travel

SIP Scooter shop

Munich, Germany
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We started the day by trying to track down my aunt. My biological father was German so
I still have half a dozen relos all over Germany. Although I haven't seen them for 20-30 years, my mum keeps in touch with them by letter and I'm sure they won't mind their long lost niece dropping in, unannounced, to say hi. When we arrived at my aunt's last known address, their neighbour informed us that they had moved to Freiburg two years ago.

We had read that we could do a guided tour of the new arena but upon further enquiries we were told that due to the authorities being so scared of terrorists, all tours had been suspended for the duration of the world cup. We were now running out of things to do and the day was heating up to be a scorcher - 33oC. There was barely a breeze in the city and after walking through the pedestrian mall and into the market we were sweltering.

We were searching for 'unusual museums' which the BOSS had found in the tourist brochure, but once again it was marked incorrectly, because after walking around the block several times and up and down all the alleyways we couldn't see one sign of any museums. The markets however were very interesting. Part of it had been turned into a beer garden and the rest was fresh fruit and veggie sellers, butchers, and the most delicious looking barrels of sun dried tomatoes, pickles, olives and chilies.

The heat was getting too much for us and even a fresh squeezed juice didn't help so we decided we needed to be doing 80km/h to help us cool down.

I had previously made contact with SIP Scootershop on the internet and had an open invitation from Ralph to "drop by". The shop was in Landsberg, about 50kms west of Munich - a good run to cool us down. It was fairly late in the afternoon so we took the motorway to save time. Although it was quicker, it was a horrible boring ride with many trucks and cars whizzing past at 120kph and no interesting sights to see.

We only got lost once in Landsberg and ended up in the cobbled town centre - riding on cobbles is not pleasant and the fillings in your teeth feel like they are being shaken loose. When we finally found the SIP scooter shop, we were welcomed most heartily by Ralph who organised for his mechanic to give the scooter the once over; check the oil and kick the tyres etc. Ralph regaled us with stories of his weekend in Turin with 5000 classic Vespas taking over the town and his adventures taking his old scooter over the Swiss mountain passes.

It was close to 5 o'clock before we left and there was still plenty of time to do the scenic route back to Munich instead of tackling the autobahn again. Ralph printed off directions along backroads which would take us around two lakes and through lots of little villages. About 15 minutes out of town the horizon started to go black and a wild storm passed through the route ahead of us. We donned wet weather gear hoping that we had missed the worst of it as were heading south and the storm was heading north. The evidence of the violent storm was all around, with debris and branches all over the road. Then we noticed the second storm front moving through. The daylight turned to night in about 5 minutes so we stopped undercover at a supermarket and waited out the worst of it. Half an hour and two chocolate bars later, we continued on through the rain - I like riding in the dark less than I like riding in the rain.

The "lake run" was indeed beautiful (thanks Ralph) in spite of the storm. It only really became unpleasant riding when we once again reached the motorway and trucks were speeding past us at 100kph in the wet!

We had to circumnavigate the whole city on the ring road to get back to Putzbrunn and I got off one exit too early. I had a lapse of concentration and reverted to Aussie traffic rules - turning into the right lane and into the oncoming traffic on the highway. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic and a quick U-turn rectified the situation. We "followed our noses" for a while and eventually ended up on the right road and back at our hotel. Our need for food was greater than our need to get warm so we stopped at a pub and filled up on excellent soup, omelette and cake whilst watching The Netherlands take on Argentina.

01 Munich town hall
Munich town hall
02 Munich old town hall
Munich old town hall
03 Munich market
Munich market
04 Munich market
Munich market
05 A creepy statue
A creepy statue
06 The BOSS's new shoes
The BOSS's new shoes
07 The BOSS's new gum boots
The BOSS's new gum boots
08 Gumboots with heels and zippers ???
Gumboots with heels and zippers ???
09 I want one - it's a Vespa !
I want one - it's a Vespa !
10 It's a flouro orange Vespa
It's a flouro orange Vespa
11 Is it a Vespa??
Is it a Vespa??
12 SIP Scooter Shop
SIP Scooter Shop
13 Inside SIP Scooter shop
Inside SIP Scooter shop
14 Me and Ralph
Me and Ralph
15 The storm
The storm
16 The next storm cometh
The next storm cometh
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