I spent the past weekend two hours away from Munich, in the Bayerischer Wald near the Czech border.
We drove to the world’s longest tree top walk in the national park, and spent an hour or so climbing the tree house and learning about the forest. Unfortunately we’d come on a rather cloudy day and couldn’t see so far – but we still found out that there’s a mountain nearby called Rachel, which got me rather excited. On a clear day it’s also possible to see Budweis in the Czech Republic, where the original Budweiser is brewed.
We headed back down to enjoy some lunch, and then decided to check out the animals native to the Bavarian Forest in the Tiergelände. We set off about four in the afternoon, not realising that it was a 7km walk through the forest and takes around three-four hours to complete – boy, were we ready for dinner when we’d finished!
And then – dinner back at our Gasthof, in Waldhäuser – the Berggasthof Lusen. It was a very rustic old guesthouse, with homemade schnitzel and pork roasts, a table especially reserved for the locals and some very tasty Lusenwasserl – the local schnapps.
Then, it was time for a few rounds of rummy. I won! (Really!)
We all went to bed early, tired after the fresh air and wanting to be as fit as possible for our hike up the Lusen the next day.
We set out early, around 10am after a hearty breakfast. On the way up, we came across mushrooms – including a few mangled fly agarics, and plenty of redcurrants and raspberries. The redcurrants were sadly rather bland, but the wild raspberries were super tasty.
The national park has been left as it is, to develop and to die as is completely natural, without any external factors. It was really odd coming across masses of dead trees, but apparently it provides a harbour for insects such as beetles to thrive.
An hour into our hike, we came across a beautiful glass boat, a reminder of the area’s glass production days:
It was around a forty minute hike up to the summit of Lusen, from this point. The weather was holding, though it was pretty windy and a little chilly. After the recent 30°C plus weather in Munich, having to wear a soft-shell jacket on the mountain came as something of a shock to the system! As we approached the summit, the forest turned into granite rock, covered in a green moss.
We took a short stop at the summit for a biscuit and a sip of water, but it was too windy to hang around for long. Thankfully, after a mere five minutes of descending, we came across a hut – and could enjoy a beer and Brotzeit.
We hiked back down to Waldhäuser, and came across an exhibition from the artist Heinz Theuerjahr. A couple of dozen of his animal sculptures were exhibited in the garden of his atelier.
We headed back to our guesthouse for a redcurrant pancake (these redcurrants were much tastier than those we found on the mountain) and a Kaiserschmarrn, and headed back to Munich.