Sunday, May 31, 2015


I think i must have offended the weather gods.  Of the 12 days I spent in Germany, only 4 were sunny and 2 of those were travel days. Probably another 2 full and 2 half days were just overcast and threatening while the rest were fairly consistent rain.

The Sunday I travelled by train from Strasbourg to Munich then onto  Garmisch-Partenkirchen was sunny as was the next day when, seeing the forecast, I did hike up into the hills about 450 metres. This photo is taken where I had a coffee at Partnackalm about 300 metres above the town. I do like the way you can find restaurants with some accommodation up in the hills. Many people hike up for lunch.

On Tuesday I went to a lake near my accommodation, Riessersee, and you can see the clouds were already low so I only went up about 100 metres and was back in my apartment for a late lunch as the rain set in.

With pouring rain on Wednesday, I decided to go by bus to one of King Ludwig’s castles, Linderhof. I had visited it in the 1970’s. I got drenched just waiting in the queue to enter and as I left, not spending much time in the gardens, it began to snow although it did not settle in the valley. I think the mountains would have been beautiful if I could have seen through the clouds.  I had to change buses in a favourite town of mine, Oberammergau, so cheered myself up with a big plate of strawberries, cream and ice-cream.

The next 2 days were just drizzle so on Thursday I walked in the hills just above the town but only up about 100 metres and travelled by bus to Munich on Friday. That evening I went to the impressive Herkuulesaal in the Munich Residenz where I heard the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. Sir John Gardiner was the conductor. I think I have seen him conduct Last Night of the Proms.   I was in the very centre 2nd row but I actually prefer to be up high so I can look down and see all the orchestra.
Berlioz 'Harold en Italie' was first with Antoine Tamestit playing the viola solo. He was excellent and quite a showman.    The 2nd half was Schubert Symphony Nr 8.

Saturday in Munich was overcast but did not rain until evening. I went to the Nymphenburg Palace. I do not remember going there on my previous visits to Munich. After going through the amazing Baroque and Rococo rooms in the main pavilion, I wandered in the 200 acre park somewhat reminiscent of Versailles, and visited the 4 garden pavilions, each in a different style. This photo shows the hall of mirrors in the Amalienburg Pavilion.

Sunday morning was rain again and I wandered in various parts of Munich but it fined up in the afternoon allowing me to go to the English Garden which is a vast urban park. As in 2008, I joined many locals in sitting, drinking beer and listening to a Bavarian Oompah brass band. I only managed a half litre unlike the litre jugs being drunk all around me.

Monday was fine and sunny again as I travelled by train to Berchtesgaden but the rain returned on Tuesday so all I managed was a 2 hour soggy historical walk around the hills above the town.
Wednesday was better but still overcast so I decided to take the boat ride on Konigsee. I had taken this twice before, in the 1970’s and in 2008 but both were in the off season when the electric boats do not go all the way up the lake. This time I went to the end and took a walk to a smaller lake, Obersee. The track was a bit rugged in parts, but, even with the clouds, the views were magnificent.

Finally on my last full day in Bavaria, I had the sun and blue skies which I would have liked to have seen more often.  I took the Jennerbahn, a 1,170 metre cable gondola almost to the top of Jenner Berg 1,874 metres where we could see over 100 German and Austrian peaks. 

I tried to climb the final metres to the very top but even with my boots and stick the icy steps and dizzy heights forced me to retreat. However, after descending to the middle station, 1534 metres, I walked down a muddy track with lots of steps to the bottom at about 700 metres.

Wanting to make the best of the weather, I took a bus in the afternoon to another lake, Hintersee

 and walked around it and followed a nature trail through the Zauberwald, or Magic Forest, probably about 7km in total.  No wonder I had trouble going down to the town for my dinner.

It was another sunny day as I travelled into Austria and the Salzkammergut region.

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