Our Grand Adventure

Ken Shortt and John Dewar on Beach's Alpine Adventure

July 10th through July 26th, 1993
Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France & Liechtenstein

Nineteen years ago our good friends, Bill & Lynn Kessler, toured The Alps on a BMW Motorcycle. When they returned they invited us to their home in El Cajon for a slide show and to listen to them rave about their trip. Right then and there, John and I swore that we would do "it" soon! Little did we know that it would so many years later!

Saturday, July 10th

We begin! We arrive in Munich, Germany at 4:45 PM in the rain after a 13 hour flight from Los Angeles on Lufthansa Airlines. The flight was long but Lufthansa was great! They served an excellent dinner and breakfast with snacks and juice in between. Two first run movies were shown. The stewardesses were good looking and friendly!

Munich has a very new and modern airport located on the northeast edge of the town. We quickly proceeded through passport control and gathered our baggage (Whew! The bags all made it! I was really worried about this!). Al Jesse was there to meet us and he found us right away. Another worry is over - how do we meet the group?

Al is the luggage van driver, mechanic, tour guide, and general good guy for the tour. Al had come out to meet us on the local train, so we went back that way. We took the train into Munich and transferred, at Passing, to the Germering train. In Germering we caught a taxi to the Hotel Parsberg in Pucheim Ort. It is raining!

Pucheim Ort is a small bedroom community to the southwest of Munich. The Hotel Parsberg, run by the Huber family, is a small elegant hotel with a very nice restaurant. We check into our room. It has one double bed! The Management quickly corrects this and gets us a room with two twin beds.

At dinner we meet Jack and Jane (they are doing the tour in a BMW automobile. Only later do we learn how wise this is!). We also meet Randy and Dan, two of our fellow motorcyclists. And, we get our first taste of Weiss beer!

Sunday, July 11th

We awake around 6:00 AM to the sound of cars driving on a wet road! It is raining steady! As I look out the window and over the parking lot, I see Jack's BMW with the sun roof wide open! I don't know which room they are in and no one answers the phone at the hotel desk! Around 7:00 AM I finally get someone to answer the desk phone and put me through to Jack. The next thing I know he is running across the parking lot with an armload of towels! At breakfast Jack tells me that not only does his car have a great heater/defroster system but it has heated seats! He was able to leave the car running with all systems on and dry it up quite quickly.

The main body of the tour group (Bob and Liz Beach, and the remainder of our tour members, the three week group) are waiting for us in Obergurgl, Austria. Jack and Jane are going to take our bags to Obergurgl.

After breakfast we suit up in our motorcycle gear (plus the rain gear) and Al introduces us to our motorcycles - BMW K75s. These are the famous BMW "Brick" motors: 3 cylinders, 740cc, fuel injection, electronic ignitions and soooooooo smooth!

Around 9:30 AM, John, AL, Dan, Randy, and I leave. It is raining steady. We head south. We pass through Gilching, Starnberg, past the Starnebergsee (lake), through Hersching, Weilheim, and Penzberg to Bad Tolz. We stop in Bad Tolz for coffee. This is a beautiful small German Alpine town. Lots of tourists. Lots of quaint cafes and shops. I take time to put on my long underwear (it is getting cold!) in the public bathroom in the parking lot adjacent to the river.

When we leave Al and Dan are leading. John, Randy, and I are a little behind and at the first intersection we turn the wrong way! After about 10 kilometers we realize we are lost. We begin to turn around in the parking lot of a small restaurant and Randy has a close call with a car, I call to him to " look out", he is startled and drops the bike! He's OK, the bike's OK, no problem.

About this time Al finds us and leads us back to the correct road where Dan is waiting. We continue through Kochel and Mittenwald.

At Mittenwald we cross into Austria. We are waived through the border crossing without having to show our passport or insurance papers. We stop just across the border for lunch. I order the famous LEBER (liver) ugh! All in all we had a good lunch.

When we come out after lunch it is still raining slightly. And, of course, when we leave I drop my bike in the parking lot! I'm not hurt, the bike is not hurt!

We bypass Innsbruck to the west, pass through Otz ( it is snowing and very cold!), through Langenfeld, Angern, and we finally arrive in Obergurgl at 5:30 PM!

