Day 10 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’ – A Dawn Start, The Royal Wedding, Another Wedding, Auf Wiedersehen Pet

Post 265: 19/20 May 2018. 

I was now on such a high after a great holiday that I didn’t want to miss any photographic opportunities in the little time left. I had one full day left.

However, Victoria and myself had planned to have a relaxing last day as the forecast for later wasn’t brilliant and we thought we would watch The Royal Wedding, also known as The Wedding of the Year, as Victoria knew I was an expert on such matters (author’s licence).

In the morning my mind had different ideas and I sensed at about 5.00am, when the birds were singing, that it was going to be a good dawn. Victoria would be snoozing until at least 8am and so I had some time to myself and headed down to the lake taking this first photograph at about 5.48am.  P1110882This time of the day when you have the world to yourself, in a peaceful setting, is awe inspiring. I wandered quietly along the lake. A tear or two fell, not for the first time on this holiday.

I felt so lucky to be able to visit this lovely location and that Victoria and her family had been so kind and welcoming to me. P1110883P1040570P1040571P1040569

5e4c2369-e9d9-4f0d-b9f4-10db7bba1247P1040566It was simply gorgeous. Even at this time of the morning there was glorious colourful meadows and the sun was warming me. I was spellbound. P1110884P1040575P1040576P1040577However, I was not completely alone and I was surprised to see people paddling in the lake. I enquired if it was possible to join them but, not being a member of the nearby orthopaedic clinic, I was advised to try further down the lake. The clinic is the largest employer Tegernsee! It was members only! So even the Lake here has healing properties! P1040573 So I carried on with my photography as the light grew stronger.52ef290e-6c8d-435e-b307-f4a99f2245b9P1040578P1040579P1040572 IMG_2432As it got towards 8.30am, I decided the best of the day, photographically, was over and decided to head back to ‘my flat’ (Victoria’s) for my warming porridge, blueberries and cinnamon all cooked in a saucepan.

I passed the chess pieces in the grounds of the clinic, one of my favourite activities when I was younger.f35708fb-2bcb-48b0-aa4c-22267b4d5be2A bit later on Victoria emerged and I can’t remember for the life me what my second breakfast was!

It was not long until the beer was opened as the Royal Wedding appeared on TV. My excuse is that I was in Bavaria, a home of beer, and there was a Royal Wedding to celebrate!

After the wedding Victoria had a bit of fresh food shopping to do and so I had a word with her mother and borrowed a hoover to clean Victoria’s flat, which I had been using. Victoria would not have given me permission.

After lunch we went for a final walk around Tegernsee to see the church and of course have a final ice-cream (or so I thought).

There was a wedding on at the church, the latter being beautifully decorated! For this couple it was their wedding of the year, indeed of a life-time. P1040580P1040581It looked like a little child had enough of weddings for the day and was trying to escape – not like me of course! IMG_2443


It was time for the final ice-cream sitting by the lake.

Victoria had an easy walk planned going back to her flat, but it was somewhat higher level than I was expecting for a ‘restful day’! But very beautiful. P1040572

IMG_2445P1040584P1040586I was then told that Victoria’s parents had invited myself and all the family for a final evening meal of slow cooked roast pork, and beer of course.

As well as enjoying fabulous food, we had many laughs about the funny incidents and ‘lost in translations’ of the holiday, not least Victoria’s car, an Astra, being mistaken back in the UK for a secret child (well these are Secret Diaries). Also “Where had the time gone?”. “We left it on the street”.

The surprise came at the end – a delicious ice-cream selection with that ‘stimulating’ egg liquor on top. I must get some!


20 May 2018

The next morning it was time to head home with much thankfulness, but sadness too. There seemed to be one traditional dish I had forgot to have. White sausage, pretzels (breze in German) and mustard sauce.

But no – Victoria came up with the goods and showed me how to cook and skin the sausage. It was delicious.a77e2ce0-0183-4b40-9a5e-550bcf0f4f6dThere were even some pretzels left to take to the airport. They originated possibly amongst the monks in Europe in the Middle Ages.

