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).