Obergurgl is a ski resort and does not seem to be a "real" town. There are several hotels, some shops, and a gas station. John and I are wet, cold, and tired! But, we take a sauna, soak in the hot tub and feel a lot better!

At dinner we meet Bob and Liz Beach, their daughter Linda, and their granddaughter Kim. Also we meet Lew and Bob (the three week tour members), they have been to the east in Austria and Italy. As it turns out there are only six tour members riding motorcycles, plus Bob Beach and Al trading off on another motorcycle! So, only seven motorcycles on the trip.

We are staying at the Hotel Deutschman, another elegant hotel with a superb restaurant. After dinner at the tour group meeting Randy and I have to "confess" to our "big crashes" and we get "Ach Scheise" (Oh shit!) buttons for dropping the bikes. At the after dinner meetings, Liz Beach gives us a short talk about the next evening's hotel, history culture, museums and other items of interest.

Monday, July 12th

We awake to fairly clear weather - cloudy but no rain. John and I begin our travels around 10:00 AM with Al and Dan. We gas the bikes up in Obergurgl and then the four of us cross east over the Timmelsjoch pass (2384 M.) and into Italy. Crossing the Austrian portion of the Timmelsjoch pass we encounter our only toll road of the entire trip. Lots of snow at the top of the pass, but it is clear. There was ice in one of the longer tunnels. This was a bit scary but we made it!

We drop down (many little tight hairpin curves) into a beautiful Italian Alpine valley. The weather is very clear and fairly warm. We stop in St. Leonard for coffee. This is the first small alpine village that we really can appreciate. It is very "cute" and pretty. Also, lots of tourists here.

After coffee Al leaves us (only after we assure him that we can navigate OK) to ride the Jaufenpass. Dan, John and I decide to ride directly south to Merano through the Passeria Valley. So for the first time we are on our own! We follow a beautiful and gentle road alongside a winding river to Merano. We miss the bypass to the west and go right into the heart of Merano. Merano is a large and very busy Italian city! This is a beautiful town! Great tree lined streets and beautiful old buildings. Just about the time we really think that we are lost, we stop at a Honda shop for directions. As it turns out, we are on the right road. Fancy that!

We continue west toward St. Moritz, Switzerland. As we travel west down the Val Venostal and Vintschgau valley we see castles on the hills on both sides of the road! It is so gorgeous! We stop on the road just outside Sponding, Italy at a little stand (IMBISS), selling sodas, sausages, and French fries, for lunch.

About this time Al rides up! But he turns off again to ride the Stelvio Pass, the highest pass in all the Alps! We continue on to Sluderno and turn south towards the Swiss border. As we pass through the small Italian town of Glorenza we run into Jack and Jane. We stop and chat with them for awhile. After they leave we wander around the town square.

We cross into Switzerland and at Santa Maria we see Al one more time. Again he leaves us, this time to ride the Umbrail Pass. We don't see him again until we arrive in St. Moritz. We go over the Ofenpass (2149 M.) through Zernez, Zuoz, and arrive in St. Moritz around 5:00 PM. St. Moritz, known as "Roof of the World", is a beautiful old Swiss town overlooking sky-blue Lake San Murezzan. We are staying at the Hotel Crystal. Very posh! Lots of expensive shops and beautiful people. Light snow is falling! After another wonderful dinner and the group meeting it is time for bed. A super motorcycling day!

Tuesday, July 13th

John and I get up early and take a short walk around our neighborhood. It is very cold and is lightly snowing. Again we leave around 10:00 AM. Bob Beach, with his daughter Linda on the back, Dan, John and I travel together. There is a little confusion with stop lights, traffic, etc and we get separated from Bob and Linda. We catch up with Bob at a gas station where he is chatting with some members of the Edelweiss tour Group. I hear Bob mutter "only a few miles out of town, and these guys are already lost. What a day this will be for them!"

As the day goes on, we show Bob that we can ride motorcycles and can keep up with him (most of the time!) We cross over the Julier pass (2284 M.) in moderate snow and fog. The visibility is poor and riding is cold and not very comfortable. But, we are here for adventure! As we drop down from the Julier pass the vista of a beautiful green Swiss valley opens up before us. They just seem to get better and better! So green and clean!

