2 Jul 2013

Day 10: Flachau to Wemding

We had a traditional Austrian breakfast at 10am and packed up to head to Munich.

No alarm clock needed with these cows outside.

Our friends' beautiful traditional Austrian style home.

What a luxury to have a view like this from the sitting room.

By the time we'd finished saying our goodbyes it was nearly noon. We decided to slab it to Munich to make up some time and so we would have a chance to visit BMW Welt.

We both agreed that Austria was a fantastic country to ride through, let down only by the enormous police presence for speed checks, plus countless speed cameras, particularly on the autobahns. Fortunately no flashes on this trip.

We entered Germany about an hour after leaving and gave the bike a chance to stretch its legs on a few sections without speed limits. With panniers and a full load on half-worn Heidenau K60 Scouts I didn't push it beyond 160km/h but it still had plenty more to give.

What amazes me about the F800GS is how stable and forgiving it is, no matter what the speed or load. It has torque like a freight train in every gear but at the same time it's easy to keep at the speed you wish without constantly having to make adjustments to the throttle.

From the cracked single track lanes and dirt roads of France to the snowy hairpins of the Grimsel Pass in Switzerland to the Autobahns of Germany nothing catches it out—BMW have done well to make a true all-rounder bike.

Munich really is BMW-land and it seemed that one out of two vehicles on the road carried the blue and white checkered flag. We arrived at BMW Welt around 2:30pm and parked underneath in the sterile car park, every surface clean enough to eat off.

After a quick lunch at the sandwich bar we had a wander through the atrium.

The new Rolls Royce coupé.


On the terrace.

Bikers' Lounge.

The new vehicle delivery area.

BMW headquarters from BMW Welt.

The chap was suspiciously silent about his adventures.

Suspended F800GS pimped out in Touratech toys.

BMW M display.

Round-the-world Mini.

After we finished at BMW Welt we paid a reasonable €2 for parking and slowly made our way out of Munich during evening rush-hour. Stop and go traffic isn't particularly pleasant in 27°C weather in full gear so it was a relief once we came out of Dachau and were on the open German B-roads.

The Autobahn is a novelty for a little while with its lack of a speed limit in some sections but Germany's B-roads were made for motorbikes. Apart from 50km/h speed limits in towns and villages, and the odd 80km/h section at higher-risk junctions, the speed limit is 100km/h which means good progress through the countryside and long sweeping curves among the fields and rolling hills.

The Germans are also exceptionally skilled drivers on the whole as evidenced when we were passed by a Volkswagen Transporter and then had difficulty keeping up through the curvy bits. The drivers certainly enjoy a bit of speed.

By 8pm I was tired and my bottom felt like it was about to prolapse so I fired up the booking.com app to see what was around. About 10km away was the very reasonably priced Hotel Ambiente in Wemding so we headed over to have a look.

The hotel was right on the corner of the town square in a medieval German village and full of old world charm. We keep having rooms on the 2nd floor of hotels which means lugging the panniers up several flights of stairs after long and tiring days, and today was no exception.

After a quick shower to freshen up we headed down to the restaurant and were treated to proper German pub fare with fantastic local beers and ice cream sundaes to finish off. A perfect end to an enjoyable day—well maybe with the exception of the young chaps trying to impress their girlfriends by tearing around the town square on their 50cc hairdryer scooters during dinner. But we've all been there one way or another.

Just as we were heading to sleep lightning started in the distance—fingers crossed for a dry day tomorrow.

View from the window.

Fountain in the square.

Alps 2013 quick links

Day 1: London to Lille
Day 2: Lille to Hagondange
Day 3: Slow road to Ammerschwihr
Day 4: Ammerschwihr
Day 5: Ammerschwihr to Thônes
Day 6: Thônes to.... Thônes
Day 7: Thônes to Ruèras
Day 8: Ruèras to Flachau
Day 9: Flachau
Day 10: Flachau to Wemding
Day 11: Wemding to Urberach
Day 12: Urberach to Antwerp
Day 13: Antwerp to London

The gear and how it held up
The trip in hindsight