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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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?
I just love the summer heat and this summer was really great so far here in Munich. So I decided to spend my 3 weeks off here in Munich and it’s beautiful surroundings. There is quite a lot to explore here and I am asking myself, why I did neglect all this until know. I mean, there are people traveling around the globe to come here and visit Bavaria. So why should I always go away for vacation?
After climbing the Hochgern, I wanted to go on another tour while off work. But then the mercury rose to the 80’sand 90’s and it was just too hot to climb another mountain. Finally there came a day with only mid 70’s, so I got up early and drove into the mountains. On a week day this goes rather fast.
As a starting point I chose Spitzingsee this time.This is a small lake at approx. 3500 feet. I was joined by a dear friend whose condition isn’t exactly like mine. So we chose a tour that is not that hard to do.
Our goal was to reach the Rotwandhaus which sits at approx. 5800 feet.
There are 2 options on how to get there. We decided to take the one that is longer, but brings you through beautiful scenery. On this track you have a short piece where you will have to climb a steep path at the end.
Easy warm up in the valley of the Valepp
To start we descended into the Valley of the Valepp. The good thing about this is that you can warm up a bit, but on the other we thought, that we actually want to walk up the mountain and therefore this means with every foot we descend we will have another foot added to the ascent. Full of energy we follow the creek called Rote Valepp through its green valley.
This is still a regular street and we could have taken a bus to bring us to the point from where we wanted to ascent. But this something everybody can do, and we not everybody 😉
At the beginning the valley broadens and we get the first glimpses of the surrounding mountains. Soon we reach the Blecksteinhaus, restaurant in the middle of nowhere, and here we leave the paved road and continue on a gravel road. ly due to the cloudy weather and since it was a week day we were the only ones and heard nothing but the singing birds. I have a guide that describes the best tracks in the Alps and it did say that this one can be crowdy at times. For us this was just perfect.
Yes we are a bit spoiled here when it comes to public holidays and this time they even announced great weather. But what to do on such a day? Taking the car was not really an option, since on such a day half of Munich is traveling south to enjoy the day in the mountains.
We choose to take a bike ride and visit a small town some 22 miles northeast of Munich. We started early in the morning and planned to have lunch in a nice beer garden, once we would be there.
To get to the river we have to take a short ride along one of the busiest streets in Munich which is part of a ring that goes around the Center of Munich. Parts of that ring have been tunneled and on the particular stretch where we had to pass, they have created in 2002 a new park (Petuelpark) which has won a lot of prices for being one of the best new urban gardens with lots of green and modern art. This where you will find the fellow below.
The northern part of the Englische Garten
We continue through the northern part of the Englische Garten, which is actually the biggest city park in the world, even bigger than New York’s Central Park. This part of the park is not so populated and it is easy to forget that you still are in the middle of a 1,5 million city. I just love this quiet and green place, crossed with small creeks. We have to cross a very nice neighborhood where there are a lot of small houses with lush gardens. How I would love to have one of those. Instead I live in a block from the early 1970’s. I probably shouldn’t be complaining, since we do have a rooftop terrace overlooking the BMW plant and the Olympic Stadion behind it.
Pure nature along the Isar
From the Englische Garten you’ll cross into the wetlands of the Isar without ever noticing it. Lush forest and singing birds bring you ever farther away from the city’s hustle. This is pure regeneration and I start to respire. We continue in a slow pace and enjoy the nature. I’m not a speeder, but usually I do ride the bike in a sportive way. Not today. The path is well prepared and there are no real mountains to climb. No need for a mountain bike here.
There used to be quite some barrages along the river. A couple of years ago they started to restore the rivers original state and they just placed huge stones in the river instead of blocking it totally. With the time they will eventually become small islands. But you will also come over passages where the river flows slowly and almost looks like a lake. We see quite a few man in the river practicing fly fishing. in other areas we pass people in kayaks.
It’s been a while since I last heard a cuckoo and so I am surprised to hear one today. I am not very superstitious, but there is this saying here in Germany that when you hear the first cuckoo in spring you’re supposed to shake your purse. This means that during the rest of the year you will always have enough money. Who doesn’t want that to happen? So I take out my purse and shake it. You never know…..