All that remained was for Victoria to drive me to Munich Airport and say farewell and for me to land at Manchester Airport, where there was train chaos due to timetabling changes! It was so good to be back in England!

In conclusion, I would just like to thank Victoria and her family, without whom and their incredible kindness and hospitality, this memorable and throughly enjoyable holiday would not have taken place. It is a holiday that will live with me for the remainder of my life, due partly to the fantastic landscapes and experiences but mainly the kindness and thoughtfulness of my hosts.

Not forgetting my thanks to the cat who avoided me most of the time and was very pleased when I had left so as to be able to reclaim its favourite location!c0d1f99a-fdd3-4cb6-abc8-ccaa54b243f3I intend next time I visit to get a Lederhosen! Honest! With my legs Bavaria will be set alight! IMG_2089I do hope the ‘Bavarian Sagas’ will continue. After I got back to England, Victoria sent me a photograph of the peony I had given her Mom and it had flowered. That is a start…ef170dc6-431c-4d36-99b0-19e8e6155402I will end with a great thanks to Victoria who was my driver, guide, chef, organiser, walk route planner, accommodation provider and friend. Without her the holiday would not have taken place. 

Miles Walked 7.2

Total Miles Walked for the Whole Journey 80.6 

“One photograph can be the start – but a series of photographs can make a journey.”

Who said that?

Me of course.  








Day 9 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’ – Climbing Victoria’s Mount Fuji (Wallberg) at 5650 feet. Virgin Summiteers.

Post 264: 18 May 2018 Climbing ‘Mount Fuji’ (Wallberg)

Wallberg dominates the skyline around Tegernsee and at the beginning of the holiday Victoria said we should go and climb it if we had a good weather window. P1040583At 1777 metres (5650 feet) it was far higher than anything I had climbed before, England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike at 3208 feet being the highest so far; that being on 21 October 1990 when I was only 38. I can still remember that being tiring. This would be 2442 feet more. However, the ‘get out of jail’ was that we could get the cable car back down if the weather deteriorated or we were too tired.

I looked wistfully at her not promising to climb it, but not saying I wouldn’t.

The week was running out and we had been all over Bavaria having a fabulous time. The night before she announced that the forecast was good and we should go for it. How could I say no to such a request!

I woke up early feeling full of energy and boosted by the previous fabulous day visiting the fairytale castles and for that matter awesome days before that. It was on.

We parked at a car park at the bottom of the cable car near Rottach-Egern.

P1110851Fortunately, like me Victoria likes to start slowly, unlike some of my male walking friends who tend to shoot off at a fast pace only to regret it later. We climbed the very wide and clear track at a gradual pace with ever changing views.

We stopped on a bench, of which there were many, for a snack. Victoria had a slight problem with her out of date protein bar! She also had a problem with goose pimples as it was getting colder. She was a little ‘nesh’ and felt the increasing cold. IMG_2389IMG_2390Whilst walking up I monitored my heart rate. It resting rate is normally 52-56 but it was double that for most of the ascent. I think the highest it went up to briefly was 140!! The estimated maximum rate for my age is 154.  The recommended target rate for moderate exercise is 77-108 for my age and for vigorous exercise 108 to 131. IMG_2385We carried on to a viewing point. Most of Lake Tegernsee spread before us. When I asked Victoria when she was last on the summit she said she hadn’t summited, but had been to the top of the cable car! A bit late to tell me now! I was a guinea pig! Both virgin summiteers!0e3ffe25-7ea5-40ec-aa9a-0aa55c8fd562IMG_2387We continued climbing until we reached a chapel.

Then we reached some paragliders who were flying off. It was awesome.

It then started to rain and so we went to the chapel. Then to the cafe for a coffee and to await the end of the rain. The views were stunning. I also noticed I was getting some heel rub from the constant climbing and so applied compeed to prevent blisters.


P1110852P1110853P1110854P1110855P1110856P1110857The rain stopped and we made our summit bid, reluctantly passing the cable car. There was still time to change our minds and have an easy life descending to the bottom.

But we carried onto where a group were struggling to get down from the summit with a dog. I asked if it was okay and they said tricky in parts but we would be okay. They always say that. Parts were definitely getting steep and rocky. Being a gentleman I sent Victoria up first!


