On our recent trip to Germany, we visited Munich for a few days and were lucky enough to meet a friend of ours who kindly volunteered to take us outside of Munich to go hiking. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find no shortage of activities in the areas surrounding Munich – there are mountains to climb, and ski down, and lakes to swim in and boat on.
A dream of Scott’s has always been to hike in the alps, so that is exactly what we did. And although there were times I thought I might never make it down the mountain alive, the experience turned out to be the highlight of our whole trip.
We left Munich and drove about an hour to a small town called Kochel am See. Kochel offers many different trails into the mountains that range from moderate to very difficult. It’s also located on a pristine blue alpine lake, which makes the views from the top all the more stunning. When we arrived, we parked, gathered our things, and started up the mountain with a few other hikers. We picked a difficult trail, and it didn’t take long for us to realize just how tough the uphill climb would be. But they always say hard work pays off… right?!
We reached the first peak after two and a half hours of non-stop climbing. It was a very hot day, but this is Germany, so of course, there was cold beer at the top of the mountain to quench our thirst. Yes. Cold beer. Hallelujah. We set up at a picnic table overlooking the lake below and enjoyed a beer and sausages with sauerkraut. Simple, but delicious. This hut was a gathering place to stop for a rest, so there were lots of hikers passing through. It was incredible to sit at the top of a mountain drinking beer. That’s a moment I’ll never forget.
After our rest, we had to continue on to the second peak across a ridge that ran along the top of the mountain. This was the hottest and hardest part of the hike. There were times I was climbing along rocks, clinging to metal cables hammered into the stone, looking over a straight drop down the cliff face. For a girl who isn’t a fan of heights, this was exceptionally tough, and at times I was seriously afraid. The guys kept me moving though, and when we made it to the second peak a few hours later, I was incredibly proud of myself. After a slight decent, there was a lodge serving beer where we relaxed for a while before hiking another few hours back down.
In total, the hike was 17km, and we climbed 2,300 meters in elevation. It was an exhilarating, exhausting and incredible experience, and although I could barely walk for two days afterwards, I would do it all again. Standing at the top, looking down on aquamarine lakes and out to snow-capped mountains was one of those moments in life I will cherish forever.
If you’re ever in Munich, I highly recommend venturing out and going for a hike in the Bavarian Alps. It could end up being one of your best days ever.
Happy travelling! xo Shay