We start off on our day’s cycling on the Romantic Road in Bavaria by driving 15 minutes to Lechbruck am See and the first views of a little turquoise lake are beautiful.
Our route then takes us along the Forggensee and past some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, the photos do not do it justice. The sky is slightly overcast so it’s not too hot which makes the many hills easier!
At one stage we can see both the Illasbergsee and Forggensee at the same time.
We stop for coffee along with many other cyclists on the rise of a hill.
After a while we sadly quit the lake but it’s more restful for our knees. As usual the route is well signposted.
The scenery then becomes meadows with the Bavarian Alps in the background as we approach Schwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle, the Romanesque Revival palace built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and homage to Richard Wagner. Since his death in 1886, it has attracted more than 61 million, with 6,000 per day in summer every year.
The last time we were here, we didn’t visit it but have decided to do so today. However we are discouraged by the milling crowds and long queue at the ticket office. Also, it’s a long climb up to the castle and not really do-able by bike.
Instead, we cycle along one side of the little lake up to the first viewing point, which is enough for me, then turn back and continue on to Fussen.
Last time we were in Fussen, we only saw the tourist office, but this time we discover a pretty little town with many beautifully decorated houses.
It’s 2.30 pm and we think we should have some lunch but would like to find a place on the river. We have no luck so keep riding up the other side of the Forggensee in the direction of Lechbruck. The weather is distinctly improving. What a pity we didn’t have blue skies and sun in the morning!
There is a landing stage for cruise boats not far out of Fussen but we don’t like the look of the restaurants. Also we can’t take our bikes.
At Dietringen – it’s now 3.45 pm – we find an Eiscafe but all the tables are in the full sun, which is now very strong. There is also a lot of wind and the owner is afraid of opening the sunshades so we keep cycling.
We push on towards Rosshaupten and on the way, I spy a sort of wooden armchair with a view so we have water and biscuits instead of lunch!
At 4.30 pm, we find a biergarten to our liking called Landgasthof Schwägele but it’s too late for lunch and too early for dinner, even if the Germans dine very early. We have a restorative glass of weiss wein instead. Fortunately there is only one steep hill during the remaining 7 kilometers.
At 6 pm, after 5 hours of cycling and 52 kilometers, we are back in Lechbruck, just in time to go home, have a shower and go out to dinner. We are planning on going to nearby Schongau (not to be confused with Schwangau), which is too steep to visit by bike.
What a disappointment! Apart from a promising gate in the old fortified wall and a square with a few historical houses around it, there are nothing but pizzerias and snack bars.
We drive a half an hour back to Landgasthof Schwägele and have a delicious wiener schnitzel instead. Yesterday, when we visited Wies, and today, with its magnificent scenery on the Forggensee, are among our best days of cycling ever, along with the S-bend in Austria.