P1110863Finally, we summited5bf1ecbc-227b-4afb-8f0c-790a977de4cf Then the heavens opened and a storm hit us. I put on my over-trousers but Victoria had left hers back at base.

We sheltered under a rockIMG_2407I decided we couldn’t stay there forever and so we started to descend the paths which were turning into streams and the rocks were now slippy.

I came down mostly on my backside and at one point, where it was very steep, Victoria had to direct me to where to put my feet. It was scrambling.

When we reached the bottom of the ‘bad step’ the rain eased.

IMG_2410 And it was straight down the cable car through the trees. We were exhilarated, tired and a little thirsty.

P1110866A fabulous walk and, for me, an achievement at my ‘bus pass age’.

Deciding at that point that I must come back to this fabulous walking area, I asked Victoria if she could show me the Youth Hostel nearby. It was good and certainly a possibility for the future. I can’t expect Victoria to let me use her flat again.

P1110881I will also look at bed and breakfast and apartment options for the future.

Prior to leaving for the mountain Victoria had got some fish in from a fishmonger adjoining the lake. The fish were caught fresh from the lake. Tonights dinner! It doesn’t get much better.

Knowing my other weakness, she  also provided fabulous local ice-cream with fresh local strawberries. I thought I had gone to heaven. Victoria is the best guide in Bavaria! IMG_2428With the beer, wine and gin and tonic flowing it was good way to celebrate our summit achievement!

With the forecast being a bit iffy next day and me feeling tired we decided we would have a lazy day and include watching the Royal Wedding. Victoria clearly knew she had an English expert on weddings on hand!!!!!

Miles Walked 7.9 – mostly uphill! 


Day 8 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’ – Fairytale Castles and a World Heritage site.

Post 263: 17 May 2018,  Neuchwanstein, Schloss Hohenschwangua and Wieskirche

Travelling out to King Ludwig II’s castles of Neuchwanstein and Schloss Hohenschwangua, we took a wrong turning after Bad Kohlrub. However, every cloud has a silver lining and it took us past one of his other castles, Linderhof, and along some scenic roads, forests and past Lake Plansee.  The route was Saulgrub, Ober-ammenau, Ammer-Saltet, Lake Plansee, Reutte, Fussen. P1040522


P1040524Neuschwenstein then came into view. P1040525


We parked at the castle car park near a lake and went for coffee.  P1110813P1110800We passed  the 14th century Schloss Hohenschwangua which, after being destroyed in 1832, was rebuilt in 1837. It rises up to its dominating position on an 864 metre-high mountain ridge. P1040529P1040530Our main goal for the day was Neuschwenstein, which impressed as we walked uphill to a viewpoint on a bridge above it. P1040550




P1110808The views from the path were staggeringly beautiful as we got higher and higher. Schloss Hohenschwangua became quite small next to the lake.


P1110809We arrived at the Marienbruke the cast-iron bridge above the Pollat Gorge 300 feet down. P1110803

The views from the bridge were dramatic.IMG_2341








P1040537However, we couldn’t stay for too long as we had a tour of the inside of the castle booked.  No photographs were allowed inside

The castle, typifying everything ‘medieval’,  was built between 1869 and 1892 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. His plans were greatly influenced by a visit to the Warburg in 1867, and of course by Wagner’s operas. Although it was never completed, Ludwig spent more than six million marks building and furnishing it between 1869 and 1886. Finally, he was considered unfit to govern on 10th June in 1886 and was arrested two days later. On 13th June he drowned mysteriously in the Starnberger See. He nearly bankrupt Bavaria.

Leaving the castle and the tourist crowds we had further views from the road showing another perspective of this extraordinary place and locality. Disneyland in reality. P1040552

P1040553Victoria had another surprise up her sleeve for me at Wieskirche. A 1993 UNESCO listed World heritage Site consisting of the church of Zum Gegeibelten Heiland, nestling in sub-Alpine scenery. It is a fine example of South German Rococo and possibly the finest in the world.P1110815In 1738, the figure of Christ in a small chapel in the fields south west of the present church is said to have wept tears.P1110816




Soon afterwards pilgrims began to flock to the site of the miracle. In 1743-4 the Premonstratensian abbot of Steingaden commissioned Dominikus Zimmerman to design a church here. It is simply stunning:

Of course great views carried on during the journey back to Tegernesse. What a beautiful country.

