August 7th 2020, my friends celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary at Munich, and I visit them. This has been my first vacation abroad since March 2020. From Sunday, 3rd to Thursday, 6th, my friend has ordered two hotel rooms in Ruhpolding in the Pre-Alps of Bayern (Oberbayern, Chiemgau Alps).
The weather forecast announces severe weather conditions for Monday and Tuesday. Let me start with our experience of the changeable and even severe weather conditions.
Warm Saturday summer evening in Munich
Saturday evening at Munich is very warm. It is a beautiful summer evening, almost too warm.
My friends prepare a delicious barbecue.
We eat in the shade of their cosy garden.
Sunday: Driving to Ruhpolding via Chiemsee. The first clouds start to cover the mountains
The next day, Sunday, we take the busy highway to Salzburg and stop at the lake, the Chiemsee. It is overcast and the mountains are hiding.
We visit the Romanesque-gothic church of Urschalling…
… and the Fraueninsel with their monastery and the beautiful gardens.
In the evening, I enjoy a delicious trout stuffed with herbs at the restaurant Fischerwirt and we close the day with a glass of wine in the garden of our hotel at Ruhpolding. It is still warm.
Monday: Excursion by car to Reit im Winkl and the Streicher church Sankt Servatius in the drizzling rain
On Monday, we go for an excursion by car to do some shopping at Reit im Winkel and order a table for Tuesday in the restaurant Peternhof just across the border in Austria. The rain drizzles, when we walk through the foggy forest to see the charming “Streicher church” Sankt Servatius that hides between trees.
Tuesday: The rain splashes all night. We are in the centre of the severe weather front “Gitta”
Monday night, I sleep with the windows open (under the roof), and I can hear the rain splash loudly. It is pouring with rain all night. In the morning we see that the rivers have left their beds.
This is the raging river Traun with the “Traunweg”, the path bordering the river.
The branches are floating on the waves of the river Traun.
The mountains surrounding Ruhpolding have completely disappeared in the clouds.
In the news we read that in Siegsdorf, just 9km away, 146l/m2 of rain have fallen in 24 hours. The busy highway A8 to Salzburg as well as some local roads have been closed. Traffic jams all over. Cars have drowned in the floods. Some policemen are standing in water – up to their hips, also their car has drowned in the floods. In addition, train connections are interrupted. Also the Salzburg area in Austria and Eastern Switzerland have suffered under these severe weather conditions.
Bad weather is good weather for sightseeing. We drive to Bad Reichenhall and explore the charming city centre with the colourful townhall.
In the drizzling rain, we visit some Romanesque-gothic churches and have lunch in the restaurant of the salt factory.
We close the day with an excellent dinner in Austria, just across the border of Reit im Winkl, at the restaurant Peternhof, from where we watch the first shafts of sunlight appear.
We look forward to better weather to do some hiking and to enjoy restaurant terraces again.
Wednesday: The “Falkenstein loop path”, the Einsiedl church and dinner with the setting sun at Maria Eck
In the morning, we drive to Inzell to go for our first hike, the “Falkenstein loop path”. The sky is still grey and the paths are wet, but it is no longer raining.
The cooler temperatures are good for walking along the romantic ponds.
In the afternoon, we visit this charming Einsiedl church “St. Nikolaus im Oberland”, covered with wooden shingles.
The sky is blue again. We drive to the monastery Maria Eck, where we have a wonderful dinner on the restaurant terrace…
… and enjoy the sunset above the Chiemsee.
Thursday: Ruhpolding surrounded by mountains again. Climbing the Unternberg and cooling down in the Tüttensee
Early in the morning, I go for a walk to take pictures of the St. Georgskirche with the mountains surrounding Ruhpolding, including the Sonntagshorn in the background. It is the first time during our vacation that I can see the Sonntagshorn.
Ruhploding is surrounded by mountains again. As a farewell, we climb the Unterberghorn and enjoy the view of the Sonntagshorn from here as well.
Ruhpolding is far below us, now in the sun and under blue sky.
We take the amazingly slow chairlift to return to Ruhpolding and say good-bye. We have a short swim in the chilly Tüttensee that has been cooled down by the pouring rain. Then we return to Munich on the busy A8 escaping a traffic jam on the first kilometers by using the local roads.
We were perhaps not too lucky with the weather during our vacation in the Chiemgau Alps of Bayern. Nevertheless, we have enjoyed our stay discovering nice places, excellent restaurants and – amazingly in Bayern – quite a few Romanesque-gothic churches that I will talk about in the next blogs.