Hike through the „Wolfsschlucht“

This tour is for the biggest part of it a rather easy walk but the ascent through the „Wolfsschlucht“ (wulf’s gorge) to the summit of the „Schildenstein“ should only be clambered up if you are in good shape and not afraid of heights. In tour books this tour is marked as difficult.

Weiterlesen

Blick auf den Wilden Kaiser

Hike from Kufstein to the Kaisertal

Today I want to write about a tour through beautiful scenery which is apart from the ascent to the Naunspitze not very strenuous. The Kaisertal Valley sits between the massifs of the „Zahmer Kaiser“ (tame emperor) and the „Wilder Kaiser“ (wild emperor) in the south. Those of you that don’t want to climb as high can skip the ascent to the Naunspitze.

Weiterlesen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Crossing the Kramer

Today I will write about a tour that is a bit strenuous at some points. Your reward will be breathtaking views of the Zugspitz massif. My guide book described the tour in the opposite direction, but since I wanted to end the tour at the St. Martin alpine cabin with one of their delicious blueberry pancakes, I decided to walk this tour in the other direction. Depending on wether you prefer to have the heavy duty part in the ascend or rather in the descend is your decision.

Weiterlesen

Breathtaking scenery in the Karwendel mountains

 Scenically this is one the most beautiful tours, I hiked so far. I had to stop pretty often to admire the monumental mountain scenery. And here comes the good thing about this hike: You don’t need to be shaped up for Iron Man to walk this tour. The ascent through the Laliederer valley is mostly smooth. There is just one relatively short steep ascent to the Falkenhütte and the descent to the Engalm is a bit steep too at times, but easily to walk.

Weiterlesen

Crossing the mountains from Lenggries to Benediktbeuren

This tour isn’t too exhausting, but you will need to be able to walk in uneven terrain and be free from giddiness. You will be rewarded with beautiful views and with a bit of luck you will encounter an ibex. And don’t forget to save some energy for the descent. It is not very steep and follows good walkable paths, but it is a rather long one.

Weiterlesen

Hike to Baerenbadalm, Pertisau, Achensee

As you might know, August 15 is Assumption Day and therefore a public holiday in roman-catholic Bavaria. Really in all of Bavaria? No…. There are a few heretical towns in Franconia that have lost their good faith and are mostly protestant and therefore hve to work on this day. I was looking forward to that day this year, since it was my first day of vacation. And on top the forecast had for once announced beautiful, sunny weather which hasn’t been the case  this summer too often.

Pertisau am Achensee, an der Bergbahn

Pertisau am Achensee

But already the night before I didn’t sleep too well and when I woke up in the morning I felt like being pushed through a rotary iron. And it did get worse and worse during the day. At one point I thought that Mother Mary apparently had a reservation for me in her lift and wanted to take to the top floor with her. Well, I thought it is too early and decided to let go the next lifts and give my space to others. So I did survive the day and funny enough I already felt much better the day after. Has this attack just been a cause of the dangerous Man Flu, that is only felt by men? Weiterlesen

A weekend at the Tegernsee

It was the last weekend in August and I had an invitation from one of our business partners to spend a weekend on the beautiful Tegernsee. I just love that valley, but do visit seldom, since the driving to get there can be an agony, especially on weekends. Once you leave the hihgway coming from Munich it can easily take an hour to drive the 16 miles to Rottach at the southern end of the lake. Often it is a bumper to bumper drive and very nerving. My love for this valley comes from my time at the hotel school in Tegernsee some 30 years ago. 6 months filled with lots of fun.

