A year ago I spent a week riding in Austrian, Italian, and (a little) Swiss Alps. This was a tour put together by Edelweiss (it's in here somewhere - have fun searching for it). Bottom line: liked the area, liked the riding (annoyances with RT excepted), the tour sucked. This year I'm spending a week with more time in Switzerland, tossing a bit of the Dolomites, and Grossglockner, on top of places I rode last year. For more of the pre-game show, check out this thread on the BMW MOA site. - - - - - This is the start of a report a week spent in the Swiss, Austrian, and Italian Alps, and Germany (Bavaria). As reported in an earlier RR, I did a tour, with Edelweiss, in generally the same area. I liked the area, didn't like the tour. See that RR for more info. No tour return to the Alps for the planned route and other "pre-game" details. One ground rule about this RR: no food porn! Food photographs in almost all RR's look like the photographer ate the meal and this is what it looked like afterwards. No food porn here. At the moment, I'm two days out from picking up a K160GT. The trip from Philadelphia to Frankfurt, via Lufthansa, was unremarkable. We picked up our car with minimal aggro. Hertz Gold is sooooo nice to have. We have a Ford CMax mini-van (well, bigger than a mini-station wagon and it has sliding rear doors) - stick, real sound system, and GPS thrown in. Woohoo! The car makes sense as the trip begins with a drive from near the Wiesbaden area to the northern part of Munich. With five people and their bags. The players: My wife, Chris, her sister, Margit, her brother, Roland, and me. We'll leave early Sunday (2 July) morning, spend 4+ hours on the road, and then spend the rest of the day checking out Munich. Margit's never been there, Roland has, and Chris and I have been there, too. Monday morning we head to the BMW Motorrad Mecca: BMW Motorrad Zentrum, Frankfurter Ring 29. Bike & Travel Service is based there, although they have no direct connection with BMW Motorrad. To the point where they say "You cannot leave your car here. BMW gives us no storage parking". From there, we'll head for the same destination, but via different routes. Here's my route: The basic plan is to avoid time on the autobahn. That comes the next day. There are some planned stops on the way. The first is the town/suburb Gräfelfing. My father taught at a school that had a partnership with the high school here. I was there, briefly, as an 11 year-old. I'm curious about what I might recognize. The next point is Ammersee (Lake Ammer). The Ammer River feeds this lake. The reason for this stop follows. The next major stop is the Wieskirche (literally, Church in the Meadow). I've seen it before, and it made a big impression. The church isn't that small, but it's really on the edge of a large meadow. There's a small town as well, but there's something about this church in this setting that I like. Also, the church is an excellent example of the ornate Baroque style. The next stop will be Oberammergau. Or the Upper Ammer Valley. Where the Ammer River starts. Ah-ha! I've been here before, too. But the town's story is compelling. Even ten years the town mounts a huge production of the Passion of Christ or the "Passionspiel". All of it is done with the town's citizens. This is no little neighborhood playhouse production, but something huge and serious. The theater is open, that is, the audience is out there in nature, with no roof over their heads. The performances run through the summer, and it's a major tour stop/event. The why is, being very brief, during the plagues in the Middle Ages, the town's residents made a deal with God: if the town was spared, they'd do the Passionspiel in gratitude. The town survived. After that, the route heads for Garmisch-Partenkirchen (site for BMW Days, which I miss by a week) and Mittenwald. It's noted for amazing frescoes on the walls, and violin making. The trip ends in a small town, just over the border with Austria: Scharnitz. How much of this will happen remains very much a "we'll see...". I hope to have some video for a YouTube vlog. Unfortunately, the camera (SJCam SJ7 - GoPro clone) doesn't do well with getting wet, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to shoot. We'll see... I hope.