Hunting Warm Holiday Cheer

Some people spend their lives tracking the Yeti, but I am on the trail of the most delicious and creative Glühwein stands Schliersee has to offer. This year I am excited to announce some new wonderful places to warm your hands and ignite your Christmas spirit.

On first Advent, I made our plans to visit Schliersee’s Seeweihnacht market at Sunset. We hoped to capture all that Christmas magic gathered before the majestic backdrop of alpine glow on the Brecherspitz. Once the chill hit our bones we decided a wander up to the Ratskeller for a delicious meal. First Advent is all about light and the Ratskeller did not disappoint. Matthias Gercken has pulled out all the stops with his incredible holiday decorating. The Ratskeller Glühwein stand which is nestled along side the Rathaus in Schliersee, was handmade in Austria and so, has encapsulated Tyrollean charm. While we ate,   we were serenaded by a local traditional Bavarian band creating a romantic atmosphere. Such a wonderfully typical German start to Christmas. Let’s not forget the delicious fireside mug of spiced fragrant Glühwein. It is holiday perfection inside and out.

Another warming thirsty stop is Lehmanns Neuhauser Stuben. It is located right in the middle of Neuhaus on the bend. Beneath a giant illuminated Christmas tree is their magical little Glühwein hut. All decked out in twinkle lights, with jazzy Christmas tunes playing it is the perfect spot to break your wander and warm up from nose to toes. Either heading up the slopes or while returning home, a stop at Lehmanns is a must do. Chris Lehmann has really gone all out to make his special corner of Neuhaus festive.

 

And lastly but definitely not least is the remarkable Glühwein stand on Obere Firstalm. While doing some moonlit sledding last full moon a friend and I discovered this wonderful gingerbread stand straight out of a Grimm fairytale. I had to find out the secret of when this Christmas mirage appears as I had never before seen it. Marcus Votteler of Obere Firstalm explained to me just how you can make this magic a part of your Christmas cheer. You can reserved this picturesque Glühwein stand for birthdays or office Christmas parties. Just contact them directly for more information. I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine a more perfect way to enjoy a December birthday than to be together with great friends under the stars, as all snuggle close around an open fire.

Now go forth and gather your friends and lets kick off this holiday season in the Bavarian way, fireside, Glühwein in hand.

For more information on how you can visit these huts for yourself.

Ratskeller Schliersee:
https://www.facebook.com/ratskeller.schliersee/?ref=br_rs

Lehmanns Neuhauser Stuben:
http://neuhauser-stuben.de

Obere Firstalm:
http://www.firstalm.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).

 

 

 

Christmas Market in the Woods

As the winter sun sets on a bitter December weekend, we began the walk back deep into the woods through the dusty blue hour to the remote location of Hennererhof. Each year they host a traditional rural Bavarian Christmas market in the woods.

Little rustic wooden huts showcase the many local handcrafted items for sale dot around the property of the Bavarian farm house. The warm fire light and Christmas smells fill the senses. Icy snow dusted every surface and frosty breath billow from every visitors gathered in cozy groups while sipping warm drinks.

Inside the historic wooden farm house filled with traditional acoustic alpine music chilly families gather in the snug rooms. You can purchase many local gourmet items in their hofladen or farm shop. From aromatherapy to eggs, there isn’t anything you can’t find to sooth your soul. This shop is worth a visit anytime throughout the year.

Twinkling lights sparkle in children excited eyes at the anticipation of a possible Nicolaus sighting, the atmosphere of a Christmas market deep in the forest is something quite special. The air fragrant with the earthy woodland scents blend with the delicious scent of melting cheese from the huge pans of fresh made Kase Spatezel a locally made macaroni and cheese.

Chain saw wood artists, natural bees wax candle makers, hand loomed carpets and fabrics, everything you can imagine all hand crafted from this region. If you haven’t found that perfect gift for those you love for Christmas this year, then chances are you will find that something special at the Woidweihnachtsmarkt am Hennerer.

This year on 9-10 December at 14:00 till 21:00 is the Woidweihnachtsmarkt am Hennerer in Schliersee. This is an event not to be missed. Parking near Hennererhof is very limited so prepare yourself for a long cold walk or grab a ride on one of the horse drawn carriages they have providing transportation. At 5 pm is the expected time for Nicolaus to arrive by horse drawn carriage. Dress warmly from head to toe and bring your hunger.