P1040560Time was pressing and I managed to persuade Victoria to let me take her to a restaurant of her choice. As ever she made an excellent choice. A great finish to another fascinating day out.

Miles Walked 6.7 





Completion of Coast to Coast at ‘Bus Pass Age’. Break-dancing after 200 Miles of Walking, Warning contains disturbing images of Pain and Feet!

Post 262: 28 May 2018

On this day Alan and Dan of ‘bus pass age’ were due to complete Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk of 192 miles from St Bees on the Irish Sea to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea. 

I completed the same walk in 1991 at the much younger age of 39.

I then wrote and completed my own coast to coast walk, On Foot from Coast to Coast: The North of England Way, in 1993 at the age of 41 and again in 2000 to celebrate the Millennium at the age of 48.

Much had been written about coast to coast walks, but little has been said or written about what it feels like to complete a coast to coast walk.

Wainwright said the start and finish of the coast to coast are exact unlike for many walks, such as the Pennine Way, which are arbitrary.

I was able to dip my feet in the Irish Sea in 1991 at the start and the North Sea at the end. There is not more certain start and end to a walk than that.P1090909

Wainwrights Coast to Coast 1991In 1993 I was again able to dip my feet in the North Sea at the end.PICT0001

And again in 2000. PICT0008So what is it really like to finish a coast to coast walk? 

Wainwright says at the end of his coast to coast guide in 1973 that:

“If there happens to be something in your temperament that makes you like the ladies the odds are that you will prefer the C. to C. You will not melt any but you will be reminded of them. On the Pennine Way you never give them a thought…well hardly ever.  I finished the Pennine Way with relief, the Coast to Coast Walk with regret”.

I think it fair to say that in 2018 these views would probably have the feminist lobby banging at his door.

When I finished my North of England Way Coast to Coast walk and guide book in 1993 I said:

“The sight of journey’s end, Scarborough North Bay and the North Sea left me with with mixed feelings of pride, joy and satisfaction at having devised and completed a long and beautiful walk, but also regret and sadness that a close association with the natural world had to end with a return to so-called civilisation”.

On another occasion I also said:

“On completing my coast to coast walk and after taking off my 28lb pack I felt 18 again even though I was more than double that age”. 

How would Dan and Alan feel?

It was with a sense of excitement that I went to meet Alan and Dan on their last day when they would have to walk between 19 and 20 miles, which would result in them exceeding over 200 miles, given the ‘extra’ high level routes they had completed, plus walking to bed and breakfasts off the route.

I was due to collect their luggage from their bed and breakfast in Glaisdale by 8.30am and join them for part of the walk. The historically ‘listed’ accommodation is well worth considering if in the Glaisdale area. IMG_E1892.jpgAn early start was essential and I left home at about 6.30am, only to encounter thick fog!P1110899At 7.34am I reached Grosmont Station. P1110900After collecting their luggage and a quick cup of coffee I parked the car at Glaisdale Station and met two beggars, Alan and Dan at Beggar’s Bridge. IMG_E2523IMG_E2525They were begging for my Mary Berry home-made fruit cake.

My Mary Berry home-made fruit cake- guaranteed to keep you going on a walk.

Dan, living up to his reputation, had also begged for my Simnel Cake, but if he wanted that he should have done the walk at Easter.

I swear they only managed to complete the coast to coast due to the fruit cake. P1060740On the track, between Egton and Grosmont, we nearly missed the toll charges. Dan was wishing he had pre-booked a hearse to get him to the end at Robin Hood’s Bay – a bargain at 6D and pain free. P1110902Soon afterwards it was clear that Dan was starting to struggle so we strung him up for a bit of a rest. I think it may have caused him permanent life changing damage. IMG_E2528Arriving at Grosmont Station I let them carry on up a very steep hill promising to meet them at Robin Hood’s Bay at the end. I had to go back on a train to Glaisdale to collect my car. Well that’s my excuse.

