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).”

I grab my kayak

Part of my great plan when making the move to Schliersee was to become once more healthy and physically fit.  It was the choice to make moving in the beautiful landscape a priority not just for me but for my family as a whole.

This year on my birthday I added kayaking to my movement plan.  Living in Schliersee we have not only access to the two beautiful tranquil lakes of Spitzingsee and Schliersee but all the many amazing lakes which surround us.  So we have begun trying to paddle in as many as we can.  Currently my favorite is Spitzingsee at sunset with the cows and the mountains all aglow in the fading light.  Its truly breathtaking.

There is magic in the smooth gliding movement of my body being one with my kayak upon the water.  That connection, that feeling of fluid freedom and the connection with the water and its inhabitants.  Sometimes I am visited by fish jumping over the bow of the boat or a mother duck and her ducklings come along side as if she is presenting her little family to me.

To be out there on the lake as the burnt orange glow of the summer sun setting.  There is nothing better and all this grandeur is accompanied by the soft ringing of the cows munching on the hillsides.

If I have an hour free or a particularly tense day.  I grab my kayak and get to a lake.  I hope you too will find some time to float today.  There are boat rentals on both Spitzingsee and Schliersee for you to experience the magic for yourself.

On Schliersee:
http://www.schlierseeschifffahrt.de/bootsverleih/
http://www.stoeger-schliersee.de/index.php?sid=bootsverleih

On Spitzingsee:
http://www.bootsverleih-spitzingsee.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).

 

 

Alpen-Triathlon

On a particular torrentially rainy summer Sunday in June, the roads, lakes and mountain sides were taken over by an army of beautifully functioning human machines.  Have you guessed yet what my overly dramatized description might be about?  Yes, on this day the Schliersee Alpen Triathlon was held.  The whole event was an amazing array of sheer determination, extensive training and down right guts of steel.  Despite horrendous weather conditions, slippery roads, massive rain drops and cold temperatures, these lycra clad athletes competed valiantly against themselves and the clock.  Truly awe inspiring for this photographer.

It your ever lucky enough to be in Schliersee during the triathlon and are looking for motivation for your own physical fitness or are a fan of watching the triumph of the human spirit, don’t miss this event.  It kicks off along Schliersee lake near Kurpark Schliersee.  Right where the tour boat docks.  There are free shuttle busses which will take you to Spitzingsee so you can catch the cyclists as they finish their perilous climb up to the saddle only then to race back down into the tiny village of Spitzingsee where to drop their bikes and begin their long run.

The atmosphere is electric.  Between the athletes, their families cheering them on and all the many smiling support staff handing out drinks and recovery food.  I have to admit my favorite part of this very “alpine” of Alpen triathlon was the finish line.  As the runners came across and received their medals then grabbed a beer and a plate of freshly made steaming hot Kaiserschmarrn.  How’s that for recovery food!  The atmosphere is electric and an event not to be missed for sure.

The link to the triathlon:
http://schliersee-alpentriathlon.com

To find out more about triathlons in the area:
http://www.wechselszene.com/wettkampfe/schliersee-alpen-triathlon

 

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).

 

 

Dandelions

Many years ago when I first came to Germany, I arrived with a suitcase full of my American ideas.  My mother, a consummate gardener, perceived the golden yellow blossom of the Dandelion flower as a mortal enemy.  “It just one is let to survive, the entire yard is ruined”.  So she spent many hours of her life, stooped in the battle of pulling those nasty deep roots.

Thankfully I was saved from this burden by my first German landlord.  At our first rental apartment I lovingly tended the garden much to the joy of my landlord until one day he found me, furiously pulling out all the Dandelions.  He ran out and asked me what I was doing and there my education began.  He instructed me on how for the bees the Dandelion might be the first pollen they collect after a long Winter in the hive.  How they use the Dandelion to feed their many animals such as parrots, rabbits and even the cows eat it.  They are extremely healing plants as well.  “So why are you throwing them out”.

So now, each May as the rolling fields of Germany bloom golden as the sun and vibrate with the rumbling tone of the bees, I smile and think of how much I have learned and how much more time I have on my hands.  Lets face it, you can’t look at a mustard yellow pasture and not smile.

To learn more about the much falsely maligned Dandelion here are a few links:

Some refreshment:
http://wellnessmama.com/4505/iced-lime-dandelion-tea/

Healing properties:
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion

Let them Bee:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog/2015/may/12/dandelions-pollinators-wildlife-garden

 

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 little Nip of Courage – Schnapserei Spitzingsee

I love Schnapps, there I’ve said it.  I am not sure if it is my Irish ancestry but my Grandmother and my mother were both known to have made various alcoholic concoctions.  Their favorite being a simple mixture of honey, lemon and whisky to fight a cold.  These magical, herbal mixtures have been handed down through time.

So on a chilly dark day while hiking on Spitzingsee my girlfriend mentioned she discovered a new locally produced Schnapserei we had to make a slight detour and try a few out.

The shop is located near the church directly in the village of Spitzingsee.  Its rather hard to miss with the life size plastic cow reproduction out front.  Insidetypically historic Bavarian interior, you might almost miss the shop owner behind the counter through all the copious beautifully hand decorated bottles.

A former restauranteur, he now plays with his hobby of Schnapps and liquor manufacturing.   The shop offers you such creative combinations like Lemon-Pepper, Chili-honey and Bauernbrot Schnapps.  I personally am going back for a bottle of his homemade Gin.  Which he makes very traditionally with Juniper berries and “none of those fancy boutique things.”  This is really Gin made as it should be.

So, next time you up on Spitzingsee and are looking for just the right nip of courage to help you get to the Rotwand Gipfel.  Stop by and tuck a bottle or two in your backpack.  One for encouragement and the other for recovery.

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 Neuhaus Blacksmith

 

The Hammerschmiede in Neuhaus is located next to the Brunnhof cafe and is an easy walking distance from the Joseftal Waterfall and is a great excuse to visit all three locations.   There is a long history dating back to 1720 for this working blacksmith shop and the present “Smithy” Josef Geisler, has been making hand forged tools there since 1952.   I simply adore visiting him and sharing his incredible hand crafted tools with all my guests but mostly I love just spending time with Herr Geisler. If you see shovels and rakes leaning against the wall outside his door and through his windows the fires glowing, more than likely he is working inside. Just give the door a tap, he might here you over the hammering but you will always be greeted with a big smile. Its the perfect stop for all the men in your group. In his small showroom you can find cow bells, hammers, axes and even that perfect pan for your next Paella party. My latest group brought home a beautifully forged long axe…not assembled of course but what an heirloom that will be back home in Minnesota.

Historische Hammerschmiede
Josef Geisler
Schliersee/Neuhaus im Josefsthal
Aurachstraße 2
08026/71004

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).