 

 

For more information about the Woidweihnachtsmarkt am Hennerer:
https://www.hennerer.com/aktuelles/

 

Familie Prem
Hennererstr. 36
83727 Schliersee/Westenhofen
Tel. + Fax: 08026 / 922 99 64

Email: info@hennerer.com

www.hennerer.com 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

A Christmas Market … Lakeside (Seeweihnacht)

Festive twinkle light adorned market booths sit along side of the picturesque alpine lake, Schliersee. Its dramatic backdrop of snow capped mountains. This is Mother Natures holiday decorating at its best. The air, fragrant with all the magical scents of a traditional German Christmas market. From mulled warm wines, to the cinnamon spiced candied nuts. All these sights and sounds help create the magical atmosphere of this lovely little market.

Seeweihnacht in Schliersee is the first Christmas market to start off the 4 Advent weekends of fabulous holiday festivities. Held on the 2 and 3 December in the Kurpark am See located near Vitalwelt. You can come by car or by train as the market is a short walk from the train station. It is a great alternative to sitting in holiday traffic.

What is wonderful about these small town local Bavarian Christmas markets is they are so intimate. Each both contains gifts that are created by loving passionate hands. You won’t find plastic or mass produced items from lands far away at this market. These are handmade gifts destined to become heirlooms. From the foods to the Christmas ornaments, each item is uniquely special.

Each year the ladies of the Frauenbund from the Catholic church in Schliersee work tirelessly preparing the most fantastic array of German Christmas cookies called “Plätzchen”. You have to arrive early to make sure you get a box as they go quickly. Definitely worth making a trip to savor a few of their delights.

Families have gather around in the firelight listening to Christmas carols while wagging dogs snuggle with warmly bundled children since the first days of this market. Eyes bright with age old Christmas cheer. This is a timeless image of small Bavarian village tradition. Visiting these local markets is where you truly can experience an old time German Christmas market feeling.

Some of the great highlights for the whole family are the horse and carriage rides which are held on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm till 5pm.  Alpine brass Christmas music fills the air every day of the market starting at 8 pm and a very special visitor greets the merry makers at 5pm when Nikolaus arrives in all his Christmas glory.

 

 

This is a market that can’t be missed. It’s a great finish to a long day on the slopes.

 

Opening times:

Saturday 2 December from 2pm till 8pm

Sunday 3 December from 12 till 8pm

 

Address:

Kurpark Schliersee

Perfallstr. 4

83727 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).

 

 

 

Adventskranz…Creating German Christmas Light

With the first Advent just around the corner, I thought it might be nice to talk about a German Christmas tradition that anyone can make to bring some European Christmas cheer to their holiday homes. The Advent wreath or as it is called in German, Adventskranz, is a wreath or tray holding four candles, one for each week of Advent. On the Sunday of each Advent another candle is lit right up to Christmas Day.

The Adventskranz is first lit on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Each year the actual date changes to the Liturgical year or church year. The Adventskranz in earlier times was lit while family and friends would gather around it to sing Christmas carols. It held great significance in a time when Christmas trees were only put up and decorated the night before Christmas because in those time real candles were used on live trees.

First Advent also signifies the start of the Christmas Markets or Christkindlmarkt. These warm and wonderful markets are the true highlight of the holiday season so for many in Europe First Advent is a magical date when friends gather in the glow of candle light and share in laughter, song and warm drinks.

Traditionally the Adventskranz was made using a ring shaped wreath form. These forms are  available up at your local craft store. In these more modern times, people are thinking outside the box or should I say outside the ring and are using many different shapes and styles to create their wreaths.

For the more traditional wreath, you will need a straw or foam base, four candles and various decorative items to give it your own particular flare. I will try to show you two distinctly different styles of creating your Adventskranz, one traditional and the other a bit more modern which I use in my own house.

Living in Schliersee, I am blessed with an alpine location surrounded by pine trees, but many of you living in either city or country locations can also gather some natural branches for decorating from your local florist or craft center. The bringing in of live Evergreen has been done since ancient times so you will be keeping a great tradition alive.  Plus the fresh pine smell fills your home and nothing smells more like Christmas.

Once you have your materials, gather the greens using the florist wire into small bunches like bouquets. Once you have 10 or 15 bunches lay them on the wreath to see if you have enough to cover the entire ring. If you find your bunches are not covering the form completely you can cover the form with wide ribbon. Wrapping it around the form until the entire surface is covered or you can even cover the form with extra flat greenery pieces. Just try to cover the surface evenly. Once you have achieved the covering you want, attach each bouquet to your wreath form using the wire. Over lap each bunch to create a so you can’t see where each begins and ends. This is repeated this until the entire form is covered. Many people like to add dried fruits, nuts or even Christmas ornaments using a glue gun. Add items to your own particular taste or just leave it natural. There are no hard and fast rules. At this point in the project you need to find a way to add your four Advent candles to your wreath. One easy fast way is to lay your wreath on a large plate or platter and in the center hole you stand your candles.  Or if you can find candle spikes then use those.

