Be on a bike!

Before arriving in Munich, husband and I had just started to play with the idea of cycling. Husband enjoyed a weekly ride from our suburban home into the city battling Sydney traffic. And I had just bought a cheeky new Reid Cycles ladies vintage bike. Never did I think that my brand spanking new wheels would become my primary source of transport, and “everything bikes” would become husband’s newest hobby!

Moving to Munich, I quickly learnt that riding a bike got you nods of approval, kept your fitness looking good, and gave you quick access to this beautiful city. Once the spring hits, those who shied away for the winter dust off their 2 wheels and jump back on the cycle wagon.

I’ve since learnt that cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen do the “bike thing” even better, but for me, I think Munich’s bicycle culture system is pretty schmick…

Being on a bike in Munich, is swift and breezy. You even get a little bit of road rage at times, but it’s still rewarding. Here are some lessons learnt that are useful for any newcomers…

1. Cycle everywhere

The city has bike lanes on the sidewalk making it easy for cyclists to navigate. Sometimes the lanes are shared with pedestrians, but generally the sidewalk is split into pedestrian and cyclists. Also, unless stated otherwise, it is one way according to the traffic. When there is no bike lane, you are required to share the street – but drivers are very respectful (9/10).

You can also take your 2 wheels on the public transport, BUT only between specific hours, and you must ensure to buy a ticket for your bike!


2. Use your bike bell!

It’s really important to have a bell on your bike. Firstly, when pedestrians are in your way (more likely than not it is probably a tourist), you need to alert them that you are coming. Not alerting them could lead to an accident.

Secondly, if you want to overtake the cyclist, just ring your bell, and they will move to the right giving you enough room to overtake!


3. Park your bike

I’m not too sure if there are any rules to where you are supposed to park your bike, but it seems to be a) attached to a pole, b) anywhere close to a pole, c) wherever you can attach it, d) in front of any piece of wall that does not have a no bicycles signs. Sometimes it gets out of hand, especially when you can’t find a spot, you end up double parking with the hope that no one will move your bike!

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4. Groceries

Never would I have thought that my cool red wheels would have the ability to carry so much weight! Get yourself front and back baskets and get yourself to the grocery store. It’s amazing how much you can carry on a bike when you have no car!


5. Cyclists have right of way

I learnt pretty quickly that cyclists have right of way. If a car is turning, and you are approaching, the driver must give you right of way. I almost caused an accident once when I stopped to let a car turn. The guy behind me was quick to tell me off in German – I was a bit shocked at first, but he was 100% right. So, if a car does not give you right of way, or the cyclist in front of you stops uneccesarily, you can let them know J Just be nice about it.


6. Bavarians love rules

If you cheekily go down that one way street by your house, or are on the bike lane on the wrong side of the road, or going over a platz (open square) where you shouldn’t, don’t be surprised if a lady or man quickly tell you that you are doing the wrong thing! They love a bit of authority and will jump at the chance to make sure everyone else knows the rules!

Biking has become such a big part of our lives, and of our daily conversations. When we travel, we don’t think twice about taking advantage of bike hire to explore new environments. We could talk for hours about our love for cycling, and how we would love to see our home country Australia start adapting Europe’s love for cycling. Hey, if the people of the BMW city can do it, then anyone can trade there 4 large wheels for even cooler 2!


It’s been a while…

Blogging takes time, effort and commitment… And for a while, that’s how I saw it… A commitment that i just didn’t have time for… But in the last weeks, i realised that this commitment actually brings joy, relaxation and fun… So i’m opening the blog book up again, so stay tuned!

Keep laughing and smiling!

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Portugal part 2: Why you need to get to Lisbon and do the following

I didn’t do a lot of research into Lisbon, except hearing a few friend murmurs on how amazing the place is. So it was no surprise that I absolutely LOVED it and hope to visit it again one day.  We were lucky enough to be hosted by a born and bred Lisbon friend. It’s always the best to see a city through local eyes – especially one who has as much knowledge of the city as Alex our host. Here are just a few of my favourites…

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Portugal part 1: My love-hate relationship with the Algarve

Husband and I were in need of some summer sun and a relaxing holiday. I was really interested in visiting Portugal – as more and more murmurs of its beauty become topic of conversation.

We decided to give Memminghem airport a try by flying out of Munich with Ryanair. The flight was uneventful (phew – especially after my Vueling drama which is still unresolved) except being a little bit delayed. When I thought the trip was off to a good start, we were fronted with the dodgy Goldcar hire. Big mistake going with these guys – so much ranting I can do here, but I will save that for as many review sites as possible.

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Did someone say it Germany are Weltmeister? But Socceroos did us the proudest

It’s been a while since my last post – almost 2 months…What’s happened in the meantime? Well Germany won the world cup in July and I am still recovering from a fun filled month of world cup festivities! I was supposed to go on a weekend trip to Mallorca but dodgy airline Vueling cancelled my flight and are being really difficult in compensating us, and I have also spent some fantastic weekends with friends.

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Paris in pictures…

Over the Pentecost holiday, we took a short trip to Paris… What a fantastic weekend. Although, going to a big city in summer heat to a city full of tourists isn’t the wisest decision we made, but we made it didn’t ruin our time there.

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Tessa’s Tuscan May in pictures

Time has gotten the better of me, so while I play catch ups, it’s more about showing my commitment to Twelve: A Tuscan cookbook than my connotative blog…

If you would like any recipes, please just comment!

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A May dinner party

I cannot believe it is almost half way through June, the World Cup is starting and I am still trying to catch up on blogging about May foods! In this blog post, I am not going to connote too much – rather im hoping some of the photos will inspire your next dinner. For any recipes please just comment!

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A touch of Cretan cuisine

One of the things I love best when travelling is being able to experience some amazing foods – and not only what you buy from a restaurant. Husband and I also enjoy purchasing local produce and bread to make ourselves some quick snacks along the way. Here is a summary of our favourites in Crete.

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4 days in Crete – Part 1

Thanks for some cheap flights, husband and I managed to sneak away to Greece’s largest and most populous island, Crete. Apart from some beautiful beaches, we didn’t really know what to expect from Crete. And we were pleasantly surprised by its natural beauty. This blog post focuses on our itinerary, Part 2 will focus on food and lodging.

Here is a summary for any of you thinking of heading to Crete.

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