Hiking the German / Austrian border

Based in Munich, we caught the S-Bahn out towards Schliersee for €10. What a bargain! That was for a full days travel, in pretty much any direction an hour or so away from the city centre.

Schliersee looked beautiful, with a stunning lake that we planned to swim in later.

From there, we then caught a bus up to Spitzingsee. Once the bus had made it through the herd of cows, we were now approximately 1000m above sea level.

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Our final destination was Rotwandhaus, 1850m up, with the promise of beer and food awaiting us at the summit.

We chose to hike the red route, which was said to be tricky, following a track all the way up the mountain. It was fun going, with stunning scenery, but fairly steep in places, so bring some strong thigh muscles (or an electric bike like the OAPs).

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The sign said 2h30m, and we did it in about 1h50m. We fairly powered up, even scrambling some sections to chop out the zigzagging path.

The view from the top was awesome, a 360 panorama of Germany and Austria meeting in the mountains. A huge iron cross marked the peak. Goats and cows sauntered about like they owned the place. The beer was good too!

After filling our camera phone memories with photos, we decided to head back down the mountain on the opposite side. What a great decision! Parts of it followed the cable car back down, used in the summer for carrying hikers some of the way, used in the winter for shipping the skiers up the pistes.

And where there are skiing routes … there are more beer huts! In seemingly random, isolated areas. But great fun to pub crawl between, and probably even more fun to ski from one to the next.

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2 more stops and we reached Spitzingsee again, fairly tired from tramping back down, definitely in need of another beer, and a dip in the lake.

Schliersee’s lake was said to be warmer, but we wouldn’t have reached it in time, so instead bombed in to the freezing cold water. It took your breath away, and we were unclear whether it was the temperature or the scenery that did it.

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Having then missed the last bus, we had another beer while awaiting our taxi, then went out for dinner in Schliersee feeling fresh, but probably not looking it.

Steak, beers and wine, then it was back to Munich on the train, along with everybody else. It’s a popular destination, and hopefully you can see why…

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