 

 

If you think you lack the talent or time to put together an Adventskranz for yourself, my time saving idea might be perfect for you. Find a beautiful dish or tray that is big enough to hold your four candles and arrange your decorative items creatively. It is that simple. For my table I found a wrought iron tray that had four candle holders built right in making the job very easy. These type of decorative candle holders are widely available. While searching online for sources I also found pre-made forms using florist foam or oasis and they even included the candle holders all under $10. There really is no excuse for not bringing some German holiday cheer to your home this year.

 

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).

 

 

 

Rein it in…It’s the Month of the Horse

November in Schliersee is really the month of the horse. I thought since we just had Leonhardiritt, the religious procession celebrating the blessing of the horses, we should take some time to discover some interesting information about a couple of the amazing breeds we have here in Schliersee.

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting a breeding farm in Austria on the day that the magnificent Haflinger stallions returned from their summer in the high pastures. This breed is truly spectacular. Bred not to far away in the southern Tirol part of Austria, the Haflinger is a warmblood horse known for being efficient, sound, strong, sturdy, and willing. A multi-talented horse, it is commonly used today in dressage, endurance riding, general riding, jumping, mounted athletics, racing, and obviously pulling carriages for historical processions like Leonhardifahrt.

For me, the Haflinger’s coloring is what makes them truly stand out. They are reminiscent of a doe with pale chestnut colored bodies and bright golden manes. I find them to have such great spirited characters. Though they are on the small size they are a horse and not a pony. While at the breeding farm I learned some very interesting tidbits of information. This Tyrollean breed has Arabian blood in them and it is believed that they are all related to one Arab-pony cross named Folie. That mix of blood gives many of these horses a very Arabian style head. They seem to love showing off and being the center of attention.

And on the complete opposite side of the horse characteristic scale, you will find many Kaltblut or Coldblooded horses here in Schliersee. Cold-blooded horses encompass the draft breeds such as Percherons, Shires, Clydesdales, and Belgians. Large-boned and heavy-bodied, these horses were developed to use in draft and agricultural work, and were selected for a calm temperament.

One of my favorite things to see in the early mornings just behind our beloved Leonhardi chapel is when Langerbauer farm lets their horses out of their stalls. The horses seem to store up energy in their powerful legs during the night and just can’t wait to release it exuberantly.  Dashing elegantly across the wide pasture one by one. Sharing in their joy and beauty if only as a witness is an incredibly way to start your day.

 

 

To see these horses for yourself and even take a ride, make sure to visit some of our beautiful local farms. Many of these farms rent lovely rooms where you can experience life on a Bavarian horse farm. They are also just a stones throw from our alpine lake.

 

 

http://www.asenbauer-hof.de

http://www.bayregio.de/gastgeber/Rixnerhof

http://www.langerbauer.de/langerbauer/index.htm

http://www.kirchbergerhof.info/frame-index.htm

http://anderlbauer.schliersee.de/unser_hof/unser_hof.php

gaestehaus-sonnenstatter.de/landwirtschaft/betriebsbeschreibung/

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Ratskeller Schliersee Not a Wild Goose Chase

What does paying taxes and roasted goose have in common? In the middle ages, November 11 was pay day and often taxes were paid with a goose. As crazy as that sounds, in this day and age, the tradition of roasted goose on November 11 still lives on in Germany.

Presently, November 11 is known in Germany as, Martinstag (St. Martin’s Day)and it is celebrated by German children with a parade of handmade lanterns in the evening and after a roast goose dinner. The most well-known legend connected to Saint Martin is when he is said to have cut his cloak in half to share with a poorly dressed beggar which later he believe to be Jesus. Making his action a great example for German children to be good samaritans in their lives.

My family loves an amazingly juicy roast goose but I hate to clean my oven after cooking it. Thankfully this year we made reservations to enjoy our deliciously traditional “Martinstag” goose at the Ratskeller in Schliersee. The Ratskeller is located next door to the Rathaus or town hall. It is traditionally where the Mayor and town council would eat so you are always guaranteed a great meal at a good price at your local Ratskeller.

