It’s Wander Time in Schliersee

Autumn is the time to wander in Schliersee. All those beautiful breezes and cooler temperatures make long hikes so much more enjoyable.  And lets not forget the way the warmer light illuminates the Fall colors. It is seriously and endless treat for the senses.

I thought I would share with you an incredible hike I took a few years back. I had just had major surgery and wasn’t feeling strong enough to tackle a monster climb but the alpine hills were calling me.

My husband and I set out by Taubensteinbahn cable car on Spitzingsee. We really didn’t have a goal in mind but the sky was full of otherworldly lenticular clouds fueled by a Chinook winds. Once at the top we were spurred on, higher and higher by the majestic views and all the other wanderers of all ages.

We followed a reasonably easy trail winding around the mountain and at the craggy summit we could see the famous Rotwandhaus, nestled on its perch just below us. All around people and their dogs were breaking their hike and basking in the autumn sun. It was such a peaceful moment in the golden light.

Due to our late departure, my husband said we needed to start back down the trail towards the cable car station if we wanted to make the last car, or we could go have a drink and something to eat at the Rotwandhaus and walk the 7 kilometers back down the mountain to Spitzingsee.

What a wonderful decision that was, after a leisurely snack of meats and cheese presented as beautifully as the landscape they were served in, we began the trek down the mountain. All around us as we traveled were animals gathered to enjoy the last of their days in the high pastures. On a whole the walk down was an easy 7 kilometer walk and I highly recommend this journey for those who might not feel fit enough to complete the entire 14+ kilometer climb. The duration of the hike down the mountain for us, with many continuous breaks for photos, was 3 hours. Remember to budget that into your time and just incase pack some headlamps.

Some good tips and information about Taubensteinbahn and Rotwandhaus.

Taubensteinbahn is open daily in autumn from 9:00 till 16:30. This cable car is closed in winter completely. A one way ride costs 10,00 € per person.  If you decide not to walk down you have to buy your ticket back to the valley and that is is 9,50 €.  Children ride for free

For more information please call : +49 8026 92922913

For information on the Rotwandhaus http://rotwandhaus.de/rotwandhaus/anfahrt-kontakt/

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Da summa is außi -The Summer is Over

After a long peaceful summer with the cows dotted lazily about in alpine pastures we are reaching the final climax of a successful season. There is such peace and tranquility in these days filled with the long golden light of autumn.

As the many tourists begin to head back to their homes and sometimes stressful lives, a calm sets on our land here in Schliersee. Daily life and Bavarian traditions return once more. Though the animals on the mountains seem blissfully unaware. I am sure somewhere in their DNA their internal clocks are ticking away their time of freedom under the great big sky is ending.

Soon their farmer will return, one last time, to guide them on their long journey back to the valley and the familiarity of their farms. Their big day of celebration will soon be upon them and  their joyful reunion with the other animals from the farmstead.

To wander in these final moments amongst the cows and they lay about like lizards sunning themselves accompanied by the tinkling of the bells as they groom. I can honestly say there is a feeling of serenity that takes over and you just can’t help but smile.

At this time the swallows dash about gathering the last of the insects for fuel for their next journeys. Everything on the mountains seems to preparing for their next adventure. With the shorter days and cooler temperatures signaling all that the big change is near. Some may call it as the last breath of summer.

In each season here in Schliersee, from the mountain peaks to the shores of our green lakes there is magic to be found.

 

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

“Aufbuschen” Keeping Traditions Alive

For three years now I have had the joy of spontaneously capturing photos of a particular Schliersee family as they passed by my house in Neuhaus during their Almabtrieb. On one occasion I managed to hand the daughter Magda a business card and thus began our dialog.

This year I was determined to learn more about the back story of Almabtrieb. Who does what and what does it all mean? I received a wonderful invitation from the Bucher family of Unterrißhof in Schliersee, to join them several days before their cattle drive to prepare the decorations.

“Aufbuschen” is a regional world for the process of crafting the various colorful decorations for the cows for Almabtrieb. Many headdresses for the cows are made using an armature that is handed down through the family over the years and is formed in the initials of the farmer. An important armature to which the bouquets of wild alpine rhododendron “Almrausch” are affixed is the crown shape which sit atop the head of the lead cow. The symbolism and traditions of Almabtrieb are centuries old. Though the cows will ultimately each autumn be driven down from the high pastures back to the farm, it is not fact if they will or will not be decorated. The cows are only decorated if it has been a safe and successful summer. This means simply no tragic loss of life. It is only then that a farmer will decorate their cattle.