We pass through Bivio, Marmorera, Savognin, and stop in Tiefencastel for coffee. Then we continue north through Thusis, Cazis, Rhazuns, and at the small town of Bonaduz we turn west onto a tiny little side road. This road runs along the edge of the mountains overlooking the Vorderrhein River. This is one of Bob's "secret" roads. It is small, winding, and carved out of the side of a mountain. There are beautiful views overlooking the valley and the river.

We come off this road and back on to the main road at Llanz. We all gas up here. We continue on through Waltensburg, Trun,and stop in Disentis Muster for lunch. Here we have the famous Goulash soup for lunch. Hot and delicious! This is the heart of the Romansch language area of Switzerland. We go on through Sedrun, Tschamut, over the Oberalp (2046 M.) and into Andermatt. This is a very small village with beautiful homes, quaint shops, and a river running through it. We stay at the Hotel Metropol. Old, but very nice. We have a nice room overlooking the main street and the Post Office.

John and I take a short walk through town. The Gotthard Tunnel (part of the Autobahn system) runs a 1000 feet under Andermatt for 14 miles on the way to Italy. This was another great motorcycling day!

Wednesday, July 14th

This is our free day as we are staying in Andermatt one more night. Andermatt is in the center of Switzerland with wonderful mountain passes on all sides (the Furka, the Grimsel, the Susten).

Since it is raining slightly we decide to take a day off from the motorcycles (and the rain). We cash some traveler's checks in the bank adjacent to the hotel lobby. John, Dan, and I take a walk through town. We walk all over the village shopping and sightseeing. We walk up the hillside overlooking the town to a small church. The view from there is awesome! We can see the whole valley with the Alps surrounding the entire area.

Back at the hotel we meet Lew and the four of us decide to drive to Goschenen for lunch. We pass through the Teufelsbruck gorge to Goschenen. We have a great lunch at the Hotel Weisse Rossil ( a large sign indicates that motorcyclists are welcome - we think). Then we take a tiny road way up above Goschenen to see the lake and dam. By the time we arrive at the top (1745 M.) it is raining quite heavy and we really can't see very much.

It rains heavy all the way down and only lets up as we enter Andermatt. We all have a cup of coffee in the hotel cafe and then up to our room for a short nap. Dinner is on our own tonight and we decide to have dinner in the hotel. Not a great meal, but easy and adequate! Most of the group is around and the main topic of conversation is "when is the rain going to stop?".

Thursday, July 15th

We are awakened by the sound of bells! A man in an Alpine costume is leading a group of horses with bells around their necks through town to the train station to pickup tourists. And, guess what, it is raining again! We are on our way to Uvier, Switzerland. Dan, John, and I are traveling with Al today.

We gas up as we leave Andermatt. We pass through Realp and cross over the Furka pass (2431 M.) around mid-morning. It is raining, then snowing, and very foggy! The visibility is almost zero! At the top of the pass there is a glacier (the source of the Rhine River) and a glacier cave, but it is so cold and uncomfortable that we, regretfully, go right by it. We pass through Belvedere, near the top. And then down, down, down to Gletsch to look back up at the glacier, but again it is so foggy that we can't see anything.

We continue into the great Sion Valley in the French speaking area of Switzerland. The Roman Legions passed through this valley on their way to the conquests of France and Britain. We pass through Ulrichen, Munster, Blitzingen, Fiesch, and Brig. We turn south at Brig. Brig is a very large city with highrises, industry, etc. We go up to and stop at the top of the Simplon Pass (2005 M.). We have a fantastic minestrone soup lunch at the Restaurant Schallbett near the top of the pass.

After lunch we come back down to Brig and the main highway. We turn west and continue a short distance to another large city, Visp. We again turn south and take the road towards Zermatt, the gateway to the Matterhorn (4477 M.). We pass through Stalden, St. Niklaus, and Herbriggen.