I then went for a bacon buttie. Why do they always taste so nice at stations – is it the smoke and steam? IMG_E2530In the meantime, I watched the North York Moors Railway trains come and go.

At 12.15pm and, after having my packed lunch (I had been up since just after 5.00am), my Northern Rail train turned up on time, only to be told by the ticket collector it had to go slow around the bends so as not to come off the track!!!

I then drove to Robin Hood’s Bay and paid my £6 car parking fee! That’s the cost of more than two Beacon Farm ice creams, one of which I also had to pay for. Sid the Yorkshireman would have been horrified. I then walked down to the end of the coast to coast walk to check it to and make sure they had got the red carpet out for Alan and Dan?  It was packed being a Bank Holiday. No red carpet!

Normally, I avoid these honeypots at Bank Holidays and thought how could Alan plan to end the walk here on a Bank Holiday. He will be up before the walking Ethic’s Committee for this. Southerners have no idea on such matters! IMG_E2538IMG_E2539There were no flags out either. I had to now rush to meet Dan and Alan before they got there to warn them as they were expecting a fanfare. I took the scenic, pretty route through the winding snickle-ways (that’s what we call them in York) of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Emerging onto the coastal path it was thick mist with mythical coasters to coasters coming at me, trance like, as they neared the end of their journey. I had hoped to meet Alan and Derek where they joined the coast some 3 miles from Robin Hood’s Bay, but I timed it wrong by about 10 minutes. 200 miles and I get it wrong by 10 minutes! This is what it should have looked like. P1090019


P1080121In reality we couldn’t even see the sea. They were not to get the ‘Wainwright Moment’ and personal satisfaction there:

“After a halt to savour the acute personal satisfaction of arrival at the edge the North Sea follow the path to the right”

They had rejoined the Cleveland Way, which incidentally has its 50th anniversary next year and has been found to be the nations favourite National Trail according to the North York Moors website.

Our first sighting of the North Sea was a couple of miles on.

IMG_2544Then journey’s end came into view and Alan said it still looked a long way. I recall in 1991 thinking why did Wainwright makes me walk 3 miles along the coast? P1110909P1110910We took the scenic descending route to the sea. P1110912To finally dip boots in the North Sea.IMG_2550It was all over bar the shouting, photographs and the pints.P1110904

Wainwright said at the end of the road that:

“Now you can rest on your laurels in the Bay Hotel,

with a pint but (let there be no misunderstanding about this) you do so at your own expense. It is no good saying “charge it to Wainwright” as you did at the Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm (on the Pennine Way). No, sorry, that game won’t work here. Pay for your own. I’m skint” (he probably became a millionaire after his TV series as his guide books sold millions and are still selling).

Instead the bill went to me!!! Cheers mate!

P1110916P1110919Of course I haven’t changed a bit since my celebrations in 1991, when I had to buy my own pint. Sid the Yorkshireman will be laughing his socks off at this.

(PS: if anyone recognises the 3 others in the above photograph can they let me know as I would like to know how they are getting on – we met on coast to coast but I lost contact with them shortly afterwards)

However, “it is not over until the final whistle goes” and, after a steep climb to the car park, Alan surprised me.

 I was very impressed by his break-dancing after 200 miles of walking. Quite incredible. He could become an internet sensation if it is shared enough. 

c32afb04-156b-4243-b9a1-36b4000b3a9fAlan mumbled something about stretching his muscles but I think he was showing off break-dancing. It’s always the quiet ones.

Dan reminded me of how feet can expand on coast to coast as his were very swollen next day. I blame wearing Marks and Spencer’s socks, but he swears that, with those socks and vaseline, he gets no blisters. Looks to me as though his feet are dual coloured! Hmmmmm….

How did they feel on finishing?

