Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #1 – Peiting to Wies

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With our new Bikeline maps, we are ready to start our cycling trip along the 350-kilometer Romantic Road which starts in Fussen in the south of Bavaria and ends in Würzburg in the central Germany. Although it more or less follows the old Roman road of Via Claudia Augusta, it was really only invented in 1950 to stimulate the local economy after World War II. The trail, with its many baroque churches and castles became very popular with the families of Americans who had been stationed in Germany.

Scenery as we leave Peiting

Scenery as we leave Peiting

As soon as we are out in the countryside, we are delighted.  The scenery is just as beautiful as I remember from our short visit in 1999: mountains of various heights in the background, rolling green hills in the foreground and an occasional house or tractor. The locals are bringing in the hay at the moment so it’s quite busy. Our itinerary is along small roads and is extremely well sign-posted. We won’t be getting lost today, unlike our recent experience in Italy.

Typical bike path, often closed to vehicles

Typical bike path, often closed to vehicles

The only disadvantage is the number of hills (and the occasional march fly). Jean Michel had forgotten the hills, but I hadn’t. However we mustn’t complain. We prefer hilly roads in Bavaria where everything is a delight to the eye to the flat plains around the Po River!

Gasthof Graf in Steingaden

Gasthof Graf in Steingaden

Our first stop is Gasthof Graaf in Steingaden. It’s nearly midday which is lunch time for most people in Germany. When we ask for a cappuccino, the waiter suggests “home made strawberry cake” to go with it! As I don’t really like strawberries, I decline so he suggests red currant cake instead. What can I say? Before we leave, the chef comes out and asks in very basic English if we are French. Since France has just beaten Germany in the European Soccer Cup semi-finals, we immediately apologize.

Coffee and cake!

Coffee and cake!

“No, no,” he says, “you don’t have to worry. It was a good game. Fair play is more important than anything else.” Then he and the waiter say they hope France will beat Portugal in the finals on Sunday.

Andrea, our very helpful contact at the tourist office in Peiting phones to say she’s found us an apartment in the village of Wildsteig that has V-lan. It sounds good so I tell her to book for us.

The outside of Steingaden Abbey

The outside of Steingaden Abbey

We then visit the 12th century abbey of Steingaden with its beautiful baroque ceiling paintings and rococo puttis

The beautiful baroque interior of Steingaden Abbey

The beautiful baroque and rococo interior of Steingaden Abbey

The next stop is the stunning rococo church of Wies which I wrote about a couple of days ago but which we approach from a different side. this time We park our bikes next to the sundial (it’s actually 1.15 and not 12.15) and follow the other pilgrims into the church.

The sundial on the side of Wies Church

The sundial on the side of Wies Church

It obviously does not have the same surprise effect as it did the first time, but we still love it! Designed in the late 1740s, the pilgrimage church of Wies is one of the finest examples of German rococo and understandably on the Unesco World Heritage list.

The left side of the church inside

The left gallery of the church inside

It is said that tears were seen in 1738 on a dilapidated wooden sculpture of the Scourged Saviour. Pilgrims flocked to the site as a result and a small chapel was soon built to house the statue. However, it was not big enough to accommodate the crowds so Steingaden Abbey commissioned a separate site and chose Dominikus Zimmermann as the architect.

Just as we are about to leave, we hear music. A man is playing the harmonica and the result is very moving in this grandiose setting.

The organ in Wies

The organ in Wies

Before we leave the site, we walk down the hill a little way so we can relive our first view of the outside of the church in 1999.

Wies from the path we originally took in 1999

Wies from the path we originally took in 1999

We’re starting to get hungry despite the cake (it’s nearly 2 pm) but don’t want to eat in any of the restaurants immediately surrounding Wies. The next village is Wildsteig which is at the top of a steep hill. The only place we can find is Café Peramarta where we order a large salad each.

Peramata Café in Wildsteig

Peramata Café in Wildsteig

While we are there we check out the apartment that Andrea has found us but we do not find either the village or the environment of the apartment very appealing so we decide to simply extend our hotel stay in Peiting for two more nights. It is perfectly located and we appreciate the room and balcony. I send an email to the owner when we get back to the hotel explaining that we have had to leave the area.

Hay making

Hay making

More beautiful scenery takes us down past the Kase-Alm cheese factory that Andrea has told us about. It is obviously very touristy but we appreciate the view and buy some cheese.

The view from the cheese factory

The view from the cheese factory

Rottenbuch with its typical maypole is next.

A typical maypole, this one in Rottenbuch

A typical maypole, this one in Rottenbuch

It, too, has a high baroque abbey church, called Mariae Geburt, on a smaller scale than Wies, but still very lovely. There is a priest training two giggly altar girls.

The altar girls in training in Rottenbuch church

The altar girls in training in Rottenbuch church

After 44 km and 5 hours of hills and dales we arrive back in Peiting, very satisfied with our return to the mythical Wies after 17 years. Despite our wobbly knees, we can still make it to the Eiscafé!