The farm of Bauernhof Unterrißhof, enjoys one of the most spectacular views in Schliersee. That is truly something to say since there isn’t honestly a bad view of Schliersee. It is located just off the beaten path the drive in alone is pretty magical and affords you endless beautiful views around each tree lined bend.

One sunny September afternoon, I arrived heart leaping for joy over the experience and the view. In the Baurenhof garage everyone was gathered and everything was perfectly organized. The floor was covered with tray after tray of bright colored hand made paper streamer and flowers. This collection obviously represented many long hours of handwork. Leaning against the garage wall were the leather headdresses with the prickly pine branches just waiting to be shaped and decorated. I asked Markus Bucher, Uncle of Magda, can you still buy the headdresses anymore and he told me they were Austrian and that saddle makers there still make them in the traditional way.

After a quick introduction and explanation we tucked right into the work. It was all so beautifully planned and organized that even this American was able just step in and help. I asked if the style of the decorations were always the same and they said no each year the each family tries to add something new and exciting. That year for the Bucher family, there was a flower with an almost rainbow color scheme in the center that they weren’t too sure about right up to when they flowers were attached to the bush. It was a pleasant surprise how nicely the color scheme worked.

As we were finishing up work, the young son of Markus arrived from his after school dance lesson of the traditional Bavarian Schuhplattler. He excitedly and deftly jumped right in to work. I was amazed at how he at such a young age, happily began bringing in the various wagonloads of giant cowbells to be cleaned and polished. He was obviously an expert. I have to admit I have been photographing this young man for the past few years and I was astounded back then at his confidence and ability to drive a 2000 pound cow through busy streets and I was no less impressed with him now.

Working side by side, preparing for this families yearly event to give thanks for a successful year was truly wonderful. I kept hearing in my head “Many hands make light work” and it was true. No only did the time fly by but I learned so much from each generation about their passion for keeping these important traditions alive.

 

 

You too can enjoy the view and stay with the Bucher family at Unterrisshof. To find out more about their availabilities:

http://www.unterriss-hof.de
http://www.unterriss-hof.de/almhuette-am-spitzingsee/index.html

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Stickl Open Air Concert /Music in the Mountains

This year on the evening 12 August, the mountains rumble with the sound of music. The nor-mally quiet Wirtshaus Cafe Stickl in Neuhaus hosts an Open Air concert showcasing many of our local bands. On the list for this year’s bands were “Vuizlaud”, “V:O:I”, “ Redwine Company” and “Facebarraxxx” and directing all the fun from behind his turntable, DJ Aka the Wolfman.

Lederhosen and biker leathers dance side by side as each band enters the stage. Grandmoth-ers and teenagers party together. It is just a gathering of music lovers. The energy was great and the talent is real.

This event is not your average grill party. The tree-covered biergarten of Stickl quickly fills up with music lovers of all ages. Tickets are available on the night and you will just need to follow the vibrating beats to find the location just behind Wirtshaus Café Stickl.

On the menu for purchase beyond the price of your 7€ entrance fee are coffee, cocktails and plenty of alcohol free options. If grilled meat and bratwurst don’t peak your interest there are al-ternative options like fish sandwiches, spinach ravioli and sticky doughnuts.

Carina Baumann, the boss of the Café, is new to the job starting January 2015. This was her first year organizing the event and I am sure this will not be the last. I highly recommend mark-ing your calendar for next August to start watching Café Stickl’s Facebook page for their 2018 Open Air Concert.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Wirtshaus-Cafe-Stickl-1633775593505650/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/vuizlaud/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1288074701301371

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Bavarian Highland Games 2017

It happens each year in our picturesque little alpine village….and invasion by sweaty grunting super humans in kilts. The Bavarian Highland Games are hosted each September by the Wasmeier Museum.

Like thunder through the alps, these games which have become emblematic of Scotland, along with bagpipes, the kilt, and these games showing local feats of strength. Many of the events at the Bavarian Highland Games will be recognizable as events well known in traditional games but here in Schliersee they have bit of Boarisch (Bavarian) flavor to them.

Caber toss – des Hopfabamaschmeiß´n
Stone Put – An Stoa weit
Scottish hammer throw
Weight over the bar – Gwicht hoch
Tug o’ War – des Strickziag´n
Egg – Toss – des Eiertratz´n
Keg Toss and Keg Roll  – des Faß´l roll`n

And many many more….

It is a true test of local strength. Both men and women participate and both

sexes are truly impressive. Spectators pack around the events ring and perch on the grassy hillside for best visibility. It is definitely a great day in the summer sun. Bring your thirst as you won’t want to miss a big cold mug of Wasmeiers historic home brew.