The Tegernsee Valley: where money meets tradition

On Saturday morning we were picked up at our offices and drove direction south. And of course we had the obligatory traffic jam. Finally we did arrive at our destination and to start with we went on top of the Wallberg with the cabins. From the top of this mountain you will have a great view not only of the valley and the surrounding mountains, but on a clear day you can even see as far as Munich.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

Wallberg: the valleys landmark summit

The top station is not at the summit. To reach it, it will take you another 20 minutes by foot. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to climb it today, because lunch is waiting for us at the panoramic restaurant. On a hot summer day like today this place is very busy. The food is great and the wait staff is a bit overstrained, but still very nice. After lunch our hosts had organized a special Bavarian Olympics. Things like how long can you hold a full Stein in the air, what do typical Bavarian words translate to in proper German and so on. And in good old olympic spirit to be part of it, is the most important. This is a lot of fun.
Weiterlesen

Lenggries – Brauneck

It was again one of those beautiful days this August as we had so many this summer. And it happened to be a Sunday. The tropical heat was gone for now and so I heard the mountain calling. The challenge was how to get there. I didn’t want to get up at 6 a.m. to be on the road before the masses block the highways. But during the summer school holidays they are blocked as of 8 a.m. So my search went for a destination where I could drive to without using the highways and at the end I chose Lenggries. This small town is mainly known for being one of the closest skiing resorts to the city of Munich and you can get there by following the river Isar on a state Road. During the summer the mountains here offer a good choice of hiking paths.

Lenggries, Ski Resort in winter, outdoor paradise in summer

Lengries-brauneck 001

Skiers and lazy people can get to the top of the Brauneck with a cabin, so there is obviously a large parking at the bottom. The shortest way brings you via the Garland Alm to the summit, but since I wanted to go on a longer hike, I opted for the longer track leading over the neighboring village of Wegscheid. A very wise decision as I will find out later today. I am starting the tour through the even terrain of the valley.


Weiterlesen

My thoughts about 25 years of reunited Germany

Time is really running fast. Who would have thought 25 years ago how well situated we will be today. I ahve to admit that back then I was rather skeptical. I didn’t believe in the „blooming landscapes“ our chancellor Kohl had promised. But meanwhile I was happily disabused. One most certainly could debate now, if this has proven to be right or if the country is still divided. But I will leave this to all those people in those political talk shows.

I wanted to take this chance to tell you how I experienced that time.

On the 9th of novemer 1989 I was working as a waiter aboard a cruise ship and during that night we were sailing from Teneriffa to Gran Canary in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On this special cruise I had guests from Berlin and they came to dinner that night being rather hysterical. When asked why they told me that the wall had come down. My first reply was: „Which wall?“ Never would I have thought that they mean the one in Berlin. After realizing that they meant exactly that wall, that divide their hometown my next thought was: “ How sad that my father didn’t live to this day.“ It was his biggest wish and then it even fell on his birthday. So far away from home I was very happy that night, but probably more because of seeing my fathers dream come true then the fact itself. In the following year up until the final reunification I was rather skeptical. Back in school we spent a couple of days in Berlin and walked around East-Berlin for a day. I felt rather intimidated which was probably more of a presumption than reality. And so I asked myself when this reunification finally came who the people in the former GDR are feeling when we come and just dump our society system over their heads and change their lives dramatically. In my opinion this process should have been handled a lot slower.

So, here we are 25 years later and I think we Germans did a pretty good job and at least for most of the people in this country it is a happy day today.

day trip to Garmisch

We finally had a great summer again. Well, at least here in Bavaria. And I actually picked the perfect time for my vacation at home. So I decided to make the best out of it and enjoy the somewhat cooler days (when the temperature dropped to the mid 70’s) and drive again to the mountains and go on a hike.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, bavarian small town with international flair

This time I drove to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This town is known for it’s great skiing slopes in winter, but there is a lot to do and see in summer, too. This tour begins with a disappointment. The plan was to make a quick stop in the town center and buy a Bretzel for the hike. But there was no bakery to be found. Which is very unusual for a Bavarian small town. Apparently the exclusive shops and boutiques made the rent too high for a small bakery to survive here. At least we were able to take some nice pictures.

