Trying to visit as many sights as physically possible is sometimes worth it.
After arriving the day before, and still very jet-lagged, I knew that today was going to be tough. I actually fell asleep the previous night - while standing up. I also knew that I had to make the most of the day since tomorrow I had planned to be mountain biking in Switzerland. So I set out from the hotel nice and early.
First stop was at a bike shop. After unpacking the bike from the box and putting it together, I discovered that the front brake did not work - at all. So I rode it - brakeless - to the nearest bike shop. Hey, at least I could use the brack brake to keep wheelies under control! On the way there, the brake started to work all of a sudden. Later, I learned that it’s a common problem with SRAM brakes: the plastic plunger inside the master cylinder swells when it’s warm out, causing the problem. When the temperature drops, the problem goes away. Since it wasn’t exactly the middle of the summer during a heatwave, I decided it wasn’t likely to happen again during my trip. Bad SRAM, bad!
It was raining lightly, and by the time I got to the shop, I needed a change of (dry) pants. It was too late to do anything (like put on the fender), so I biked around the city in wet pants wheelying and hucking curbs like a hooligan.
Back at the hotel, a change of clothes and a warm shower. It was off to lunch and more adventures. The Visit A City app is made for people like me, who want to see as much as possible in a whirlwind tour of confusion. It comes with ready-made itineraries that have you spend a very short time at each attraction before dashing off to the next one in a travel maniac’s Traveling Salesman Problem from hell.
The highlight was ascending the 299 steep stairs of Alter Peter, a church dating back to 1368, to get a bird’s eye view of Marienplatz. The staircase is so narrow, uphill and downhill traffic take turns waiting at the corners. Suddenly, the church bell begins to ring, the wooden floor swaying in antiphase, the air thick with vibrations. There’s a lot of history in this city.