The road ends at Tasch. At Tasch all travelers must park their cars, motorcycles, buses, etc (no motor vehicles allowed in Zermatt!) and take the railway the rest of the way to Zermatt. Consequently, Tasch is one of the biggest parking lots in Switzerland! We do not take the train to Zermatt because it is getting late in the afternoon and we just do not have the time. We go back to Visp and again turn to the west. We continue through Turtmann, Susten, Sierre, and into Uvier.

The Hotel Des Vignes is the best yet! It seems new and is absolutely beautiful! The whole place is set among vineyards with the snowcapped Alps as a backdrop. There are gorgeous gardens. Downstairs is a wonderful spa. We all make use of the indoor swimming pool. John makes like John Paul Jones and destroys the Swiss Navy! After dinner, John, Dan, and I walk through the small town of Uvier. Uvier is not a tourist town - just a small Swiss community. John and I have a wonderful room with a view west out over the gardens and down the Sion Valley towards the twin castles.

Friday, July 16th

John, Dan, and I leave Uvier around 8:30 AM. We travel west through the Sion Valley. We pass through Vetroz, Ardon, Riddes, Saxxon, Charrat, and into Martigny. These are all reasonably large towns with lots of industry.

In one of these towns we stop at the local BMW dealer to look at the motorcycles and the accessories (and to use the WC). At Martigny we turn south towards Italy and begin the approach to the Grand St. Bernard pass (2473 M.). We pass through Bourg, Orsieres, Bourg St. Pierre, and cross the border into Italy at the top of the pass.

We had stopped just before the top for coffee and as we were leaving Bob Beach pulled up. We all ride together the rest of this day. We pass through the beautiful Val d. Gr. St. Bernard. We arrive in Aosta, Italy just before noon without any Italian Lira! Bob watched the bikes while we looked at the old church and the ruins of the old Roman Forum and Theater. Later we parked in a lot about a block away from the main square. We cashed several traveler's checks and found a delightful garden restaurant for lunch. Aosta was the northern capital of the Roman Empire in Italy.

After lunch we head northeast through St. Pierre, Avise, Morgex, La Thuile, and up and over the Petite St. Bernard pass (2188 M.) and into France. We pass through Arme, Moutiers-Tarentaise, and to Albertville, the site of the '92 winter Olympics. From Albertville we continue through Faverges (we gas up here), then alongside Lake Annecy and through Bout-Du-Lac, St. Jorioz, Sevrier, and into Annecy. The last hour going into Annecy we are caught in a huge traffic jam. It is very warm and we are tired! Around 5:00 PM we arrive at Hotel Tresoms. This is a beautiful old hotel on a hillside overlooking Lake Annecy. We have a large room with a balcony facing the lake. We sit out on the balcony having a few beers relaxing and enjoying the view. A wonderful dinner in a grand dinning room. No rain all day today!

Saturday, July 17th

We are awakened around midnight to the sounds of thunder. There is a tremendous rain storm going on with thunder and lightning. This lasts until the early hours of the morning. But, by the time we leave after breakfast it is dry and clear.

Today it is just John, Dan, and i. We go around the north end of the lake through the city of Annecy. We pass through Veyvier-Du-Lac, Alex, Thones, St. Jean-de-Sixt and over the Col d. Montets pass (1486 M.).

Being Saturday morning, most of these small towns are having open air markets. It would have been fun to stop and wander, but this is going to be one of our longer days, all the way to Montreux, Switzerland.

We continue northeast through Megeve, Combloux (lots of traffic here and we think we are lost, but we push on), St. Gervais, and Chamonix. Chamonix is the gateway to Mont Blanc, at 15,700 feet, the highest mountain in Europe. Just about every tourist bus in France seems to be here on a Saturday morning. We get some great views of the mountain.

We pass through Argentierres and up to the top of the Col d. Montets pass (1461 M.). At the top of this pass we meet Bob Beach and his granddaughter, Kim. We all travel together for the rest of the day. We cross the border into Switzerland just past Vallorcine. We stop for lunch and almost immediately Al, Liz, and Linda show up in the van. We all have lunch together.

After lunch Bob Beach leads us up the small road to Finhaut to see the huge dam and lake. Then back down to the main road and on to Martigny. Just slightly north of Martigny Bob takes us on another "small road adventure". We take a tiny road way up the mountain through Salvan to Les Marecottes, a gorgeous high-mountain valley. The road ends at a campground. It begins raining hard up here! Now back down to Martigny then north through Aigle and into Montreux.

