I found Benji European tours the only perfect option for my first trip outside my country and I remember all the questions and fears I had.
After breakfast, which begins each day with a ride brief that covers all route options, everybody mounts up. While group riding with the tour guide is encouraged for safety and camaraderie, you’re free to ride solo or pair off into groups if the guide’s route isn’t to your liking. My first day, I chose to ride solo on the longer 142-mile course that snakes its way from Erding into the Alps and on to Salzburg, Austria, guided only by my trusty GPS, preprogrammed with the cities listed in the tour book. The rest of the gang followed the guide on a more direct route that included a tour of the spectacular Castle Herrenchiemsee, built for King Ludwig II in 1878. I have to say that without GPS, there’s no way I could have easily navigated on my own through the multitude of small German villages and roads that peppered my path—very different from Texas. It took about an hour for me to reach the fantastic Deutsche Alpenstrasse (German Alpine Road) that winds its way through the Alps from Lake Constance at the west end to Salzburg at the east, and I hit the road roughly at its middle in Schliersee, a picturesque resort town on a lake of the same name in the Bavarian Alps. To the east of Schliersee, the Alpenstrasse climbs upwards through a series of tight switchbacks and roughly parallels an old pipeline that once transported brine from the salt mines in the Berchtesgaden area, south of Salzburg. After another hour of spirited riding and breathtaking views (when I could spare time to turn my head away from the road), I stopped for a drink and to take photos at Lake Weitsee, a beautiful nature preserve popular with bathers and hikers. Another hour or so later, I was climbing my way up the 7.5-mile stretch of Rossfeld Panoramastrasse, one of Germany’s highest scenic roads with amazing views of Germany and Austria to the left and right, respectively. Just before I reached Salzburg, I stopped to refuel, happy to be riding an efficient motorcycle as gas was in the vicinity of $5.50 per US gallon. Despite my longer route, I beat the rest of the group to the hotel, so I set off on foot to explore the historic city. Salzburg is the birthplace of the composer Amadeus Mozart.
The Benji Europe Bike Tours people seem to have the entire Europe in their Backyard, always knowing what they were doing! They gave me the best vacation I have ever had … and I have travelled a lot in this world. It’s been two weeks since my trip ended and I wish I were still touring; I have many new friends from all over the world and I can‘t wait for my next bike tour, I know I can book a tour and feel calm, certain that the tour will be great and I will have the best time of my life.