Thursday 11th August 2016 - Heavy rain overnight, then cloudy for most of the day but with heavy rain storm in the afternoon.
Today was a bad day - well everybody has them! We’d planned to visit Berchtesgadener Land to see Lake Konigssee - Germany’s highest lake at 2000 feet above sea level, and then travel on to The Eagle’s Nest. The Eagle’s Nest was Adholf Hitler’s favourite residence and it stands high up on the summit of Kehistein, and to get there you have to traverse a scenic mountain road which passes through five tunnels - a drive that I think John was quite looking forward to. However, despite his very best efforts and 2 attempts at parking (we went away for an hour for lunch and then came back for a second go), we were thwarted and had to leave without seeing anything
This, along with a generous dose of home sickness, lowered my spirits and made me quite miserable, but my ever loving travelling partner managed to rally them by providing tea, a shoulder to cry on, and then magically finding us a new destination that provided much of interest. T4rdis2 landed at Burghausen!
The town is situated on the River Salzach, and towering over it is the 13th century Gothic Burghausen Castle - the world’s longest castle which stretches for over 3,450 feet! It has six separate court yards that provide a long promenade through which you can wonder and learn about the buildings history from multi-lingual information boards, as well as marvelling at the views from the high castle wall.
The town is also famous as a venue for Jazz, and a whole street is dedicated to many famous musicians with bronze plaques embedded along it’s length to immortalise their memory. Additionally, there were also numerous shops selling all sorts of musical memorabilia - old records, instruments and even ones with motor bikes in their windows!
Friday 12th August 2016 - And it’s still raining!
This morning we were really at a bit of a loss as to what to do - we only have one more day in Germany before crossing over into the Czech Republic to spend 2 weeks in a house with our friends Sharon, Paul and Benjamin. We’d considered going to an area of forest called Bayerischer Wald which stretches north to the River Danube and lies between Regensburg and Passau, and getting our bikes out - but the bad weather put us off. So instead we settled on driving to the town of Passau which lies on a peninsula between the Rivers Danube and Inn, and luckily John had found a free Stellplatze just a short distance from the old town and right on the banks of the Danube.
Unfortunately, we did have about a mile to walk to get into the town properly and most of it was along busy road, but eventually we were able to drop down onto the river side where we found several huge ‘pleasure crafts’ (wouldn’t be for us) that cruise along this mighty water way. From here we pottered to the tip of the peninsula to see where the Danube and Inn meet, and then up through the cobbled shop lined lanes of the old town.
And it was here that we found our main attraction for today - Dom St Stephen or St Stephan’s Cathedral.
From the outside it is a breathtaking Baroque masterpiece which was built by an Italian architect called Carlo Lurago to replace the original Gothic structure which was largely destroyed by fire in the 17th Century.
However, once we were inside I can truly say I have no words to describe it’s intricate beauty and magnificence, it was absolutely jaw dropping in the artistry that filled every available space - and they even had proper wooden pews!
After that we wandered a bit more through the lovely streets of Passau, but more rain was threatening to fall, so in the end we hurried home, and once again just avoided a dousing.
Saturday 13th August 2016 - Warm and sunny
Today was the day that we were heading over the Czech border to meet up with our friends Sharon Paul and Ben, but before we went we nipped into Aldi and Netto and collected a shipping order of shopping to keep us going for the next few days - beer and wine being top of our list.
Then it was forwards and onwards to Frymburk and to our holiday accommodation, where T4rdis2 become firmly entrenched for the next 2 weeks. And then later in the evening it was time for a really lovely reunion, which was managed with no tears. Our evening was spent guzzling a drop of bubbly and indulging in a few edible treats, along with a bit of planning as to what we will do for the next few days.
Sunday 14th August 2016 - Hot and sunny
A lazy day really. We walked down to the lake and generally nosed around checking out the lie of the land. We investigated the local feeding stations and shops, we walked beside the lake (dodging the zillions of bikes as we went), and we ended up at a local ‘park’ where Ben and Paul had a go on some special adult sized tricycles - they hauled them up to the top of a hill using ski lifts and then they let rip coming down - it must have been good fun cos Ben had 5 goes and Paul 2.
Then it was time for a lovely cool beer by the lake ( 6 quid for 3 pints and 2 soft drinks), and then a bit more investigating as to how we are going to amuse ourselves over the next few days.
Monday 15th August 2016 - Hot and Sunny
Today we got our bikes out for a ride around part of the lake. In total it’s about 60 miles all the way around so we knew we wouldn’t quite manage that, and in the end, we only did about 15 miles because we kept finding distractions along the way!
After a photo call at the house we were very quickly on the track heading towards Lipno, and as at the moment the Czech’s are holding their own Olympic events that almost rival the real thing, there was plenty to see and do. I think just about all the events (ball games, water sports, raquet games and equestrian) are included with both adults and numerous children taking part, and as well as that there are companies demonstrating their wares along the way.
So when we came to the ‘Specialized’ bike stand our boys were truly delighted. We managed to bag a picnic table nearby so we parked our bums for a long lunch and our male contingent all nipped off for goes on both the cross country and obstacle courses. And to add to the fun Ben and Paul were able to borrow ‘posh and expensive’ bikes that they wouldn’t usually be able to use.Eventually, we managed to pry them away and we headed further around the circumference of the lake, but we didn’t go much further before we came to a ‘little ferry’ terminal from where we crossed back over the water and indulged in another cooling pint which was made all the more delicious because of it’s bargain basement price.
Later we returned to the house for tea, and then entertained ourselves with card games and gossip all accompanied by a cheeky G&T (or 2)
Tuesday 16th August 2016 - a sunny day but with a bit of cloud cover
Yesterday we had very briefly passed through the village of Lipno where the main Olympic events are taking place, so this morning we decided to go back and investigate further. However before we did that we visited Stezka Korunami Stromu - a 675 metre long treetop path that leads to a 40 metre high observation tower.
And even getting there was exciting because we took the 1 kilometre long cable car ride up the hill and soared amongst the fir trees tops with occasional jolts that caused adrenaline surges when the cable suddenly stopped resulting in the chairs swaying quite alarmingly. Additionally, mounting and dismounting was something of an ‘art form’ that we hadn’t all completely mastered, thus when we got off it was a little less than dignified but quite funny!
As we walked up the path towards the tower we also found what are referred to as ‘adventure stops’ along the way - mostly balance obstacles with nets under them - but you could see a very long way down - however, it was necessary for us all to have a go even though they were probably only meant for the kids!
Once we actually reached the tower we toddled up the circular walkway right to the top, and from there the views were quite breathtaking! It was a very clear day so we could easily see all of the Lipno area and the lake, but further afield we could spot the Sumava Mountains, the Novohradske mountains and all the way to the Alps.
And to get down from the tower the choice was either to retrace our steps in a slow and sedate manner or to opt for the steep 52 meter long dry toboggan run that coils down the middle of the tower - the grown ups walked but Ben went the fast way!
Then it was a return journey on the chair lift, with just as many adrenaline jolts as coming up, and back to the car for a very late picnic lunch. But our day was far from finished yet - it was now time to explore the ‘Olympic Village’ where entrance and all the attractions were free. Ben leaped form a tall tower into an air bag, he cycled on a virtual reality cycle simulator (and beat his opponent) and he had a go at baseball - me and John - we just watched with a nice cool drink, but I would have to say the facilities and entertainment were fantastic!
Finally, our day was finished off with a very nice meal at a local cafe, and really we were quite lucky because the menu was all in Czech, but we did manage to decipher enough to all get what we wanted. Then it was back to the house for a good sleep before we embark to tomorrows adventure.
So that's all for now x