Montreux is literally built up the side of a mountain. The Hotel Bonivard, WOW! The hotel is actually in Veytaux, a suburb just slightly east of Montreux. John and I have a 2-bedroom, 2-bath corner suite overlooking Lake Leman. Just below us is the Castle of Chillon (made famous in the poem by Lord Byron "The Prisoner of Chillon") extending out into the lake. The view is fantastic! As we look out towards the lake several old fashioned white tourist steamers go by.

Before dinner John and I take a sauna and a dip in the pool. While we are at dinner a wedding reception is going on in the dining room. After dinner we take a long walk along the lake shore. This area is a very classy resort. The lake shore is dotted with elegant villas and regal old hotels.

Sunday, July 18th

John, Dan, and I leave Montreux after breakfast and head for Aigle. At Aigle we turn northeast and pass through Le Sepey and cross over the Col des Moses Pass (1445 M.). Then through Chateau d'Oex. Just outside Rougemont we lose John! I go back to look for him and find him at a roadside WC! We then continue on into Rougemont and stop for coffee at a hotel restaurant.

We then motor through Saanenmoser, Zweisimmen, Reidenbach, and stop for lunch at the Gasthof Alte Post in Weissenburg. This is a gorgeous little restaurant next to a rushing river. We meet Jack and Jane, and also Kim, Linda, Bob and Liz Beach. After lunch we travel through Erienbach and Latterbach to Spiez on the shore of the Thunersee (lake). Then we follow the lake shore through Leissigen and Darligen. We turn south just before we reach Interlaken and pass through Wilderswil and into a great canyon with waterfalls on each side. About half way through this canyon we arrive at our destination, Lauterbrunnen.

We check into our hotel and shortly thereafter Al shows up with the luggage van. We have arrived here at 1:30 PM so we decide to do some sightseeing. We catch a bright yellow PTT bus (this is the Swiss Postal Service which also runs a national bus service going to even the tiniest of Swiss villages) to the Trummelbach Falls. This is a raging waterfall inside a mountain!

On the way back to our hotel it begins raining hard. Our hotel is the Motel Jungfrau. This is another great small hotel. The Staubbach Falls are almost directly behind the hotel. When we go to bed around 10:00 PM it is still raining!

Monday, July 19th

We are spending the night again in Lauterbrunnen. So we will be sightseeing all around this area today. John, Dan, and I leave the hotel around 8:30 AM. We head north towards Interlaken. We turn east and pass through Zweilutschinen, Platte, and Burglauenen on our way to Grindelwald. Grindelwald is a beautiful small Swiss Alpine village. There are lots of tourists here. We pass through Grindelwald to a large parking lot just east of the town. This is the approach to the glacier. We walk (several miles, uphill) to the base of the glacier and actually enter a cave that has been cut deep into the glacier. This is really some experience! But, a little too claustrophobic for me.

Then we go back down to the junction with the Interlaken road. We turn north and pass through Wilderswil again and into Interlaken. We drive through the center of the town and cross the River Isar to park in the delightful neighborhood of Unterseen. Unterseen has gorgeous homes and small hotels along the river's edge. We then walk down towards the center of Interlaken. We stop at the Cafe Baren for lunch. After lunch we wander in and out of shops, people watching, eating ice cream, and of course shopping. Interlaken is a beautiful town and well worth a much longer visit.

We get back to Lauterbrunnen around 4:00 PM. Across the street from our hotel we catch the cog railway train to Wengen. Wengen (no motor vehicles allowed in Wengen) is a small side-of the-mountain village. From Wengen it is possible to continue taking cog railways all the way to the Jungfrau, the highest point (4158 M.) in Europe that can be reached by rail. We take the train back to the hotel for dinner. This has been really a nice day with only light sprinkles in the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 20th

lt is raining this morning! Dan, John, and I leave after breakfast around 8:30 AM. We pass through Interlaken and turn east passing through Ringgenberg, Niederried, Oberried, and Brienz. Brienz is the center of the Swiss wood carving industry.

