to Dinkelsbühl, another well preserved medieval town. After look around and a coffee, we follow sweeping roads across the Fränkische Alb into the beautiful Altmühltal.
Picnic in the Altmühltal
After a picnic lunch it is a short ride to Eichstätt, where the Willibaldsburg provides a perfect setting for the final coffee stop of the tour.
The knights of the BOE leave the castle
A short stint on the Autobahn takes us to the Hallertau, Germany's most famous hops-growing region, the basis for great beer! Winding country roads take us back to Erding and the underground parking at the Henry, where sadly, this tour ends.
Flavio and Jane make their entry.
Mike has done it!
Pouring rain, sleet, cold wind and grey clouds at the onset of the tour could not deter this group of riders from having a good time all week.
Day 6: Heidelberg to Rothenburg
We leave Heidelberg on the busy road following the Neckar river upstream. Once out of the city, the road becomes quieter and there is time to enjoy the view of the green valley. A short stop in Hirschhorn for a view of the castle before we leave the river and climb up a small road into the Odenwald.
Hirschhorn am Neckar
The road leads us to Beerfelden, a small town with a grim attraction close by: A medieval gallows overlooking the rolling hills.
Jane, Flavio, Juan, Linda and Mark marvelling at the gallows of Beerfelden - well, rather the view one has from that spot...
From there the route takes us across the Krähberg, formerly the site of hill climbing races, but now closed to motorbikes on the weekend. Lucky us, we were there on a Wednesday. After the twisties it is time for a coffee and then on along the Tauber valley to Schöntal, a former monastery. We have lunch in its courtyard before setting of to Rothenburg. On the way we stop at Langenburg to enjoy the view from the castle down into the valley and have a glimpse at the vintage cars at the automobile museum.
Lunch in the shade at Kloster Schöntal. Finally the umbrellas are a welcome sight.
At Rothenburg we have time to enjoy a drink on the terrace of the hotel in the middle of the old town, before a massive thunderstorm brings rain and hail to accompany our dinner. The sky clears just in time for the night-watchman's tour, after which we can all go to bed in the knowledge that tonight we are in safe hands.
Rothenburg's one and only night-watchman.
Day 5: Ribeauvillé to Heidelberg
We leave the Alsace and head back into the Black Forest and the famous Schwarzwaldhochstrasse. Brilliant sunshine warmes us as we climb ever higher and our senses are are awed by some of the most beatiful roads Germany has to offer. Long sweeping bends are followed by spectacular views of lakes and mountains as we drop back down into the valleys south of Heidelberg. A quick blast on the motorway takes in to the center of Heidelberg where we ride along the Neckar river and to our hotel for the night.
Yes, it really is this beautiful. Juan leads the way into the fast sweepers.
Pork art on a plate!
Lunch? Yes, please!
At the start of Schwarzwaldhochstrasse.
"When in Rome....", or in this case, when in the Black Forest, have some Black Forest cake. Gottfried and Mike agree!
Yes, you can get an Harley through a medieval city. Well done Mike!
David leads the pack as we head out of Ribeauvillé
Day 4 Rest day:
„Rest Day“: a day of rest and recuperation to replenish one’s energy. Or discover some of the best twisties the Alsace has to offer.
After a leisurely French breakfast (complete with French baguette and cafè au lait) Axel takes us on trip through the vineyards and up the famous Col de la Schlucht. Endless turns take us up high over the Rhine valley and drop us off right in front of the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsburg. We return to Ribeauvillè where Gottfried and Tony have prepared a true Edelweiss style picnic (Including of coure some excellent local Münster cheese). The afternoon is spent re-riding our favourite sections of the Alsace or visiting one of the numerous little shops in the old town center.
Carlos going local by adding honey to the Münster cheese. Will we get the much coveted "Carlos-Seal of Approval"?
Our three valiant tour guides, Tony, Gottfried and Axel
Mike, Gottfried and Mike. "More Edelweiss picnics please!"
The Edelweiss chefs await the return of the hungry hordes.
Two of our intrepid Canadians, Linda and Steve.
Mark enjoying himself in the tiny medieval alleys of Ribeauvillé.
Day 3: Schaffhausen to Ribeauvillé
Today our trip takes us from Switzerland through the Black Forest to the most western point of our journey, the Alsace region of France. A quick stop at the Rhine waterfalls leaves us wanting to come back for more, but the open road awaits and clear skies welcome us into Germany. However this does not last and we are soon in the middle of a freak snow fall as we climb the roads intö the Black Forest. We recharge our batteries with some of the best Black Forest cake at the beautiful Witch Mill while the snow passes and then descend into the Rhine valley and our final destination of the day, Ribeauvillé.
Thrashing the twisties, Juan leads the way.
Big Mike is hot on his heels...
And little Mike making sure nobody is left behind.
Coming soon to an Edelweiss catalogue near you. The new all-wood motorcycle tour! Thanks Salah and Gottfried!
Two Edelweiss veterans, Linda and Flavio
More water, this time from below, at the Rhine falls
Come on in, the water's lovely!
DAY 2: Warth to Schaffhausen
We leave Warth to the sound of rain (where have we heard that one before?) and head down some splendid twisty roards into Voralberg and towards Lake Constance. To break up the monotony of riding excellent roads we decide to take the ferry across the lake. We dock at Friedrichshafen where we have the possibility to vist the famous Zeppelin museum, crossing into Germany on the way.
After lunch we follow the Rhine and are now in Switzerland and end the the day in Schaffhausen.
Onboard the fery, heading into Germany
Salah with the new winter expedition kit for this year's Hondas.
Setting of from the Arlberg mountain. We are undecided whether to switch to skiing kit
DAY 1: Erding to Warth
Heavy rain allows us to show off our highly fashionabe rain gear as we pass through southern Bavaria into Austria, visiting Mad King Ludwig's Castle Linderhof on the way. The clouds follow us as ride past the beautiful Plansee lake and up the Arlberg mountain as we head for the our first goal of our tour.
Relaxing at our hotel at 1570m above sea level.From left to right: Linda & Steve, Salah, Juan Miguel, Jane & Flavio.
The whole group in front of the Poseidon fountain at Castle Linderhof.
Tourguide Gottfried fashioning a highly desirable rescue blanket poncho for Linda while Jane assists.
Heavy rain does nothing to dampen our spirits as we set off on what promises to be a fascinating trip of Europe's best roads.