Strange summer

This post is coming to you live from the 14.16 train from Gaimersheim to München. I’m on my way to the airport via the city centre, fortified by 4 of Oma Gerti’s best pancakes for lunch.

A strange experience (the train, not the pancakes). A novel one. Usually it’s a 45 minute belt down the A9 at about 170kph.

I’ll have time to take in the Bavarian landscape. Ripe maize, but the rest of the crops were harvested long ago. I’ll pass through the hop growing region. That harvest has just started.  The train stops at Dachau. It always feels a bit unsettling.

iTunes is here to blot out the noisy Bayern fans on their way to a home game. Johnnie Allan lifts the spirits a bit too.

I’ll have a couple of hours in the city centre. Stretch my legs. Coffee & cake?

A strange holiday is just coming to an end. It’s Sunday afternoon. Back to work in the morning.

The holiday plan was a week in Slovenija and Croatia, then a week in Bavaria. Some sun and exploring new places the first week. The Adriatic coast and the Slovenian lakes. Mountains to climb in week 2. A few beers too.

But then my blood pressure went through the roof at the start of August. There were reasons. I was “unfit to travel” when I planned to, and had to wait until the medication got me under control.

End result – week 1 in Scotland. Or Dreichland, as it had been all summer. Grey. Wet. Cool.

But we followed the sun around the country. Fife. Aberdeen. Findhorn. Edinburgh. The sun shone wherever we went. We got soaked by a heavy shower in Findhorn, but we’d just had Buckie crab for lunch sitting in the sun by the bay so we just shrugged our shoulders.


Week 2 started fine. Sigrid was away on holiday, so she let us have her apartment in Murnau am Staffelsee. It’s just on the northern edge of the Bavarian Alps. A converted farmhouse, so it has an orchard just beyond the terrace and cows in the next field.

at the end of the road

We took in lunch with Oma Gerti in Treuchtlingen on the way there. That was 45 minutes in the wrong direction, but what the hell. Lovely landscape in the Altmühltal, and more sunshine.

We went up to the summit of Zugspitze – 2,992m, or just under 10,000 ft. We got to the summit of Wank as well. 1,780m, so a baby Alp. Lots of sunshine.

But strange again. We took the cablecar (both times). D had a shoulder problem which took us to the hospital in Murnau twice in 3 days. She couldn’t climb. She couldn’t drive. Could hardly sleep, in fact. I did walk down Wank (2 hours), but that seems a bit feeble. Not sure I’m right to even mention it.

the Wankbahn

I’ll be honest. We wouldn’t have climbed Zugspitze anyway. Too tricky near the summit, and I’ve sworn off tricky mountains (for the moment). Having survived Kilimanjaro, I’ve no wish to go splat on an Alp.

Linderhof & Ettal on the Thursday saw us having lunch in the sun again. Then the rain came. We got wet in Garmisch-Paternkirchen, and in Wasserburg am Inn on the Friday.

lunch spot

In the circumstances, 1.5 days of rain over 2 weeks is a great result.

So I’m on the train because D was taken into hospital in Ingolstadt while they sort out the shoulder problem. We’ve just left Petershausen, which is where the Munich S-Bahn starts. Must be close now.

The highlight? Must be Zugspitze (you can’t beat the smell of Bratwurst at 10,000 ft).

flying high

Back to Germany in a couple of weeks – a seminar in Trier, way up north on the Luxembourg border. Then the train to sunny central Bavaria for the weekend.

© iain taylor 2012

[Editor’s notes:-

(1) Wank is the name of a mountain, and anyway, isn’t pronounced the way you think.

(2) Sorry about the lack of posts recently. Life has been complicated, with little scope for creativity.]


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