Beiträge

Almkirta in Schliersee, Nearer My God to Thee

On a very hot morning in August, pack heavy with gear and extra water, I set off to experience my first traditional Bavarian Almkirta. I had been invited by one of our local herders. Not one to ever pass up an invitation to point my lens at something new, off I went. Thankfully it wasn’t a long hike or even a steep hike up to Krainsbergeralm, it is even listed in guides as a “Senior walk” or one that is good for all ages.

Up and up I trudged, truly enjoying the dancing waters of a fresh flowing mountain stream that lined my way. I have to admit I was surprised by the volume of traffic headed up this rocky road normally only meant for bikes and wanderers. In one car that passed me was obviously the priest and I hoped my slow pace would not cause me to miss the celebration completely. It was at that moment a car being driven by an elderly couple pulled along side me and asked if I wanted to ride along. With a big smile I exclaimed yes, that I didn’t want to miss the Almkirta and thanked them profusely.

 

Once I was in the car the endless chatter in the distinct local dialect began. Much of it I could follow along and add my two cents but when I could see on their faces that my pronunciation wasn’t quite right I explained that I was an American living here in Schliersee. Their surprise was quite apparent and it was as if they had discovered a unicorn wandering in the woods. Sadly our conversation was cut short as the ride had only to last about 250 meters to the gate of the Alm.

 

You could hear the voices and revelry of the alpine music all the way down the dusty lane which was also intermingled with the tinkling sounds of the bells the cows in the pastures were wearing. I never know how I will be received arriving alone with a giant camera at my side, but thankfully before I knew it a gentleman I had once photographed during a local Almabtrieb came right up and made me feel very welcome.

 

I feel at this point in the story, I should explain just what is an Almkirta. Almkirta is a church service held high in the mountains. Sort of giving a “Nearer My God to Thee” feeling to attending church. Folks arrive by any means possible, foot, bike, or car and the church sends a representative to perform the religious ceremony. After the service, there is music and a delicious feast.

 

It really doesn’t matter how you feel about religion, attending a church service in what is truly “God’s House” will definitely inspire your soul. At the time of the Almkirta I attended at Krainsbergeralm, a Canadian hiker had been missing in nearby mountains and I have to admit to being moved to tears to hear his name being offered up in prayer.

 

So take my advice. Never pass up a chance to attend a Almkirta or by any of it is many other names Kirwa, – Kirchweih, Kirchtag, Kirtag, Kirta, Kirmes, Kerb, Kirb, Kermes, Kemmes, Kier, Kirbe, Kerwe, Kärwe, Kirda, Kerms, Kermst, Kärms, Kilwi, Kilbi, Kärmst, Chilbi and many more.

 

 

https://www.komoot.com/tour/6292063

http://www.brauchtumsseiten.de/a-z/k/kirta/home.htmlhttps://www.thelocal.de/20180828/tributes-paid-after-body-of-canadian-hiker-missing-in-bavarian-alps-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).

 

 

 

Haying Side by Side in Schliersee

Living far from my home country and being a bit of a nomad, makes invitations to be included in seasonal projects and events so much more special.

Last Saturday, I was invited to join a local farming family from the lakeside farm of Anderlbauer. Hartl Markhauser and his two lovely daughters, Sophie and Sefa, along with son Harti and the family patriarch, Sepp. Together we all piled into vehicles and raced the sporadic raindrops up the mountain.

The days mission was to bring in the precious golden hay of summer before possible turbulent weather. If you live in a farming community you can often tell the weather just by the activity level of the local farmers. During hay season you will see the mad dash begin to bring in the hay that is cut and drying in the fields before rain. Storing damp hay can ruin that years yield and therefore shorten the amount of feed hay the animals have for winter in the barn.

Upon arrival the first thing that needed to be done, was to make room in the hay loft buy removing a massive round hay bales. It was Sepp’s job to organize each bucket load of hay from the Frontloader. It seemed to me to be a nice job up there, out of the heat of the days sun. Plus I adore a hay loft.

After a few helpful tips from Sophie and Harti, I do believe my hay raking skills greatly improved. If you are like me and adore the bucolic imagery of farm life and have ever stared longingly at a group of farm hands working in unison to complete a task, then you like me would have been overjoyed to tear down that third wall and be included in the composition. I couldn’t help but think that the hikers watching us work, would never guess there was a wayward American in the mix. Speaking of being in the mix, there is no better language course then to working and sweating side by side listening to the lilting tons of the local Bavarian dialect. An experience you cannot put a price on.

This years hot dry summer has been difficult for our farmers and their cattle. High heat and lack of sufficient rain have led to there being a lack of grass on the mountains. This was most evident by the many salivating bovine faces that came increasingly closer to us while we worked. I am sure the smell of the drying hay was as intoxicating to them as it was for me.

Of course, as is the Bavarian tradition, at the end of these few hours of hard graft, the days repose was taken in the breezy shade, with a magnificent mountain view and a table laden with delights.

Thank you again Markhauser family for making this frustrated farmers dream come true.

 

 

For more information on the beautiful Anderlbauer

Familie Markhauser
Fischhauser Straße 5
83727 Schliersee/Oberbayern
Telefon: 0 80 26 / 9 46 64
Telefax: 0 80 26 / 9 46 65

E-Mail: anderlbauer@gmx.de

 

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

 

 

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).

 

 

 

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).

 

 

 

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).