We are driving along the shore of the Brienzer See. We go east as far as Meiringen. Meiringen is the location of the Reichenbach Falls where Sherlock Holmes met his end when Moriarity pushed him over the falls. There is a Sherlock Holmes statue and museum in Meiringen.

We turn back to the west and at Brunin we turn north and ride up and over the Brunig pass and then through Lundgern, Giswi, and into Sarnen for coffee. We stop at the Hotel Hirschenen for coffee. While we are there we buy items for a picnic lunch. After we leave Sarnen we turn northeast on the small road passing through Wisserlen and Stans. At Stans we turn east along the shore of the Vierwaldstatter See. At Beckenried we catch the ferryboat across to Gersau. This is about a twenty minute ride.

We have our picnic lunch on the dock while waiting for the ferry. From Gersau we motor east and then turn south at Treib passing through Morschach, Sisikon, and Altdorf.

Altdorf is the home of the William Tell legend. There is a William Tell statue, museum, hotel, restaurant, etc. This is a true story, according to the Swiss, and is very important to them. At Altdorf we turn east and begin the approach to the Klausen (1948 M.). We pass through Burglen, Untershachen, and up and over the pass. Boy oh boy! This was a rough one! First it was raining, then heavy fog on a very tiny and winding road with many hairpin curves and switch backs. There was lots of snow and it was very cold. The visibility was almost zero! But, of course, we make it. The Brave Alpine Adventurers! All over this pass grandstands, lights, barriers, etc. are being set up in preparation for the re-enactment of a famous car race held in the 1930's.

Once over the pass we stop in a small cafe in Linthal for needed coffee. We then continue north through Schwanden, Glarus, and to Nafels. At Nafels we turn northeast on a small road passing through Mollis to Obstalden on the shore of the Walensee. We follow the shore of the Walensee east and southeast through Murg, Flums, and Mels. At Mels we turn north and drive through Trubbach, Sevelen, and to Buchs. At Buchs we turn east and cross the border into the independent Principality of Liechtenstein. We then turn south and pass through Vaduz, the capitol of Liechtenstein where the Prince and his family reside in an old palace overlooking the city, and take a narrow winding road all the way up to Malbun. Malbun is the highest village in Liechtenstein.

It has been raining as we approach Malbun and there is snow on the ground. So, again we are wet and cold. We are at the Hotel Montana. Another gorgeous small hotel. The Beaches are really to be commended for their choice of hotels. It has been raining off end on all day and we are really tired. We get to bed around 10:30 PM.

Wednesday, July 21st

Dan, John, and I leave Malbun around 9:00 AM. It is raining very hard! The motorcycles had sat out all night in the rain and cold, but they started right up this morning. We pass through Vaduz again. We cross the border into Switzerland (only a small sign marks the border - no check point) . We travel west to Buchs looking for the secondary road north to the Bodensee. We miss the road we want and end up on the Autobahn. Boy is this fun! On the Autobahn at high speed in the driving rain!

We travel north for a short way and turn off the Autobahn at Oberriet. We continue north and pass through Altstatten, St. Margrethen, and into the city of Hard. We cross the Rhein river several times. We stop for awhile on the shore of the Bodensee. We get a little mixed up near Bregenz and end up entering a great long tunnel going north. I think the tunnel was7 to 8 miles long. Eventually we exit the tunnel at Horbranz where we cross the border into Austria. Shortly afterwards we cross the border into Germany. We turn east passing through Lindenburg and Simmerby. We stop for lunch just outside Oberstaufen. We eat at a delightful restaurant and art gallery called "Cafe Au Kamin". We all agree that this is probably one the best cafes we have eaten at on the whole trip! We continue on to the east.

At Immenstadt we meet Randy, Lew, and Bob. We continue east towards Fussen all riding together. We pass through Rettinberg, Nesselwang, and Pfr. Weissbach. We pass by the Weissensee and into Fussen (a big town). It is only a few miles outside Fussen to Hohenschwangau. We are staying at the Schlosshotel Lisl. Another beautiful hotel in a gorgeous location.