Our route from Peiting to Wies (Bayerische Seen bike map adfc)

Our route from Peiting to Wies (Bayerische Seen bike map adfc)

The Romantic Road Mp on the tourist brochure

The Romantic Road Map on the tourist brochure

OTHER POSTS ABOUT CYCLING IN GERMANY

Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks
 
Cycling in Germany #1 – Kobern-Kondorf on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #2 – Rhine from Saint Goar to Lorch
Cycling in Germany #3 – Cochem to Zell on the Moselle
Cycling in Germany #4 – Koblenz where the Moselle meets the Rhine
Cycling in Germany #5 – Bad Schaugen to Pirna along the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #6 – Bastei Rocks, Honigen and over the border to Czech Republic 
Cycling in Germany #7 – Dresden: accommodation & car trouble and Baroque Treasure  
Cycling in Germany #8 – Dresden Neustadt: Kunsthof Passage, Pfund’s Molkerei, a broom shop & trompe l’oeil
Cycling in Germany #9 – Country roads around Niderlommatzsch on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #10 – Meissen on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #11 – Martin Luther Country: Torgau on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #12 – Martin Luther Country: Wittenberg on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #13 – Wörlitz Gardens and the beginning of neo-classicism in Germany
Cycling in Germany #14 – Shades of Gaudi on the Elbe: Hundertwasser
Cycling in Germany #15 –  Turgermünde, the prettiest village on the Elbe
Cycling in Germany #16 – Celle & Bremen
Cycling in Germany #17 – Windmills & Dykes
Cycling in Germany #18 – Painted façades from Hann. Münden to Höxter
Cycling in Germany #19 – Bernkastel on the Moselle: a hidden treasure
Cycling in Germany #20 – Trier & the Binoculars Scare
 
Cycling along the Danube – A Renaissance festival in Neuburg, Bavaria
Cycling along the Danube – Watch out for trains!
Cycling along the Danube – Regensburg & Altmuhle
Cycling along the Danube –  The Weltenburg Narrows
Cycling along the Danube – from its source to Ehingen
Cycling along the Danube – Ehingen to Ulm
Cycling along the Danube – Singmarigen to Beuron
Cycling along the Danube – Binzwangen to Mengen including  Zwiefalten
 
Eurovelo 6 – Cycling around Lake Constance
Eurovelo 6 – Moos to Stein am Rhein and Steckborn on Lake Constance
 
Heading home to France after a month’s cycling holiday
 
Cycling along the Neckar in Germany #1 – Ludwigsburg
Cycling alnog the Neckar in Germany #2 – Horb – Rottenburg – Türbingen – Bebenhausen 
Cycling along the Neckar in Germany #3 – Rottweil to Oberndorf
 
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #1 – Peiting to Wies
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #2 – Lechbruck to Fussen via Neuschwanstein Castle
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #3 – Peiting to Diessen
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #4 – Augsburg 
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #5 – Nordlingen, Wallerstein, Dinkelsbühl and Feuchtwangen
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #6 – Rothenburg am der Tauber and Tauberbishofsheim
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #7 – Würzburg
Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #8 – Tauberbishofsheim to Creglingen
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17 Responses to Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #1 – Peiting to Wies

  1. Gorgeous countryside and churches! From the sound of that harmonica, the acoustics in that one church are perfect.

  2. Wonderful photos Rosemary! The churches are incredibly beautiful. Look forward to reading more about your trip 🙂

  3. Pingback: Cycling on the Romantic Road in Bavaria #2 – Lechbruck to Fussen via Neuschwanstein Castle | Aussie in France

  4. Pingback: Cycling on the Romantic Road in Bavaria #3 Peiting to Diessen | Aussie in France

  5. Pingback: Cycling along the Romantic Road in Germany 5#– Nordlingen, Wallerstein, Dinkelsbühl and Feuchtwangen | Aussie in France

  6. Lorri says:

    I visited the Wieskirche several years ago. It was lovely. Just as we were leaving, a group came in, went up to the front and started singing. It was such a serendipitous delight!

  7. Pingback: Cycling along the Romantic Road in Germany #7 – Würzburg | Aussie in France

  8. Pingback: Cycling along the Romantic Road in Germany #6 – Rothenburg am der Tauber and Tauberbishofsheim | Aussie in France

  9. Pingback: Cycling Along the Neckar in Germany – #1 – Ludwigsburg | Aussie in France

  10. Pingback: Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria # 4 – Augsburg | Aussie in France

  11. Pingback: Cycling in Germany – Tips & Tricks | Aussie in France

  12. Pingback: Cycling along the Neckar in Germany #3 – Rottweil to Oberndorf | Aussie in France

  13. Pingback: Cycling along the Romantic Road in Bavaria #8 – Tauberbishofsheim to Creglingen | Aussie in France

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