March 23, 2013

The Cows Come Down...And We Hike Up!

If you thought 30 something days of vacation was where the German workforce perks ended, then you thought wrong. German employees may also get to spend weekends in a guest house owned by their company in the beautiful alp-lake countryside. That's what Umair and I, along with some of our friends took advantage of last September. 

An hour from Munich, around the area of Schliersee was our cute little guest house, bracketed by the alps and a lake. 

We spent the first night playing table tennis where I realized that I am actually not bad at table tennis. Okay, I am bad, but not as bad as I thought I would be. Okay, let's just say if there was a competition between people who were bad at table tennis, I would not be topping that list. Which means there is still hope that some day I will actually become un-bad at tennis!

The second day was all about taking nice walks around the place, and welcoming the cows. Yes, cows! I had no idea I was going to witness an old-age rural Bavarian tradition that day. I had no idea such a tradition even existed! Every fall in the villages, the cows that have grazed the mountain pastures all summer long are brought down from the mountains and given back to their owners. This festival, apparently, takes place in all villages around Bavaria. The cows are all decked up with flowers, and people wait for their arrival, excited, music playing. And so we also waited to welcome the cows. I was almost sure they would roll out the red carpet. 

If only they had! 

I love finding out about random traditions from different cultures. 

Then it was lunch time, with more cows! On one side of the little cafe was this beautiful view: 

And the other side of the cafe were... 

Yes, cows.

And around the lake was a path, for kids, where you are supposed to take off your shoes, and then walk on sand, stones, twigs and finally through the water. Yes, there is such a thing. And yes we walked that little path.

Umair was not too happy about going into the water!

But don't worry, he did manage to come out of the water safe and sound! ;) After providing us with a few laughs.

If you don't already know, Germans love to hike. That's their Sunday schedule for most of the summer. And they properly dress for it. Hiking pants, hiking boots, trekking poles - the whole shebang. So when we were to spend a weekend at a guesthouse in the countryside with our German friends, it was a given that we would go for a hike. So hiking is what we did on our 3rd and last day. In our jeans and normal running shoes. And no trekking poles.

And I conclude that I am no fan of hiking. But then I knew that even before I hiked up. The views while you go up are gorgeous, but I would rather cable car it up! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it that day - but I was also the last one to reach up. And Umair had to keep taking breaks with me. Not my fault. These Germans have years of practice! And also not my fault that I was the only one who tripped on the way back down. Again, years of practice for these Germans. And that thing was steep! 

View all around us while hiking

See how steep it is?!!

Anyway what matters is that I made it! Huffing and puffing, I still made it. And up there awaited some warm kaiserschmarrn for us! That was what actually kept me going, the little cafe up the mountain.

Proud and gleeful me after my first hiking experience!


  1. The poor cows!!! Although they do look better than the ones decorated in Pak :P