Bicycling Bavaria’s Backroads
Four Reasons To Go
I have written and re-written this introductory paragraph to Bavaria multiple times. With each rewrite I inevitably feel like I’m describing the setting from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. (With the exception of gingerbread houses of course.) Despite my best efforts, it is nearly impossible to avoid fairy tale cliche’s while describing Bavaria’s charm. Bavaria is downright enchanting. From snow-covered Alps to lush green plains, Bavaria promises most things your mind might imagine when you think of cycling lush old-world European roads. However, the region of Bavaria is very unique from other parts of Germany. In Bavaria you’ve got a host of things to look forward to:
As far as scenery on a bicycle tour is concerned, Bavaria is hard to beat. Castles hide behind clouds in green forests, towns are surrounded by medieval walls, and cows lazily poke their heads up from flowery meadows. Some of the best-preserved towns and villages from the 15th through the 18th century are strung out like pearls throughout Bavaria and our tour follows Germany’s famous Romantic Road stretching from central Germany to the Austrian Alps providing a link back in time specifically designed to see the best of these towns.
This is a slogan commonly heard in Bavaria, a nod to how tradition and progress can go together without sacrificing one or the other. As an example of that phenomenon, you will see modern arrays of solar-panels on traditional farm houses and homes. Bavaria is home to many traditions that remain very much a part of the culture, you will still see lederhosen and dirndls (the beautiful dresses) at traditional festivals that are prolific throughout the region. In contrast, many of the “traditional” cities of the region have developed into hubs of Germany’s booming economy – urbanized cities and medieval villages share the landscape throughout this stunning region.
There are few things more rewarding after a day of cycling than a visit to one of Bavaria’s many beer gardens – which is not hard considering Bavaria has more breweries than towns. Families, friends, and strangers alike share long community tables and exchange stories over snacks and a cold stein of beer. Beer gardens originated in Munich, so a visit to the capital of Bavaria is well worth raising a glass to these social hubs.
Though Bavarian dialects are not officially recognized as languages, people take pride in speaking and understanding local dialect. These eclectic and musical-sounding dialects are modifications of High German with unique grammar and spelling. Traveling is a great opportunity to learn (or brush up on) old language skills. In Bavaria, you’ll get the treat of hearing – and hopefully learning – a few new ‘local’ words to add to your vocabulary. Do not fear though – people love to speak English in case you have a hard time catching on in a new language.