The Castle Hohenschwangau is on a hill across from the hotel and the Castle Neuschwanstein is on the side of the mountain behind the hotel. Just as we pulled up to the hotel the rain has stopped after raining almost all day! We all stop for a beer on the veranda of the hotel. Before dinner John and I take a walk with Lew along the small lake near Hohenschwangau.

Thursday, July 22nd

Dan and I take a bus up the mountain to Castle Neuschwanstein. John had seen this castle on a previous trip to Europe, so he relaxes in the hotel. We wait in line with all the other tourists and then take a guided tour through the castle. It was beautiful!

At 11:00 A.M. we gather up John and leave for Munich. We motor northeast passing through Buching, Trauchgau, and turn east at Steingaden. We go into the little village of St. Weis to see the Weis Kirk (White Church). This is a beautiful white cathedral! We meet Lew, Bob, and Randy coming out of the church. We all agree to meet in Rottenbuch for coffee. At Echelsbacher Brucke we turn south (wrong!) and are all the way to Bad Kohlgrub, about 8 kilometers, before we realize that we should have turned north at Echelsbacher Brucke!

By the time we get to Rottenbuch the other guys are leaving. We stay for coffee and to use the WC. It begins raining very hard when we leave Rottenbuch. We continue northeast passing through Bobing, Peissenberg, and Weilheim i. OB. At Peissenberg it is raining so hard that we pull into a gas station just to get under the awning. The other three guys pull in right behind us.

When the rain lets up we continue. Just short of Herrsching we turn to the southeast and go to Andechs. Andechs is the site of the "Beer Garden Monastery". We all pull in here and lo and behold, the rain has stopped and the sun has come out! We have pork, potatoes, sauerkraut, and a liter of beer for lunch. It was wonderful!

John and I decide that since the sun is out we will continue on to Pucheim. We pass through Seefeld, Wessling, and get lost somewhere near Gilching. We finally get turned around and reach Germering in heavy Friday afternoon traffic. We realize that we are only 2 or 3 miles from Pucheim Ort, but we cannot find the turnoff and we are now in the middle of a thunder storm. It is raining cats and dogs with thunder and lighting! We are soaked to the skin and frustrated! We stop in a gas station for fuel and directions. A few minutes later, we arrive at the Hotel Parsberg.

Wet, cold, tired - all we want is a room and a warm bath. We find that the room has only one double bed. I go down to the desk and the manager tells me that a double bed is the same as two beds! I tell her to come up and look! She tells me "I know my hotel"! We settle for the double bed. I take a warm bath. Later, Liz calls and tells us she has arranged for us to move to a room with two single beds. Thanks, Liz!

That night, the whole group goes into Germering for Chinese dinner (very good). The motorcycle trip is over! We have traveled 2170 kilometers or 1356 miles! All this time the motorcycles ran great! Not a single problem. Actually, they performed like "BMWs", smooth, fast, comfortable, and reliable.

Friday, July 23th through Monday July 26th

Friday, Dan, John and I take the train and subway into Munich. We go to the BMW Museum at the BMW factory, Olympic Park, lunch in the cafeteria, the Olympic Tower, and downtown to the Marienplatz. That night the Beaches host the farewell dinner. The last meal with the whole group. This has really been an outstanding group of people. I have enjoyed meeting and knowing all of them!

Saturday, John and I go into Munich. We walk about 2 miles to Germering to catch the train. We shop in and around the Marienplatz. We have lunch at the Hofbrauhaus. What a place! Beer, "Om-Pah" music, food, people, beer, --- wow! Back in Germering we have dinner (hamburgers and beer) at Mc Wild 's.

Sunday John and I go again into Munich to visit the Deutches Museum. 10 miles of hallways! This is a wonderful museum somewhat similar to the Smithsonian. We again have lunch at the Hofbrauhaus.

Monday is a quick walk into Germering to cash some traveler's checks then to the airport (a wild ride on the Autobahn in a small Opel with Alan driving) for the flight home. Another thirteen hour flight, but Lufthansa treats us great. John and I split at Los Angeles. He is going on to Sacramento and I'm heading for San Diego. I finally reach Coronado around 11:00 P.M.

A million thanks to the Beaches! It was great! Everything they had promised and much more than I expected!

Ken Shortt, Coronado, CA.

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