After a solid, and I mean SOLID, week at Oktoberfest it was a real treat to get out of town and into some fresh Alp air. Max 'the Axt' took the day off work to play tour guide and to give his newly surgically repaired knee it's first hiking workout. A slight detour via the wrong Autobahn turned the hour drive into two, but no worries; the scenic route was worth the extra time spent in the Alfa Romeo. We got to Kochle and parked in the overflow lot and quickly started the steep climb up the hill. We made good time and passed quite a few people on our ascent; including one older woman (and her creepy dog) who got a surge of competitiveness as we passed and tried for a few minutes to keep up up with us. The clickity clack of her walking sticks against the rocks an eery reminder of her presence. Gina turned on the afterburners and set a blistering pace which eventually left her in the dust, alone with her walking sticks and stupid dog. Sorry lady; maybe a few decades ago.
90 minutes of sweaty hiking and breathless conversation later and we made it to the top... Well, almost to the top. As we discovered at Tegernsee, the German's idea of hiking almost always includes a high altitude beer garden serving deliciously heavy and rich Bavarian cuisine and cold German Bier. This place was no exception, but this time we were lucky enough to have the assistance of our own personal German translator to decipher the menu and ensure we didn't unintentionally order pork knuckles or Ox intestine.
Max's lovely girlfriend Katrin joined us for lunch at the restaurant (she had a biz meeting that morning in Munich so met us at the top via the gondola which ran people up and down all day). I had the Bavarian Mac n' Cheese (Käsespatzle)(?) and G had a sunnyside eggs and potato combo; Bavarian style. Katrin got the craziest of all of us; German spam reminiscent meatloaf also with sunnyside up eggs.
After an embarrassing moment where I knocked an empty weissbier glass over and almost cut our elderly table sharing friend, we paid our bill and headed towards the summit.
Wow; I have to say that the views of two lakes and the southern Bavarian plains was one of the more spectacular that I have seen in recent memory. Absolutely stunning. Not sure the photos did it justice; I'm still operating with only a point and shoot, you see. After taking in the views for a while we headed down. The gondola that Katrin took up came in handy for our descent. What took us 90 sweaty minutes to climb took about 5 effortless minutes to descend, unless you consider listening to the drunk German guy with ridiculous curly mustache tips who was on the gondola with us effort. I, for one, do NOT! One of his gems; regarding mushroom hunting: "All mushrooms can be eaten; some of them only once!!!!" (Genius, really!) Like I said, awesome to have Max as a translator.
How better to cap off our Alps day then with a Glacier fed lake swim!?! Not going to lie; if nobody else had done it I would have gladly given the gonad shrinkingly cold water a merry miss. Alas, Max quickly donned his boardies and before I knew it he was in! I forgot my trunks so was reduced to my boxers. All good! Great way to end the afternoon.
The drive back to Munich was the prescribed 60 minutes and we were back in time to go out for a final supper in Munich at a delicious Greek restaurant. Per usual in Munich there was too much food and we ate plenty. Apparently when you eat Greek in Munich you are only obligated to pay for your food and drinks and they are happy to provide round after round after round of free, unsolicited Ouzo. God bless them Greeks!
Huge, HUGE thanks to our awesome Munich hosts Max, Katrin, Jess and Jason!! You guys f-ing rule!!