Two years ago, it was the first year, I visited the house of one of my best friends at Tegernsee. As summer is just around the corner, it is time to publish one of my very first pieces of travel writing about a weekend with friends. Have fun with it!
“The rain is pattering against the window. The sky is cloudy and a thunderstorm rumbles above the lake. We drive up the Achenpass along the blue-shimmering Achenlake. We are on our way to a weekend with friends. Spending it at the Tegernsee – a real mesmerizing lake 50 km south of Munich. I heard of it being dreamy and beautiful and no one can ever escape from it. In Bavaria, the Tegernsee is much more of a myth than a simple swimming lake. You might can call it the Munich Hamptons. It is a getaway for the rich and beautiful, who can afford spending their spare time up here.
My first thought, as I was invited to spend the weekend there was: “Is this something for me? Can I handle it? “ But as we left the sharp-edged Central Alps and attained the hilly foothills of the Alps, I was overwhelmed for the first time this day. The sky clears off and sunny glints hit the tarmac through the deep, thick woods at the side of the road. The shapes around here are more floating, the grass is greener and the water bluer. We passed little Bavarian villages and caught a glance of the lake.
The first impression of the house was a rapture. It is typical Bavarian with wooden balconies and traditional paintings on the house wall. Crane´s bills border the balustrade of the main balcony and little hearts are carved into the wood, framed with white color.
Below our feet, the old stairs are groaning. At the first floor, four rooms were implemented and at the kitchen table lunch was arranged. Fresh bread, milk, cheese and honey were on the table waiting with a can of coffee. Our friends had made all this to welcome us to their house.
A little door leads us to the second floor and all the tiny old rooms from the floor below disappear to a light-flooded, open-spaced room. A bright wooden floor is covered with Persian carpets. Wood trusses cross the ceiling. The sunlight floods the room towards a glassy front. Through sliding doors you can step out on the balcony and suddenly all noises hush and your attention is all caught by the deep, dark woods vis-à-vis the house. The middle of the room is dominated by a wooden table with a view towards outside. On the left side, a little library is hidden under a roof-light. Bookshelves frame classy armchairs standing on a thick carpet, to make it easier sinking into the stories of the hundreds of books. On the opposite side, the room is filled with 1960´s sofas and a tiny aged TV.
Four doors diverge from this room: two bedrooms with beds and antique furniture, all nestled under the pitch of the roof, windows towards the street and the lake, and a small bathroom with a wooden ceiling, which radiates comfort and coziness.
A traditional cupboard caught my attention. My friend and host join me and open the left door. I feel like I have been thrown into a Harry Potter story: behind this door, another bedroom appears. By walking straight towards the cupboard, you enter a room with two beds under a roof-light – perfectly hidden, perfectly safe.
This house is a real treasure and the journey definitely was worth it to see and discover all of this. But we are not only here to enjoy the comfort of our accommodation. We wanted to go outside and glory in the beautiful scenery of nature around us. Before our first mountainbike tour, we strengthen ourselves with a snack and a tarte au chocolat. At 6.30 p.m. we start with a ‘little‘ evening tour, towards the Holzeralm – one of the several alps up here – just to check on the trails and get in touch with the possibilities of this area.
It was the idea to go on a gentle sloped unimproved forest road, but we accidentally take one side road earlier, which ends in a steep, never ending uphill session. Every serpentine seems to be the last, and we all go up needing a break or an even more gentle road towards the next turn. But as soon as we reached it, all our hopes got destroyed by a longer and steeper road. Finally, after 45 minutes we arrived at the top of the hill, but it should not be the end so far. We all put on our protection gear and a short track down leads us to a forest glade, where we can see the sun almost setting. It is flooded with pink, blue and yellow wild flowers, and the sky is pinkish with sprinkles on it. But the romantic scenery was kind of destroyed by a meteorological station for analyzing the forest climate and the changes caused by climate change. All this pulls us back into reality, and we tend to escape into the forest.
All of the huge, lively trees covered with moss and lichen alternate with dead stumps, destroyed by lightning strikes compared to the vanilla sky, seem to be a sequence out of an enchanted forest. We have to push our bikes, since the trees have thrown roots all along the ground, which makes it almost impossible to ride the bike for a meter. Due to the rain of the last couple of days, the forest ground is really soaked and we are all wading towards deep mud, and our bikes sink in half-way up to their wheels.
By reaching the top we absorb all impressions and enjoy the view from the summit cross on the lake and the surrounding mountains. Since the climb lasted longer than we intended, we have to hurry a little bit to get down again. The rooted trails go deep into the woods and the twilight contributes just enough light to be not fully blinded while riding down. But that is not going to stop us. We sample the pleasures of the trails even if they are cliffy, rooty, sludgy, or slippery. We go through every puddle on purpose. On our last meters through town, we must seem like aliens to the dressed up pensioners with their walking frames.
Arriving at our house, we are dirty and muddy but perfectly satisfied. This increases as we recognize, that barbecue is waiting for us and we just have to take a shower and sit down at the table and have some dinner. With some beer, wine, delicious food and good old rock’n’roll, we reflect on our day. Beef, tofu, garlic bread, tzatziki and tons of grilled feta cheese restock our power reserves. A delicate dessert of grilled peaches caramelized with honey and vanilla ice cream gives us the rest. We are full and pleased and definitely ready for bed. After chatting a little bit, we all lay down, relax, and fall asleep instantly.
Cowbells are waking me up in the morning. The sun is shining above the lake, but thick, dark clouds announce an upcoming thunderstorm. Okay, we need to seize the time. What are we going to do today?”