The afternoon roadtrip was a compromise. H had been saying for days, "we should really hike the dramatically precipitous trail between Herzogstand and Heimgarten in the Bavarian Alps!" Then she would pause, remembering--"oh, but wait, Liz is afraid of heights. That's really too bad. I guess we can't go." She would say this at breakfast, and then again over afternoon coffee. After dinner, as we discussed plans for the next few days, she'd wax fondly about the razor-thin trail between peaks--"oh, but wait, Liz is afraid of heights. That's really too bad. I guess we can't go." Not one to hold my 95-year-old legally-blind mother-in-law back, I finally declared that YES, if H really wanted to, we would all hike together from Herzogstand to Heimgarten, me included. H was all for it, but inclement weather and insufficient time prevented us from making the trip. Whew.
Instead, we did a leisurely afternoon roadtrip. Our first stop was the pilgrimage church atop the 988 meter high "Mount Parnassus of Bavaria" in Hohenpeißenberg. S, E, and H drove up; I walked up from Peißenberg. As more proof that my camera doesn't do justice to altitude gain, here's a photo looking up up up to the church on the high hill. It looks like it's off in the distance, but it's actually up in the distance. Oh well.
OK, this photo does a better job: see that roof behind the sign, below the road? The hill was steep.
After hiking up and up, with just a little more up to go, I came across some shrooms growing on the trail through the woods.
So that pilgrims heading up to the church don't shock themselves on electric cow fences, someone tied a piece of warning tape on the wire. Underneath was the only way to go.
The view from the top. Those are the Bavarian Alps in the distance. Herzogstand and Heimgarten are in there somewhere.
There are two chapels on top of Peißenberg. The first was built in 1514 and later baroquisiert. The second was added at the beginning of the 17th century to accommodate the pilgrims coming to the first.
|Obligatory organ photo. Teeny tiny organ.|
After lunch on a terrace overlooking the valley, we headed down and north to Wessobrunn, a former abbey that has most recently been saved thanks to a financial collaboration with a cosmetics company that now occupies the lower floor. An upper floor hallway is open for tours, which we didn't know until we arrived 10 minutes late. We were obliviously not disappointed, but to our good fortune, a groundskeeper spied us from across the parking lot, called to us not to leave, herded us to the abbey, rang the tour guide to let her know she had latecomers, and unlocked the big front door to let us in.
|Ca. 1260 Roemerturm says it's ca. 3:10 p.m. Tour started at 3:00--punctually, I'm sure.|
The tour paused in a stately room to discuss the long history of the abbey. I was distracted by the dogs chasing animals on the ceiling.
After the tour, we took a quick peek inside the abbeys church.
|Obligatory organ photo|
|A cautionary tale for nuns|
On the drive home, we stopped by a REWE to pick up some groceries. It was the biggest supermarket I'd ever seen in Germany, located in a tiny town (Fischen am Ammersee) outside of a bigger town (Pähl am Ammersee, population ~2,500), so clearly a destination grocery store. Its website boasts about its size--over 15,000 articles offered in a 1,200 m2 space, with an additional beverage market over 400 m2. It was so shockingly big by German grocery store standards that I took a photo.
|The REWE entrance--a small fraction of the store|
The first time I went to Germany with S, in 1991, folks still went shopping for fruits and veggies at the fruits and veggies store (Gaertnerei Maier), and bread shopping at the bakery (Buchner), and meat shopping at the butcher's (Raabe). When S was a kid, his father also went yeast shopping at the brewery ten kilometers away in Inning, and S and his mom bought flour at the mill in Oberalting (5km), honey and eggs at Sanktjohannser's farm in Auing (1.5km), and milk and butter at the dairy in Steinebach (Eberl). They had to drive to some of these--even nearby Auing--"because they were all in other villages." Then along came the first tentative multi-purpose grocery stores in town, Spar and Das kleine Kaufhaus, and later the chain store Tengelmann, and the mom and pop shops began closing up as mom and pop aged out and their kids had no interest in carrying on the family businesses. Then along came Edeka, an even bigger grocery store on the edge of town, and Tengelmann eventually threw in the towel, long after Spar and Das kleine Kaufhaus had folded. With Edeka came the necessity of doing all of the shopping by car, which makes shopping quite difficult for elderly blind women who can't drive--but then along came the Eismann frozen-foods delivery truck. Steinebach still has a dedicated fruits and veggies store, and the best place to buy eggs is still at the Sanktjohannser farm (which now has an egg-automat out front), but the bakery, butchery, dairy, flour mill, and brewery are gone. The REWE in Fischen could swallow five Steinebach Edekas whole and still have room for more.