Sadly it is too late to order roast goose  this year but I highly recommend making your reservation for next  St. Martins day at the Ratskeller. Schliersee. The goose we ordered was perfectly prepared with crisp crackling skin and the portion size seemed enormous for only being a quarter of the goose. Fragrant and tender red cabbage and potato dumplings accompanied our magnificent meal. The knowledgable servers can also suggest for you  the perfect wine to pare with your goose.  Petra, Matthias and the entire Ratskeller team were warm and wonderful hosts.

 

 

If you are unable to get to our Schliersee Ratskeller here is a recipe you can try for yourself at home.

 

Ingredients

               
1 Oven ready goose (4-4.5 kg)
hearty pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
1 bunch of fresh marjoram
4-3 slightly sour apples
2 onions
2 carrots
250 g of celery root
150 g of mushrooms
2-3 tsp cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons creme fraiche
wooden skewers
kitchen twine or cotton string
heavy bottom roasting pan
roasting rack

 

Preparation

Remove giblets and extra fat from the goose. Wash innards and goose and pat dry. Rub goose inside and out with salt and pepper.

Second

Chop marjoram. Quarter and core apples. Mix both together and stuff in the goose. Close neck and belly opening with skewers and yarn. Tie the legs and wings tightly to the rest on the goose body.

Peel the onions and quarter them. Peel carrots and celery, cut up roughly. Clean mushrooms and wash if necessary. Toss everything with the giblets into the drip pan and place in the preheated oven at 175 ° C or 347°F.

Put the goose on a rack over the dripping pan. In the pan, pour 1/2 liter of boiling water. Roast the goose for 4-4 1/2 hours. Prick the skin to release the fat about a half hour into roasting time.

Approximately 30 minutes before the end of the roasting time, pour about 1/8 of boiling water onto the drip pan and switch on the oven 225 ° C or 437°F.

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 3 tablespoons of ice-cold water.

Brush the goose about 15 minutes before end of roast twice with the salt and ice water mixture.

 Once done lift the goose off the grate and let it rest.

 

Put the apples and vegetables from the pan through a sieve. Then deglaze the pan with a little hot water scraping up all the baked on bits and put that through the same sieve.  Remove as much as possible of the extra grease off the top with a spoon.  Put sauce back into roasting pan.  Make a mixture of 5 tablespoons of water and starch together till smooth. Pour this into the sauce. Add the creme fraiche and mix till it makes a smooth gravy.

 

If you are in our area and would love to try a traditional Martinstag goose, please contact Petra & Matthias at the Ratskeller to make your reservations.

 

https://www.facebook.com/ratskeller.schliersee/

http://www.ratskeller-schliersee.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).

 

 

 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors…Truly a Benefit

There is nothing good, unless you do it!” or in the original German “Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es” this is the motto of NachbarschaftsHilfe Schliersee. They truly represent this quote by supporting the people of Schliersee.

For the past three years, the Bauerntheater with its beautiful and traditionally painted wooden interior has been the backdrop for this talent packed benefit concert. The goal of this talent packed event each year is to gather enough funds to help them offer the supportive programs to those who might need them in the community. To encourage more participants in their very needed group as well as draw attention to their many causes as well as to just bring everyone out to have a great time.

Just a sampling of a few of the much needed programs that NachbarschaftsHilfe Schliersee offers are Dementia help and support, Parkinson’s support and help for the hearing impaired. Something that I know from my own experience which is incredibly important is 24 hour Dementia help. After the first benefit concert the group was able to purchase a car to provide rides to doctors appointments and other necessary excursions. These programs are made possible by the donations of others and are incredibly needed and necessary.

This past Sunday was this years benefit concert. Side by side the residents of Schliersee gather to sit and enjoy local talent. This year we were treated to a culture packed afternoon provided by the operatic trio of Bettina Schoeller, Carlo Schraml and Timm Tzschaschel, the composer on piano. They sang many classic songs to which the audience were encouraged to sing along as well. A table covered with delicious homemade cakes and pastries, donated by local bakeries,  line the walls giving fragrance to the air. Voices lifted in song and hearts lifted in laughter, there is no better way to bring a community together.

If you are visiting Schliersee or are a resident, this annual event is not to be missed. For more information about what this integral organization does for the community, please visit their webpage and consider contributing to this very important program.

 

NachbarschaftsHilfe
https://www.nbh-schliersee.de/über-uns/erfolgreiche-benefiz-veranstaltung/

 

 

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Feel the Burn & Get Stacking

There is a universal saying, that wood warms a person three times; once when you cut it; once when you stack it; and once when you burn it.