You can come and see these magnificent Bavarian bodies for yourself at the 7th annual Bavarian Highland Games being held on 3 September 2017 from 10 am till 1700 at the Markus Wasmeier Freilichtmuseums in Schliersee.

http://www.wasmeier.de/veranstaltungen/vii-highland-games-schliersee/

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Seaside Cocktails and Alpine Sunsets

Located between the Vitalwelt Kurpark and the Schliersee tour boat dock, jutting out on its own little peninsula, sits the colorful cozy Kiosk am See. It affords you one of the most spectacular views across the lake and up into the mountains. Locals know this to be one of the magical spots to meet friends at sunset for cocktails.

Last week while out on an evening walk around the lake with a girlfriend we were drawn in by the warm breezes and twinkle lights. We were lucky enough to find an ambiance soaked table directly on the water but we could have enjoyed laying back in comfortable lounge chairs under tropical grass umbrellas.

What really brought us in was the talk of the amazing cocktails, and amazing they were. We ordered a drink full of ripe strawberries, tart limes and Prosecco. It was so light and refreshing and the color was divine. I highly recommend making a batch for your next BBQ with friends or if you in Schliersee make your way down to the boat landing and the Kiosk am See. If you are not an alcohol drinker they had plenty of alcohol free choices to enjoy with that spectacular view.

 

Ingredients

You can make your own strawberry purée very simply by mashing up a container of ripe local strawberries, reserving a few to decorate the rim of your champagne flutes, and squeezing fresh lime juice over the top. If your strawberries aren’t sweet enough add a teaspoon of sugar and store in the fridge. This purée can also be made with frozen strawberries as well.  If you can find it this purée is available as a drink mix in Rewe and many other stores.

  • 3 tablespoons fresh strawberry purée yield from about 2 large berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup pink champagne prosecco or other sparkling wine, well chilled, or regular
  • Additional strawberries lime wedges and mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

 

Instructions

1      Mix the strawberry purée with the lime juice and pour it into a champagne flute. Carefully top with the champagne and garnish before serving immediately.

ZUM WOHL and remember to raise a glass to another beautiful day in Schliersee.

 

To learn more about Kiosk am See and their boat rentals please visit their webpage.

 

http://www.schlierseeschifffahrt.de/kiosk-am-see/
http://www.schlierseeschifffahrt.de

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Bergseefest Spitzingsee 2017

DAS BERGSEEFEST WURDE AUFGRUND DER SCHLECHTEN WETTERPROGNOSEN LEIDER ERSATZLOS ABGESAGT!

Folk dancing, firemen and fireworks all light up the sky above the mountains on Spitzingsee. Once a year the peaks sparkle with festival lights and fireworks. Bergseefest  and its Bengali fires is what makes it extra special. The light spectacle of firemen in the water with torches and boats by lantern light dot the lake before the sky is turned aflame with a fireworks display.

The Autumn’s chill is usually starting to touch the air on Spitzingsee in August and folks warm themselves by bonfire while enjoying many of the regional delicacies.  Fresh local lake fish are roasted on long sticks and giant frying pans of caramelized pancakes and rum soaked fruits called Kaiserschmarren scent the air. There is no shortage of delicious treats to enjoy.

Local beers and small cocktail stands dot the edge of the lake.  Carriage rides and bouncy castles for all the family to enjoy.  If that isn’t enough the traditional Old Timer and historic tractor parade on Saturday morning draws the crowds.

On the main stage, local traditional dancers twirl while overhead the bull whip masters called Goaßlschnalzern, fearlessly snap their whips. There is a little something for everyone and is popular with all ages. Cheerleaders and martial artist as well as many other shows each hour.

This fest is truly fun for the whole family. There are plenty of wonderfully creative events for the kids, from face painting to camel rides. And don’t forget, during the day you can always rent a bright red Ferrari peddle boat and take a turn around the lake. Make sure to pack an extra jacket for the chilly evening’s on the mountain.

Rain Date for Saturday’s fireworks will take place on Sunday, July 30th

 

For more information:
http://www.schliersee.de/sommer/kultur-lebensart/feste/

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

The Great Debate…To Pick Up or not to pick up…that is the question.

It’s a constant discussion amongst dog owners here in Schliersee, ”Why exactly do I have to pick up after my dog when all other animals are allowed to defecate wherever they wish?”. Are the reasons simply cosmetic or a real environmental concern? Do the dog droppings somehow affect our precious cheese production? Isn’t it just considered fertilizer like the cow and horse manure?

 

After asking many of our local farmers for the exact reason dog owners must be vigilant I decided to do a bit of research on my own. It’s very important for us dog owners to not only be respectful of our farming neighbors but for us all to live in harmony. Making sure we carry a couple biodegradable bags is a small price to pay for keeping everyone happy and healthy.

