Just past Ettal is a magnificent lake called the Eibsee. Even from the pictures taken on this cloudy day, you can see that the views are tremendous. In 1994, you could pull over at any number of free parking places. It is my understanding that, while the parking places are still there, they're no longer free.
About a 2 hour drive south of Munich, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, is the village of Ettal. The primary attraction is the monastery. While this monastery also brews beer and its famous liquorice-flavored "Kloster Liqueur," the reason to come here is the magnificent church. Even if you aren't religious, a special treat is to attend the "Vesper," a special religious service in which the monks chant in unison. Vesper is held daily at 18:00; services are held in Latin on special occasions. Take a look at the schedule of religious services (German only) for details.
It was at thi spoint in our trip, we think our friends in the other car drove past us and carried on to innsbruk. having a stronger sense of reality - we figured that we would not make it to innsbruk and then back up to Stuttgart in time to catch the plane home.
We were right - how we laughed as we boarded the plane knowing they were still 30 minutes away ...........chuckle chuckle
When we finally got into the mountains we jumped in the first decent size lake we came to. It was bloody freezing. If anyone recognises the lake - I'd love to know its name. It was on our trip from Munich to Innsbruck (we never got as far as Innsbruk)
If you are in the vicinity of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, visit the Olympic ski stadium. Even in the summer (I was there in August) you can see some activity like this junior tournament. The town is loacted south of Munich, just before the Austrian border.
Overshadowed by its more famous and fancy cousin Garmisch, Mittenwald is a real gem of a town that receives little limelight it deserves.
Muncheners enjoy an outing to this little town, in particular the few lakes around the area, which make good bathing spots after a short mountainous hike.
Also, you could try the einzel sesselbahn that is actually a ski-lift - with minimal safety harness! But the view is definitely worth the hazard!
If you are tired of the city traffic and want to spend a day "in the green", like the germans say, you can go by train to the nearest mountain of the alps: the Brauneck near Lenggries. Simply buy a train ticket at Hauptbahnhof or Harras. The trip to Lenggries takes about 1 and a half hour. From there you can walk to the Brauneck and climb on top in about 3 hours. On a bright day you might even see Munichs dust cloud on the horizon when standing on the summit. Occasionally you can watch paragliders take off. If your feet hurt too much simply take the Kabinenbahn back to Lenggries.
Trains to Lenggries and back leave every 2 hours.
You can get glimpses of the Alps from all over Munich but for the real views it's worth a trip to Garmisch and the Zugspitze. It is the highest mountain in Germany at nearly 3000 metres and it is less than 1 and a half hours away by train. You can buy a combined ticket from Munich station that will allow you to go right to the summit on a thrilling cable car. The ticket costs up to 46 Euro. I would suggest checking whether the cable car is running by looking at the Zugspitze internet site. I didn't and we found that on this occasion we could only go part of the way up on the train due to severe storms (we weren't offered a refund of any part of the ticket - so your trip could be disappointing and expensive if you don't check first.)There are several cafe's doing internet access, including Easy at Bahnhofsplatz 1. The internet address for the Zugspitze is http://www.zugspitze.de/english/index.html. (click on 'weather' to see what is running)
When you will comming to Munich you'll sure pass throught many winter resorts, lovely towns known from TV transmissions of winter sports. Me and my friend stopped in Kitzbuehel, famous for it's downhill track. Just see on your own eyes where from all those brave lads ski for their honour and medals.
Quite honestly due to it's size Germany is not a country where you can be very much 'Off the Beaten Path'. However, there a places in Upper Bavaria where you can't resist looking up (or down). Thus you don't realize the crowd around you and start believing in God; even if you have never done before. The sky is mostly blue and white (Bavarian Flag) and the lakes are clean.
Hoher Kranz-Berg at 1391m is an easy access mountain with about 1,5 hours walk from Mittenwald. The best place to start Your mountain hiking hobby! Nice views towards Kranzberg and down to the valley.
Ettal is just a bit further up the road towards the Alps and near the Passion Play center of Oberammergau. The village is dominated by a lovely monastery that brews it's own beer, including a fabulous dunkles.