We took a bike tour of Munich through Mike’s Bike Tours (highly recommended!), and I’m convinced that biking is truly the best way to sightsee in a large city. We covered more ground in four hours than we ever could in a whole day on foot. Now that I’ve been regularly cycling in Chicago for a year and a half, I’m curious to explore other cities’ cycling culture and infrastructure–any excuse to get me on a bike!
We enjoyed the tour so much that we came back a few hours later to rent bikes for the rest of the afternoon and used the time to explore more of the Englischer Gartens. It’s similar to Central Park in size and includes miles of paths, biergartens, tennis courts, small lakes for paddle boating , and even a meadow for nude sunbathing!
Another travel first happened while we were biking through Englischer Gartens–we got separated! We started making our way back to the starting point in the gardens, when I got stuck making my way around a large group of cyclists, and lagged behind, thinking I could just speed up and catch up with Keith. Well, before I knew it he was further and further ahead of me and completely out of view. I kept cycling , thinking he would stop and wait for me, but accidentally went down a different path. Within a few minutes I realized we had gotten completely separated, with no cell phone access and no way to find each other.
I was tempted to start panicking, but luckily stayed calm and realized the best thing to do would be to find my way back to the bike shop since that’s where we were headed anyway. Unfortunately, Keith had the better city map with him and mine only contained the central area of Munich, and the southern edge of the Englischer Gartens. Luckily there was a garden map and directory every quarter mile or so, and I stopped at every single one I came across until I slowly made my way to the edge point of the gardens where we started. Then I was able to use my city map and found a direct route back to the bike shop using two main roads. I also stopped at nearly every intersection to check the cross streets against my map.
I made it to the bike shop about 40 minutes after the whole ordeal started, and Keith had been waiting there for me about 10 minutes. We both had the same instinct–just head back to the bike shop! I felt so relieved to have found each other again, but strangely exhilarated and proud of my way-finding skills.