 

This was told to me in my first year in Schliersee by the man delivering my firewood. I think he saw panic in my face the moment I realized I faced days of moving and stacking seven Stere of wood. To give you a little perspective on firewood sizes. A “Stere” is the German measurement of wood. In the US we measure our firewood by “cord” which measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet. The German measurement, “Stere” measures 1 cubic meter. That is a heaping pile of winter heat.

 

What is wonderful about wood other than its warming properties, is that wood is sustainable. We made a plan when we decided to rent an old Bavarian farmhouse or “Landhaus” we would install the best Swedish style wood stove and heat the house using wood as much as possible as a way to cut cots.

 

As you wander around Schliersee in autumn you will be keenly aware that it is time to start planning the year’s firewood order. Heavily laden trucks and tractors are on the streets bringing the residents their wood deliveries. Many times you might see small mountains of wood occupying someone’s parking place in front of the home and everyone is busily moving and precisely arranging and stacking their woodpiles.

 

These diligently and impressively exact stores of logs are creatively tucked into any spare covered nook and cranny. Under bench seats, as bench seats and climbing right up into the eaves.These towers of future warmth become architectural features, not just utilitarian lumps of lumber to hide out back. Many are simply works of art which bring not only a warmth to the inside of Schliersee homes but also add a welcoming dimension of home and hearth to the beautiful exteriors of local buildings both modern and historic.

 

 

I hope some of these designs inspire you to get “stacking” and add a bit of Bavarian Schliersee flare to your home this winter season.

 

Here’s some more interesting firewood facts:

 

FIVE BEST BURNING TREE SPECIES

Hickory – 25 to 28 million BTUs/cord – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.

Oak – 24 to 28 million BTUs/cord – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.

Black Locust – 27 million BTUs/cord – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.

Beech – 24 to 27 million BTUs/cord – density 32 to 56 lbs./cu.ft.

White Ash – 24 million BTUs/cord – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.

 

 

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).

 

 

 

Schliersee…So Much More Than Cows

After several years of obsessively photographing the various local Almabtriebs, this year I was sent a very kind invitation to come and experience another lovely local farming event. The Schafprämierung, in english we would call it a sheep “Best in Show” which, also included goats. This event is held each year in Tegernsee at Kohlhauf-Hof.

Sadly, after many years of great weather, this year the event received a complete soaking due to the remnants of hurricane Maria. Though the weather dampened everything, animal and people alike, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the farmers and young breeders.

Despite the weather, the atmosphere was a festive one. Of course there was a small local traditional band playing and the air was fragrant with hot homemade stews, sausages and lamb steaks. Never to be forgotten at any German gathering, an entire table of delicious homemade cakes. Local vendors set up booths and sold various hand made products like  cattle bells and sheep’s wool items.  An amazing weaver from Miesbach brought her traditional Bavarian style loom carpets while women carded and spun wool. For the children a class was offered on felting wool and they really enjoyed.

Representing Schliersee was Franz Leitner (junior). His families beautiful farm, Kirchbergerhof is located in the  Fischhausen part of Schliersee. Franz was showing his magnificent Alpine Steinschaff. Through this event I learned In 2009 the Alpines Steinschaf was named “endangered livestock breed of the year” so its cultivation and care are very important to the breeds survival. It was great to be there in support of a fellow Schlierseer.

What stole my heart were the happy faces of the young breeders, Jungzuchter, who were showing their sheep for the first time. Watching the connection of these young children and their much loved and trusting sheep was precious. The joy of the parents and grandparents who could share their passion for animal husbandry was written all over their faces. These traditions of local farming if not taught and shared might one day might sadly die out. Sharing and teaching them to the younger generations helps to keep the traditions alive. Their joy just fills you with pride for this beautiful alpine land and its people.

I am sure there were technical aspects of a Schafprämierung which were very important for the health of these local breeds but for me it was the joy of community that I most took away from the day. The excitement of seeing the results of the years hard work, breeding and caring for these sweet faced creatures. The sheep were definitely the stars and their personalities shined through. Many of the sheep tried nibbling on the serious judges aprons causing them to break from their important stoic roles into warm laughter.

 

 

The judges took great care to check each animal thoroughly for particular signs of good breeding. The health and care given to every animal was judged accordingly to a strict standard.

 

Unfortunately, although I was properly attired for the weather, myself and my camera encased in gore-tex for protection I ended up getting soaked to the skin which sadly brought and end to my visit.

 

 

For more information on Schafprämierung and events:
http://www.alpinetgheep.com/news-bayern.html

To learn how you can stay at the beautiful Kirchbergerhof farm:

http://www.kirchbergerhof.info/frame-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).

 

 

 

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).