From Scharnitz to Mittenwald – with a detour

The long and exhausting ascent of about 4100 ft. will be rewarded with a panorama that will literally take your breath away. It’s worth not to take the direct way through the Isar Valley if you want to walk from Scharnitz to Mittenwald. Here is the proof that this detour via the Brunnensteinspitze is really a great experience.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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Bike tour along the Isar to Freising

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

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Leisure activities in Muncih

Finally the days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. With that said it is about time to spend more time outdoors.

Explore Munich by bike

Munich is a city with lots of open space and green and offers a bunch of outdoor activities. My favorite way to move around town is my bike. In the “Englischer Garten” or along the river Isar there are lots of bike paths which enable you to enjoy mother nature right in the heart of this big city. And maybe you have heard of our famous beer gardens. I just love them. Sitting under old trees in the shade and enjoy a beer or two, that’s what I call relaxing. In this post I will be telling you about my personal favorites. And most of the time I use my bike to get there.

Munich’s North

If I am in the mood for a half day tour, I will ride north along the Isar to a place called Sankt Emmeramsmühle. It is a bit of a hidden gem and not easy to find, if you don’t know Munich. But it is worth the search. You sit under huge chestnut trees with a view over a meadow where every once in while you can even spot grazing sheep. This gives you the feel of an oasis in the city. Since there aren’t that many parking spots I don’t recommend to get there by car. If you are just visiting you will find rental bikes everywhere and take a nice ride along the river to get there.

South of Munich

From time to time I am in the mood of taking a longer excursion and then I ride southward along the Isar. Across from Grünwald (Munich’s Beverly Hills) in a town called Pullach is the Brückenwirt. Here you have a great view of the river. The food is typically Bavarian and very good. And on top it is decently priced, well at least for Munich terms. This restaurant also features its own theater, where they have shows. Here are a few shots of the beergarden and the surrounding:

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Historical facts about beer gardens

If you don’t feel like riding a bike and rather take the public transportation to get to one of the beer gardens, here is a list of some, that are in the heart of the city. But before I name them a bit of history. The first beer gardens opened in the 19th century. Back in the old days the breweries were only allowed to brew during the winter months because beer wasn’t storeable and there was a danger that the hot kettles could set fire to the neighborhood. At one point the breweries came up with the idea to store their product in caves outside the city. To make those caves even cooler they planted chestnut trees on top of them. This lead to the idea to sell the beer right there without having it to transport back into the city. So they started putting out benches and the people loved it. But there was still a small challenge at hand. They had only beer, but no kitchens to prepare any food. The visitors would therefore start to bring their own food and the breweries were happy. And what can I say this right exists up to today. Don’t be surprised when you go to a beer garden and see other patrons bring tablecloth, plates and cutlery along and start picnicking. Whenever I do this I prepare a salad made of sausage, tomatoes and cheese. Along with a Pretzel and a beer this makes a perfect summer evening. This is heaven.

My favorite beer gardens in the city

And now I will talk about my favorite beer gardens. My number 1 is the one at Wiener Platz in the neighborhood of Haidhausen. It is easy accessible by public transport, not as big as many others and very shady and cool due to the huge chestnut trees. The food in the self service section is really great. Typically you would eat a broiled chicken with potato salad. And yes here you are allowed to eat the chicken with your fingers.

My number 2 is the Taxisgarten which is hidden in a residential area. This is also more of a midsize garden with lots of huge trees. The typical Bavarian cuisine is rather fat, but hey, you only live once. And as long as you don’t overdo it, you can taste the specialties. At the Taxisgarten I often opt for their spare ribs. Not very Bavarian, but very tasty. I just love it.

For most of the locals the best beer in Munich is the Augustiner. Originally founded by monks this brewery dates back to 1328 and is therefore the oldest brewery of Munich. If you want to try their beer, you should go to Augustinerkeller which is very close to the main station. This is one of the bigger beer gardens, but this is really where you get the best beer and very delicious food. And if you are traveling with children you will find a nice playground for them.

To complete my list 2 beer gardens where you are not allowed to bring your own food. On an evening that is a bit on the chilly side, I recommend the Max-Emanuel Brauerei in the famous Schwabing neighborhood. This one is surrounded by residential buildings, so in the evening it doesn’t get cold here. At times it’s difficult to find a space right away, but if you are patient you’ll get your spot rather fast. And there is a good chance that you will meet interesting people.

My last recommendation is a place called Osterwaldgarten situated on the border of the Englische Garten. This a rather small place and you have to be ready to wait a bit before you will find a table. There is no self service section. But this garden is so peaceful and romantic. Just the perfect place to hang out and you are only 10 minutes by foot from the famous Leopoldstraße.

Ok. Writing this post made me thirsty and hungry, so I guess I have to jump on my bike now and just ride to one of those locations.

P.S.: Whenever I enter a link in my posts, I do try to link the English page so that you can understand what I am talking about. Unfortunately not all of the places I talk about do have an English site. That’s why you will end up on a German site instead. And I will have to get used to take my camera with me to be able to post my own pictures.

Another of my Munich favorites

<h4>A very special movie theatre

At the moment my home base is the beautiful town of Munich, also nicknamed the million people village. This town offers a lot of different things to do despite drinking beer and going to the Oktoberfest.

One of my favorites is an old fashioned cinema where the interior seems to come straight from the 1950’s. Just very cute and not as big as many of those modern movie theaters. I love going to the movies, but to be honest I am not that much into those action blockbusters coming from Tinseltown.

Hidden in one of Munich’s more upscale Shopping streets is the Theatiner Film. They show mostly European films in original language, but subtitled in German. A lot of those films are French and since I speak the language this is a good way keep up with it.

One of the last movies we saw, was a film called “The souvenir” where an old lady was placed in a retirement home by her family. She actually doesn’t like it too much, because she feels to young to be there and escapes. Her grandson eventually finds her in the town where she was born and raised. This film is at times very funny, but at the same time it is also melancholic. Just the way I love it.

Munich – Tip

Easter holiday was coming up and friends of ours announced their visit with their 7 year old daughter. So the question came up what we could do that means fun for the adults as well as the child. The weather forecast said it would be snowing, so there went the egg hunt in the park. After some serious thinking we came up with the idea to go to the puppetry. Their playhouse is rather small, but very nicely decorated. it somehow felt like going back in time. Hello nostalgia! They have a small snack shop on premises and accept only cash. Is there another way to pay?

The play on display was called the “Rusty Knight and the magic fairy”, a Musical. The story goes like this: While cleaning the attic the knight frees a fairy that has accidentally locked herself up in one of the boxes. Since she is grateful she grants him the compulsory 3 wishes. Well this knight thinks he is Mr. Smart and his last wish is that from now on all his wishes should become true. The poor fairy exhausts herself by fulfilling even the dumbest ones and soon wishes for herself to be locked up again. Eventually even the knight comes to the conclusion that it is not always funny when all your wishes are fulfilled. And what do we learn from that play? Think well before you wish something.

I really can recommend this playhouse. They even do have special events for adults. For example they played the Magic flute with their string puppets. Nice to see that there still is a form of entertainment that doesn’t need all that technical stuff and is actually hand made.