Europe 2014 – Munich – We Ride, We Drink Beer and Are Glad to Be Here

Timeline: September 15th – 17th

Our plan for riding would be to follow the Isar north one day and south the other to see how far we could go in either direction. A beautiful day greeted us with blue skies, warm but not too hot temperature, and little or no wind, perfect weather for riding. We left camp, crossed the river on a small footbridge and turned north along a dirt path that split the canal to our left and the river to our right.

Isar Canal Near Camp

Isar Canal Near Camp

Not much later we exited onto a city street that we followed a short distance until we encountered a bike path that we would ride all the way up to Englischer Garden, one of the world’s largest urban public parks, larger than New York’s Central Park.

Path in Englischer Garden

Path in Englischer Garden

As we had done on prior rides during the trip, our strategy was to continue following bike path signs until we ran out of signage, ran out of energy, or both.

Bike Path Sign

Bike Path Sign

About halfway through the Garten, we stopped briefly to examine a small Hofbrau Haus Biergarten (one of many such establishments in the park) for future reference, thinking we might stop there in a day or so if we took a bike ride with Kim and Marty.

Wagon at the Mini-Hofbrau

Wagon at the Mini-Hofbrau

Back on the trail we continued north with the goal of riding to the Arena (Allianz Arena) and after a few bouts of misdirection (no surprise with us) found our selves there. The Arena opened in 2005 and known for its exterior of inflated ETFE plastic panels, it is the home field for Munich’s football clubs, FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860.

Allianz Arena

Allianz Arena

We turned around and rode all the way back to camp on the same paths, deviating slightly at the end to take in a surf spot on the southern end of the park, created by rushing canal water and the concrete features of the canal itself. As we approached camp, we stopped in at the Edeka market near the Thalkirchen U Line entrance to pick up ingredients for dinner.

Surfing the Canal

Surfing the Canal

As we were going to give the big Gaz stove away to someone at camp and thus limit future cooking exercises to simple meals, we bought a bag of packaged salad lettuce, a new bottle of dressing, a can of Albacore Tuna and some additional vegetables to add to the salad. A baguette finished off the list of items needed and we repaired to camp to enjoy a healthy filling meal accompanied by our usual selection of an inexpensive bottle of wine.

Our outing the next day followed the same recipe, that is ride south along the river, this time following it on a nice packed dirt path for about five miles, then cutting inland through small towns until we reached a likely place to turn around. The path cut out in a small town and as we’d passed a nice looking little café, we made our way back there for our customary snack. Two cups of coffee and a pastry later we were back on the road for the ride to camp.

Snack on Ride

Snack on Ride

On the way out we’d taken a difficult detour on a steep dirt trail, which we avoided on the return, eventually finding our way back to the canal path and the scenic ride towards Thalkirchen. Unlike the day before, we returned to camp, cleaned up and drove the car to the Edeka to pick up food for dinner and a case of Augustiner in anticipation of folks arriving over the course of the next couple of days.

River Path on Ride to Camp

Dinner that night was a can of Ravioli and some bottled pickled vegetables. While we’ve generally found the quality and taste of most of the canned meals to range from acceptable to quite good, one can unequivocally state that the ravioli meals rank towards the bottom. But we are talking about camp food and with that category of dining, as Joanna and I say, It’s Better than a Bug.

Preparing for Fun

Preparing for Fun

We packed up camp Thursday morning and prepared to meet Kim and Marty at the Sheraton Arabellapark where we would be staying for the rest of our time in Munich. It had been a fine three nights at Thalkirchen and as we chatted with some folks from Amsterdam that morning, we almost regretted the fact that we’d be missing out on all of the excitement that would occur there once the Oktoberfest groups arrived.

Not Like My Old VW Van

Not Like My Old VW Van

Then again, given our experience in 1984, a nice hotel room with real walls separating us from large crowds of drunken revelers sounded a bit more appealing than just the walls of our tent. And so we bade farewell to Thalkirchen, a place of fond memories for us, hoping that we might return again some day to make some more.

Isar with Thalkirchen on the Left

Isar with Thalkirchen on the Left

Links:

Englischer Garden: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englischer_Garten

Allianz Arena: https://www.allianz-arena.de/en/

Edeka: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edeka

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