Dipping into Germany’s lakes

The past 2 weeks have felt like a non stop holiday, normally on roadtrips there are days of just driving and no sights en route but there’s been something around every corner and I’ve loved it. We stayed for 2 nights right on the shores of Lake Korbersee, on the 1676m pass, the days were scorching hot and nights cool as a cucumber. It was the final area we were going to explore in the Bregenzerwald area so we did a few hikes. One of which was up Widderstein’s 2533m summit, it was seriously steep in areas and we were basically rock climbing up which was enough for Craig’s height phobia, and to be fair I was pretty zapped. Hikers walked past us with helmets and ropes which made us feel a bit unequipped – especially as we passed plaques in memory of people that had died on the route. We had to cross a few sections of snow, which were massive slabs dripping into dark crevasses below. We probably made it 2300m high and the views there were phenominal, mountains EVERYWHERE!! Snowy peaks all around us and fainter ones behind them too, it was quiet jaw dropping scenery and certainly made us question the best mountains we’ve been to in the world – the jury’s still out but let’s just say it was like walking through the Himalayas again – even more so as the hikes round here always seem to go via a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We heated water in the solar shower while hiking and had to mix it with river water as it was too hot, who would of thought it eh?

We soon left the amazing corner of Austria and followed the blue river Lech north to Fussen back in Germany. As with the thousands of other people, we were there to see king Ludwig’s famous castles. Mainly Schloss Neushwanstein; said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s fairy tale castle. The king designed it himself alongside a stage designer as apose to an architect. We slogged it up a steep road melting in the sun to Mary’s bridge, this is where the postcard shot of the castle is from, though you never see what the bridge looks like – chocker block with tourists, all with complete faith in this bridge which had an almighty drop down to a gorge. The castle itself was very pretty, all white with spires around it and balconys, but as with most things, it wasn’t as amazing as it was said to be. But it was in quite a spectacular location with the gorge below and perched atop a forested hill with a lake behind it. We visited the two nearby lakes for a swim, they were quite the family day out with everyone sunbathing on the grass. Both were beautiful and surrounded by mountains and forest. We tried to find a private spot but encountered a snake swimming past us so we joined the locals.

The next day we drove to Lake Eibsee, not even in our guidebook (God Lonely Planet really is a crock of shit yet I buy it eveeeery time!) but i’d seen a photo of it on Pinterest so we headed uphill to it. Wowee was it beautiful! It was so clear and blue, it looked more like the sea from a beach in Australia. As if that wasn’t perfect enough it was at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain; Zugspitze at 2964m. We pitched up right on white rocky shores and swam into the refreshingly cool water. We didn’t have any food for lunch as it was bank holiday and no shops were open, so we grabbed a bite at a canteen style restaurant on the shores. In true German style Craig got a currywurst which involved a giant frankfurter covered in curry sauce. And the perfect accompaniment was a 1litre handle of beer! It was so heavy it was almost impossible to drink with just one hand holding it. After lunch clouds rolled in and thunder clapped so it was a good time to walk the 8km loop around the lake. We got to a lonely jetty half way along where we did copious jumps into the deep dark water. By the time we got to a viewpoint of the islands dotting the lake the sun came out again, and the lake looked incredible with turquoise edges around each lonely island. I aptly named it ‘The Bahamas of Bavaria’ because it really did look like paradise with tropical islands, and instead of an infinity ocean view we had the massive, rocky Zugspitze dominating the rear.

Craig decided not to wear sunscreen on his stomach yesterday as he “doesn’t get burnt there” yeaaah, that didn’t work out so good – he was a lobster! Funny enough it was only once he got burnt that we understood why sunburnt people are called lobsters, as we both started saying “Lobsters aren’t even red till their cooked…ahhh – you got cooked boy!”

This section of Germany has ended up being a lake hopping trip; the weather has been so hot at 30+, so getting the relief of a wash has been amazing. There was a bluer than blue river in Krun that looked very appealing for a wash but it would of caused sever brain freeze and possibly frostbite of the nipples, it was that cold! We stopped off for dips in Walchensee, Kochel and Tegernsee, all very pretty especially the former but none of them had a fighting chance of beating Eibsee in the ranks.

Bavaria’s architecture still has the lovely wooden alpine house but among them are buildings with murals all over them. Some just fancy draping window frames and others with whole elaborate scenes on them of people in the olden days. One had a window painted on the side of the house with a man discreetly standing below and a women cheekily sitting on the window ledge chatting to him.

The weather is finally turning, we had a huge thunderstorm last night and had to run back to Pablo in torrential rain. It came out of nowhere and looked like a hurricane outside with all the trees swaying, horizontal rain and hail, and the drops were so big it felt like Mother Nature was above us throwing water bombs and roaring with laughter.

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