We were at LAX waiting for our plane but who does Melanie stop but Len Goodman from Dancing With the Stars. After a quick hello and a picture we were all off toward our gates.
We flew on the Russian airline, Aeroflot, and had a wonderful flight over which included two meals, Salmon first and lamb second, free wine and great flight attendants.
We had left for LAX at 0900hrs and arrived into Frankfort at 1800hrs the following day. Our pickup had us in Heidelberg by midnight at Stefan Knopf’s motorcycle compound.
A good night sleep and German breakfast of hard rolls, meats, cheese, fresh butter and jelly, and cappachino started the day right.
Spending a couple hours in the morning working on the Triumph Trophy 1200 and a test ride rounded out our first day in town. The bike was running rich and the carbs needed adjustment unfortunately but had to be good enough since the wrench in town was booked.
Being super excited, the next morning we packed, ate and rode of with our first stop being the walled city of Rothenburg. In the Middle Ages, when Berlin and Munich were just wide spots on the road, Rothenburg ob der Tauber was a “free imperial city” beholden only to the Holy Roman Emperor. During Rothenburg’s heyday, from 1150 to 1400, it was a strategic stop on the trade routes between northern and southern Europe. The day we were there a festival was going on.
After exploring the walled city we rode toward the WW2 Nazi concentration camp of Dachau. Stepping through the gates brought an eerie feeling similar to being in Gettysburg.
As we were leaving Dachau a group of car buffs from Croatia greeted us at the bike. The wanted pictures of us, from the US, with them and the bike. We each couldn’t speaks the others language but we had a good tim
The next day we rode into Munich to see the famous Glockenspiel and the Hofbrauhaus. It was Sunday so we thought there would be less traffic. WRONG! The Munich football (soccer) team had just won the national championship game and the party was that day with about 100,000 people coming. And party central was the square in front of the glockenspiel.
Headed to the Bavarian castles next and we came upon this church in Weis and Andechs Monastery. The monks at this monastery are said to make the best beer in Germany. I guess I’ll have to try a sample.
Of Wieskirche. This pilgrimage church is built around the much-venerated statue of a scourged (or whipped) Christ, which supposedly wept in 1738. The carving—too graphic to be accepted by that generation’s Church—was the focus of worship in a peasant’s barn. Miraculously, it shed tears—empathizing with all those who suffer. Pilgrims came from all around. Follow the theological sweep from the altar to the ceiling: Jesus whipped, chained, and then killed (notice the pelican above the altar—recalling a pre-Christian story of a bird that opened its breast to feed its young with its own blood); the painting of Baby Jesus posed as if on the cross; the golden sacrificial lamb; and finally, high on the ceiling, the resurrected Christ before the Last Judgment. This is the most positive depiction of the Last Judgment around. Jesus, rather than sitting on the throne to judge, rides high on a rainbow—a symbol of forgiveness—giving any sinner the feeling that there is still time to repent, with plenty of mercy on hand. In the back, above the pipe organ, notice the closed door to paradise, and at the opposite end (above the main altar), the empty throne—waiting for Judgment Day.
Sorry for all the pictures.
Cheers for now.
Greg “WANDRR” and Melanie