A family hike in Germany

Backpack, a bottle of water, some snacks, a pen, my notebook, tissues… Who would have thought that I would one day look forward to a hiking trip. The description said easy to moderate level of difficulty, going around the lake and slowly up the mountains. The first day starts off on flat ground with a 20 kilometer distance. The motivation is high and the mood positive. The air is fresh and clear, around us an idyllic landscape with lots of green. I can’t remember when I saw so many different shades of green for the last time. One step after the other and soon we arrive in the forest. Even though the trees are no different from home, the feeling definitely is. The path becomes narrower and on the right is now a steep slope. Just around the corner on the left is a huge tree trunk. It is hollow and big enough so I could lay down in it. I continue walking to catch up with the rest of the group. Nature has so much to offer, I wonder why it seems more calming down here and promised myself to explore my neighborhood more in details when returning. A little bit further and we arrive at the lake Tegernsee. The water radiates in a bright blue and turquoise. It is so peaceful, which makes me so peaceful. No meetings, no digital device, no car noise, no stress, only being in the moment. Shortly after noon we arrive at a rustic alpine hut for lunch. It is a refreshing change the menu is small and has not more than 10 items. Same as the environment, this place is simple but beautiful. The Viennese Schnitzel I ordered is so big it doesn’t even fit on the plate and tastes amazing. Well rested and with new energy we tackle the stage of the day. After two and a half more hours the hotel comes in sight. I am really looking forward to a nice shower and a change of clean clothes. Luckily our suitcases are already waiting for us – but our rooms not. There was a misunderstanding in the bookings and due to the size of our group the alternative is to move to another hotel. After another hour we arrive at a five-star hotel and I am finally able to enjoy the shower.

Our timing is perfect, the moment we walk into the lobby it starts pouring outside. A 20-minute nap and a few card games later we go for dinner with delicious pancakes as desert, and from there right to bed.

The next day we start early in the morning, taking the bus to the start point. 100 meters after the bus stop the path rises to a steep ascent. Still full of energy, we start to climb up. Soon the others are ahead, I decide to keep walking at my own pace. Taking in the scenery, feeling a light breeze on my skin and hearing my breath going heavier. After one hour, I look up, expecting to see the path flatten out. All I can see is another ascent and other hikers disappearing around the next corner. Allowing myself to drink a few sips and letting hikers pass, then continuing to climb up. It takes two more hours and three more breaks to get to the top. And every meter of the ascent was worth it. The view is amazing, slopes and mountains on every side, blue sky above and green trees and hills around us. The perfect place to have lunch.

Half an hour later we continue our way and come across mountain cows with huge bells around their neck. They are easygoing and seem to be completely unaware of any stress, eating and resting. A little river, clear water hopping over stones pass our way next. I take a few moments to simply stay still, observing and listening how the water flows downhill.

I am thinking, it must be a funny view seeing us walking like ducklings one after the other. Colorful flowers stand along the path, here a strong pink one and there a light blue one.

Soon we arrive in the next village, the first house has a variety of signs with funny phrases on the fence. It’s actually a nice picturesque place with an old stone clock tower.

Up in the mountains, it is easy to forget about this weird year. Back down a sign in the city center says that masks are to be worn at all times in the city center. Other than the masks though there is not a big change to be perceived. There are so many people in the city center, walking around freely and enjoying themselves. At one place, there is an orchestra playing a fast waltz, while some children are playing on the plaza.

At dinner, we allow ourselves a bottle of white wine to celebrate the end of the hike together chocolate soufflé.
The next morning we return to our starting point by bus, it takes less than an hour over the highway. In the end it is all about perception and getting a scene of scenery. A walk in the nature with a different view and mindset can be so refreshing. Coming home, the next aims are the nearby geyser and the 360 meter long rope bridge right around the corner in Geierley.

Michelle Ruby

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