Leaving the Toggenburg we take the most amazing highway from the Voralberg to Innsbruck which is deep in a valley between high mountains and much of the road is through tunnels with short glimpses of the high points between. From Innsbruck we cross the border again into Germany. The terrain changes to the rolling low Bavarian hills with the perfectly organized German countryside. We head for Lake Simssee, a small lake just outside the city of Rosenheim. The weather is incredibly hot but the lake is wonderful. We are not usually beach people, but here we swim early morning and later in the day, every day. The walking is really not good; one experience of badly signed trails in the open burning sun was more than sufficient. However, the campsite is very good, full of friendly Germans, Austrians, Dutch, Slovakians and almost no Brits. Everyone is very interested to talk about Ireland. Many have already visited or are planning to visit. Some have relatives there. Passing Dutchmen call “Good Morning Ireland” as they pass, and we have many conversations where we swap experiences. With the Dutch always in English. With others in a mix of German and English. Young people invariably have excellent English language skills. We make numerous invites to visit us in Ireland and encourage lots more blog followers.
As I was sitting in the car just outside the site, a local policeman popped his head through the car window and in perfect English said, “Good morning, I see you are from Ireland. What brings you here?” My immediate thought is, “Oh my God, what have I done now?” But it turns out he noticed the IRL plate on the car and told me that this is a very rare sight in southern Bavaria. He tells me he has relatives in Ireland, has visited more than once and is a big fan. We have a great chat about our journey, Ireland and Bavaria. A lovely young man.
A young man from Dussledorf joins us for tea, and we swap experiences. He is heading for Salzburg and we are able to advise him on concerts, the Mozart Museum and also the Bishops Palace which is our favourite memory. Conversations about weather are normal. The Dutch tell us that Holland is a great place to visit in August because everyone has left for the sun and lakes in southern Germany. From the number of Dutch on the site, it certainly seems that way. One Dutchman is at pains to point out that the astonishing heat is simply the result of long term climatic change cycles and nothing to do with human production of CO2. I am too hot to debate. In fact, I do recall 98% of climate scientists believe the current extreme temperatures are directly connected to emissions.
We spend a day in Rosenheim, a quiet Bavarian town with beautifully restored buildings and essential shady coffee shops and restaurants on the streets. Sadly, the town museum is purely German language oriented and the receptionist sensibly advises against visiting. Similarly, the town gallery was simply shut, contrary to advertised opening signs. I guess this is not a tourist focused place. However, on a positive note we have numerous chance encounters including the ladies in a speciality cheese shop who give us good advice on Bavarian cheeses and are very interested to hear about the great cheese makers in West Cork. We give them contact details for Gubbeen.
After five days we are pleased to move on to our last stop – four weeks in the Vienna Woods.
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- Walking in the Lower Swiss Alps 2 July 30, 2018
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