Like me in 1991, they had mixed feelings of jubilation, excitement, relief, fabulous memories, camaraderie with other coast to coasters, membership of an exclusive group, strangeness, pride, satisfaction…

but with aches, some pain, some discomfort, a sense of what now, I just want to sleep, where’s the beer, how do I get into the car, stiffness…………+

For me, completing coast to coast in 1991 was life changing as, despite over 6 days of heavy rain (unlike Alan and Dan’s 1 day – allowances are made for softy southerners), I then became addicted to long-distance and other walking and am now on my 56th LDW, in the precess meeting some fantastic people and friends, travelling abroad and writing.

The journey continues………………….

Miles Walked  – Alan and Dan over 200

                            – Myself 13.6 on this day. 


Day 7 (continued) – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’, Bad Tolz and a Monastery, Belated Mother’s Day Present.

Post 261: 16 May 2018, Bad Tolz and Benediktbeurn Monastery.

It was time for the trailing geraniums to be put out on the houses in Tegernsee and what a sight they must make throughout the summer. Victoria had a more relaxed day planned and knew I hoped to get a book in English on Upper Bavaria and so took me to Bad Tolz situated on the River Isar (we saw it earlier in Munich) which, due to iodine rich springs discovered in 1846, became a health spa. It has a lovely main street with at least a couple of book shops. The owner of one said he was getting such a book the following day and we agreed to call back as we would be passing again then.

After Bad Tolz we went to the Benediktbeuern Monastery set in lovely grounds. The baroque church was started in 1682.

We were ready for some lunch in what was no normal restuarant/cafe! It was exquisitely furnished and had live local traditional musicians. I had a sausage salad and rhubarb crumble cake and ice-cream – absolutely delicious. f2963d03-ed71-4214-8a06-5d32051a05a3IMG_2298The detail in the cafe and in particular the carved ceiling were breathtaking.  P1040506P1040508P1040509P1040510P1040511P1040512We then called into the church, which again was exquisitely and lavishly decorated

P1040521IMG_2308We then went to an another area that sold plants and I was able to buy Victoria’s Mom her favourite plant, a peony (white – which she hadn’t got), as it was a belated Mother’s Day present (it is actually on 13 May 2018).

Miles Walked 4

Day 7 – ’10 days of Walking in Bavaria’, An Aside, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Germany’s Secret Nuclear Programme, Disneyland? A Madman.

Post 260: 16 May 2018, 

An Aside.

(Notes written on 27th May)

Since returning from Bavaria I have noticed a few changes:

  1. I have had cramp in the middle of the night (unusual)
  2. I have had cracks on my heels (unusual)
  3. My hip has been paining me (unusual)

Now it’s not for me to speculate on why I am falling apart but here are a few suggestions:

  1. Pretending to be a 35 year old for 10 days in Bavaria when I’m nearly twice that age is catching up with me. There used to be a saying “Act you Age”.
  2. As outlined in the previous blog I was abandoned by my young guide outside H&M in Munich, whilst she went shopping. I even had to have my lunch standing up and leaning on H&M. You can see the extreme pressure on the body whilst trying to eat and stand up.
  3. This is a traumatic experience for someome my age as normally on walks we have lunch on a bench or on my walking mat. I think I could be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. I could sue my guide but as she did it all for free I don’t think I would get much more compensation than a free beer or two which she provides in any case. Maybe I am entitled to another holiday with her in Bavaria? Poor girl.
  4. The long term effects of 10 days of increased consumption of beer, gin and shnapps is taking its toll.
  5. Too much sitting in front of a computer writing these diaries.

My cure for these ailments?  I put Dioralyte in my water today to reduce the risk of cramp when walking in hot weather. Apparently it was standard issue in Aghanistan for soldiers and if it is good enough for them it will be good enough for me.

I also went to meet two walking friends, Alan and Dan, who have been walking coast to coast in dry weather (apart from Friday on the 23 mile stretch between Richmond and Ingleby Arncliffe) and I intended to walk part of it with them along the Cleveland Way section on North York Moors, between Huthwaite Green  and Clay Bank. This used to be part of my ‘training’ walk for my coast to coasts (3 in total)  and other long-distance walks (55 in total). This is the best section of the North York Moors part of the coast to coast walk.