 

The parasite Neospora Caninum is the concern when dog owners carelessly forget to pick up after their dogs. This infection naturally leads to the development of neosporosis which is spread through dog droppings. Dogs can become infected with neospora through eating raw meat. And if cows come into contact with the parasite, it can cause them to abort. One farmer told me that if cows eat dog faeces it makes the milk and cheese taste foul.

 

So the long and short of the great pick up debate, yes, it is very important you remove and properly dispose of your dog’s waste in a biodegradable pick up bag. Sadly I have noticed a lot of folks are unwilling to walk to the next trash can or dog waste station. We wish Schliersee to remain a dog friendly vacation spot, so please be aware while walking your dog and clean up accordingly. Schliersee and the surrounding areas have made this job easier by installing more designated dog stations in and around the towns and lakes.

 

 

For more information on Neospora:

 

https://www.fginsight.com/news/news/neosporosis-in-cattle-farmer-issues-emotional-plea-to-dog-walkers-after-cull-scare-20648

 

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Seefest in Schliersee

Each July in both Tegernsee-Schliersee there are numerous colorful summer festivals celebrating life, summer and the tranquil waters of our alpine lakes. Locals and tourists alike gather on beer benches and soak in the summer sunshine.

Starting at 5PM in the evening of 28 July thru 30 July, brightly colored umbrellas and twinkling festival lights illuminate the tranquil turquoise lake edge in the Kurpark of Schliersee. You can find the complete festival schedule here:

http://www.schliersee.de/sommer/kultur-lebensart/feste/

Not only is Seefest chock full of delicious treats and various traditional dancing, martial arts and acrobatic groups. On Friday, opening night there will be the musical stylings of Nirwana. You can find their home page here:

http://nirwana-online.de

Saturday night, after a full day of sipping cool drinks and sun there will be alpine horns and their haunting sounds echoing across the lakes and into the mountains. Our recording holding   Goaßlschnalzer (Traditional Bullwhip performers) will do an exciting exhibition. That is always a crowd pleasure.

Once the sun has set at 10 pm there will be a brilliant firework display over the dark lake waters. It is such a beautiful way to end a Seefest Saturday in Schliersee. Always great to grab a chair and a drink and take it in.

Sunday, the final day, continues the energy of the festival with delicious food, music and dancing. Don’t forget your sunscreen and swimsuit as this lovely fest is one not to be missed.

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

 

Eyes Skyward

“HURRY UP and look out the window” is a cry you hear daily in our house. Life n the mountains can be full of wonder and adventure, especially with all the constant weather changes. We have experienced many exciting environmental moments since our move to Schliersee. From waking to find red Saharan sand covering everything to experiencing the psychedelic wonder of Fire Rainbows oozing across the sky. I can honestly say there has not been a dull moment.

With a vigilant eye on the sky and ever present camera at the ready I have been lucky enough to capture a few of Mother Nature’s Alpine phenomena.  If you plan to spend time in the Schliersee area, it is very helpful to keep a watch on the weather as it is constantly changing in the mountains. A reliable meteorological app or website is very important and I highly recommend the site Bergfex to get accurate hourly forecast.
One of the most common weather occurrences in Schliersee is called Foehn.  A föhn or foehn is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the downwind side of a mountain range. Without getting too technical foehn winds create some incredible cloud formations like the wave shaped cloud called a “Kelvin-Helmholtz” Cloud and the most recognizable cloud associated with foehn, the cigar or flying saucer shaped “Lenticular” clouds. Many people complain of headaches or general discomfort from the pressure caused by foehn and you will often here people discussing it or blaming it for almost anything negative.

January is a month known for snow and white landscapes but on our very first January in Neuhaus we were witness to an amazing sight.  While out on a walk the sky above started to glow and swirl in an intense rainbow of colors. I would describe it as an effect like oil on water. This incredibly rare sight turned out to be what is called a “Circumhorizontal arc” or “Fire Rainbow”.  It was like seeing Borealis in the daytime. I stopped a man working in his garden and pointed at the sky excitedly and he looked and shrugged very unimpressed and mumbled “foehn”. What was a once in a lifetime experience for us seemed to be a common occurrence for this area.

As beautiful as our landscapes are here in Schliersee it is often the ever changing “sky-scapes” that awe and inspire this photographer daily. Try not to be deterred or discouraged if the forecast is for rain, just throw on some water proofing and head out on a walk. It is when you least expect it that Mother Nature paints the sky most dramatically.

Bergfex: http://www.bergfex.com/sommer/schliersee-neuhaus-spitzingsee/wetter/

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).