Restaurant Almhütte with a big parking lot for hikers

A short drive brings us to a restaurant called Almhütte. Not really easy to be found, especially since our old car doesn’t have a GPS. Finally we found it. The parking lot is one of the starting points of a popular hiking path called „Kramerplateauweg“. It is a rather even path on a plateau above the town and gives you not only great views of Garmisch, but also of Germany’s highest peak: the „Zugspitze“. You don’t need much experience to walk this path and so it can be done as an easy Sunday afternoon stroll. Close to the restaurant we come across a small pond with these beautiful water lilies.

My guide book tells me to start the ascent to the restaurant St. Martin auf dem Grasberg at the first crossing. But we didn’t want to start with lunch and decide to take the tour in the opposite direction.

A walk for everybody: The Kramerplateau

The next sight was this church that was being billed after WWII to commemorate the soldiers that have died during war. High above town with the impressive mountain scenery as a back drop.

Martinshütte 036The plateau is actually a alpine heathland with pine trees and heather. As the day moves towards noon, the temperature rises to the 80’s and we would love to walk in the shade, but this path is very sunny. It was a wise decision to opt for an easy hike on such a hot day.

The next stop on our hike was the lake „Pflegersee“. This artificial lake was originally being used as a fish pond for the aristocrats residing in the close by Werdenfels Castle. These days you find a public beach and a restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the lake on it’s shores. The restaurant looks very tempting, but we have other plans. So we keep on walking.

Our path starts to ascent towards a mountain called the grassy mountain. It still is not too steep and every once in a while we stop to enjoy the scenery.

Martinshütte 046

St.Martin on the Grasberg (grassy mountain)

About an hour later we reach the cabin where we want to have lunch. A typical Bavarian house with a nice terrace and absolutely breath taking views.

Above to the left you can see the view towards Alp- and Zugspitze which you can enjoy from the terrace. Unfortunately the Zugspitze is covered with clouds today. But the view is still amazing. And since we’ve been walking for 2,5 hours it is time to enjoy lunch. I opt for a salad made of sausage and cheese. A typical Bavarian dish and it is just delicious.

Since it is still rather early I decide to climb a bit further up the mountain towards the „Königsstand“. My guide book tells me that there is a sort of a skywalk with a even more spectacular view. The path is narrow and very steep, but it leads through a shady forest.

The view becomes even more breath taking after every turn. The whole town of Garmisch-Partenkichen at your feet. I can’t find a word that describes this view.

A few steps before I reach this recess the path becomes a bit of an adventure. From the cabin where I started up to this point I had to climb another 650 feet. So I did already burn off some of those calories from my lunch.

On my way back I find some Gentian next to the path.

What a cute surprise

Behind the next turn I come across a very rare sight. A young chamois got lost and descended to an elevation where you usually wouldn’t see them. And most certainly not that close. This guy jumped on my path not even 15 feet away.

It’s hard to tell who is more curious. Luckily enough it waits long enough to be taken on photograph before fleeing out of my sight. Isn’t it nice? This is a very special moment, since they usually are seen in high elevations and in very rocky terrain.

And then one last glimpse of the town and the surrounding scenery.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

Sweet reward

Back at the cabin, I feel like having something sweet. In my guide they mention that this cabin has a specialty that is not to be missed. So I order a serving of their Blueberry Pancake. The waitress looks a bit confused, since she knows that I just had lunch about 1 hour ago. I expect to get pancakes like I know them from the states, actually more of a desert serving. Along with the pancakes I order a glass of fresh buttermilk.

When my order finally finds its way to my table I am dumbstruck. The pancake has a tremendous size and could easily feed 2. On top the glass contains 16oz of fresh buttermilk. Usually they serve half of it in one glass.

20150715_152707

But the guys from my guide book were right. This is by far the best blueberry pancake I ever had. A thick pancake filled with tons of fresh blue- and raspberries with warm cream. I must be in heaven. I just have to enjoy every bite of it. Delicious is an understatement.

 

After feeding myself with such an amount of calories, I am happy that we still have an hour to walk before we get to our car to drive home. The descent is rather steep at some points and we are happy that we decided to walk it the opposite way.

So we had chosen the perfect tour for a hot summer day. And this chamois sighting and this pancake……….

What else can you ask for?