Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Distance ridden 453 kilometres

As always, I woke up early and, while Lucie slumbered on, I went to knock off as many of my 10,000 daily steps as possible. I walked to the base of the cable car, which was not far away. Although the sun was shining, the same meteorological phenomenon of “inversion” that had, on our first ascent, prevented us seeing the valley floor, now prevented me seeing the top. The cables appeared to just vanish into the low clouds. It was so quiet that I could clearly hear the waterfall which was at least two kilometres up the hill. 

I walked back, past our pension and towards the town. Partschins is an apple growing area and the endless lines of “cordon” style young apple trees extended as far as the eye could easily see. Despite the earliness of the hour, tractors small enough to navigate between the rows trundled, at exactly the 30 kph speed-limit, up and down the road, all towing some form of spraying equipment. It was a friendly little town, each driver gave me a cordial wave and the few pedestrians I encountered all wished me a pleasant “Morgen” (Good Morning). As previously mentioned, it was quite hard to believe that, geographically speaking I was actually in Italy and not in Austria.

Suitably exercised, I went home and made Lucie her coffee before we adjourned to the breakfast room. I had become quite fond of the buffet style breakfast and I was also able to get some proper boiling water, so my tea was good as well.

Before leaving, I consulted the internet for a way to make the Engine Check light disappear (successful). It did not come back on, which was a relief ! 

Then we packed our stuff onto the Harley, said goodbye to the beautiful accommodation and the pleasant hostess and did a bit of trundling of our own through the nice little village. We passed our two restaurants

and the quaint church.

Oddly, leaving the village was much more straight forward than our entrance two days before …. We took the main road and headed back down the hill to Bolzano, passing the Forst brewery en-route.

We had set the navigation onto the “Fastest route – WITH highway” and this guided us to the A12 highway where we paid the toll and set off in the direction of Innsbruck and Munich. Apart from a few short delays along the road due to carriageway repairs, the ride was smooth and easy. It led initially to Austria via the Brenner pass and, if you are obliged to use a motorway, this would probably be the one to pick. It was simply beautiful riding through a vista of green hills rising to mountains, some of which still had traces of snow despite the heat at our level.

Occasionally we would cross a broad river whose murky rushing waters hinted at a high degree of alluvial silt.

The oil was still leaking, but it was principally a fine mist that was making itself felt on my riding trousers, the bottom of my HOG vest and even, rather oddly, on my helmet. A tiny amount did find its way onto the seat, but Lucie remained, mercifully, un-lubricated. When I checked the level, at the top of the pass, it had not seemed to move downwards at all.

As we moved into Austria, the scenery changed a bit, but it was still a pleasant hilly landscape dotted with hop fields and the solar panels of which the Austrians seem inordinately fond. The motorway was still a toll road and more expensive than its Italian counterpart, but it was well surfaced and must have been very expensive to build. Nothing is free, I guess.

The only really annoying holdups occurred once we crossed into Germany and began to head towards Munich on the A8. This approach and the circumnavigation up the eastern side of the city on the A99 was a bit trying. Despite being very wide, six lanes in places, the inside lane of the A99 resembled a fifty kilometre long truck park more than a motorway. Still, even loaded, the Harley is quite narrow and quick enough to take advantage of gaps in the flow of traffic, so we made the whole circuit up the eastern side of the city in less than an hour.

We were directed onto the A9 and once past the exits to the airport, traffic thinned and it was not too long before we found ourselves exiting the A9 to the A93 in the direction of Regensburg. The hops, which go into the beers for which Bavaria is rightly famous, were certainly higher up their strings than their counterparts further north in the Czech Republic.

Before long we came to Exit 48 for Hausen where we rejoined the country roads.

According to the navigation we were, at that point, about two kilometres from our destination. But, rain can fall figuratively as well as actually and, when we came to the turning it was blocked with a barrier although the road itself, that we could see behind it, looked fine. This did not phase the navigation unit. As I sped by the blocked turning, it immediately calculated an alternative which I duly began to follow. Behind me, Lucie had begun looking at a map application on her ‘phone and she took issue with the new route – but our helmet intercoms had run out of power and I did not find that out until too late. The new circuit was probably about five times longer than the original one, but we arrived smoothly enough (after I originally missed the gateway to the brewery) at around half past four. We did not argue about it, but a few choice words about me ignoring my dear wife’s advice were said after we had parked !

The beautifully restored Stangl Brewery (Brauereigasthof Stanglbräu, Dorfstraße 11, 93345 Hausen, Germany) was like a picture postcard. It even had the nest of a stork perched upon the chimney. This is considered good luck.

Our room was really lovely. It has a big comfy bed

and a bathroom containing a shower cubicle of such dimensions that I wished I knew a ladies netball team to share it with ! (Joke !)

Done with riding for the day, we enjoyed a couple of beers in the beer garden – even the non-alcoholic one that Lucie had was absolutely crisp, fresh and delicious.

Then we went for a walk primarily to take pictures of the storks on the chimney

and, naturally enough, we decided to go explore why the road was actually closed. Of course, at walking speed, we found that the barricades could be bypassed without any problems and, during our walk, we noticed several local vehicles going around the barriers and using the road. So we definitely would not be going around the long way on our way out of town the next day.

We had our evening meal in the garden of the brewery restaurant. It was good, local, Bavarian fare ! Pork cooked in the brewery’s dark beer for me

– with a dark beer (brewed on the premises, of course) to accompany it

– and Spetzle, a sort of thin, German gnocchi, for Lucie.

The dessert sounded like a local version of strudel, but turned out to be more of a sponge with an apple sauce.

Somehow we forced it all down !

Sadly, but it would be worthwhile bearing in mind were you ever to visit, the bar and restaurant closed, with clockwork, Bavarian precision, at 21:00 precisely.

We retired to our lovely room and slept like babies !