I drove out fairly early to Huthwaite Green to await their arrival and avoid bank holiday traffic. It is sad that the telephone kiosk here indicated by Wainwright in his guide book was removed about 8 years ago.

I knew that coast to coast was busy but was surprised that about 12 people turned  up before Alan and Dan did. But then Dan has always been a slow starter in the mornings, a bit like my wife and my Bavarian guide.

Some coast to coasters were clearly affected by the previous days walking of 23 miles through muddy fields and on tarmac in exceptional heavy rain for Yorkshire.  However, they couldn’t complain as it was their first notable rain in nearly 2 weeks of walking from St Bees. In 1991, when I walked coast to coast for the first time, 4 out of 5 days in the Lake District were like having buckets of water thrown over me continually.  They had come to the wrong person for sympathy!

On their arrival, I provided Alan and Dan with home-made cakes, my usual Mary Berry walkers fruit cake for energy and a Bavarian Rhubarb Crumble Cake. The latter followed the Bavarian recipe I had been given by my guide’s mother after she had cooked it for me in Bavaria. The only problem was that it was in German and there was some confusion as to whether the eggs should go in the dough base or the fruit filling. I opted for the dough and it was delicious.



The fruit cake always goes down well.IMG_2495

Now it is not for me to suggest that without the cake they wouldn’t have finished coast to coast but…………………….

After the cake we walked the ups and downs of the Cleveland Hills to the Lord Stones Cafe for another refreshment stop. There was music coming from nearby and it turned out that  a wedding was taking place.

The views were a little hazy in the sun but improved later on.


I walked about 5.5 miles before letting Alan and Dan get their lift at Clay Bank to their bed and breakfast in Great Broughton. I returned back to my car.

Most things were cured. I must keep walking.

On return home I had a beer with my dinner (a bad habit for my weight but a nice habit picked up in Bavaria) and watched Ed Sheeran, which bought back many happy memories of Bavaria as we had mainly his CDs on in the Victoria’s car, a 9 year old Astra. Someone who will remain anonymous said “did I know before I went she had a 9 year old child called Astra?” !!!!!!!!!


Back to the main Dairies.

Interestingly a week of hurtling around Bavaria was catching up with both myself and Victoria and, with a poor forecast, we decided to have a leisurely start to the day and even had time to cook boiled eggs on what looked like a nuclear reactor plant.

I thought Germany was aiming to be nuclear free? I think it could be their secret nuclear programme. I bet every household in Germany has an egg boiler that can quickly be converted into a nuclear reactor?

In any event the eggs miraculously turned out soft boiled just as I like them. When I mentioned it to my wife she said we have enough gadgets already, not mentioning the spaghetti maker that is hardly ever used or the fondue set that stayed in a cupboard for years. Women have selective memories! b56a7c5c-c114-47c4-94b5-7ad2bdf21b64So over porridge, boiled eggs and toast Victoria explained that amongst other things the plan was to visit a nice little pad that I think was the forerunner of Disneyland.

It was built by King Ludwig II who nearly bankrupt Bavaria as he built 3 such pads! He was certainly eccentric, and possibly also mad. However, he has since been responsible for increased tourism to Bavaria. So has Adolf Hitler with his Eagle’s Nest! 

To be continued in the next blog………………..

Also will Alan and Dan finish their coast to coast?

Miles Walked 11. 




Day 6 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’ – Munich, Sausages, The Angel of Peace, Surfing, EU Lamborghinis? Abandoned outside H&M, Munich’s Greatest Attraction – Beer!s

Post 259: 15 May 2018, Munich.  

The forecast for the day wasn’t brilliant and so we decided to make this our Munich day. It was only about an hour and a half journey from Tegernsee to street parking near the underground.

Arriving at the market we couldn’t but help notice the many sausages on display. P1110741What was more surprisingly was a shop dedicated to selling pipes. P1110742We also had a look in an outdoor shop, which was huge. That’s my shopping done apart from I wanted to find a book in English about Upper Bavaria.

Victoria had planned a walk along the river knowing that my liking for shops was low! Neither did we want to go in museums whilst the weather held.

So we headed to the River Isar and walked along its banks, past the Deutsches Museum.

P1110743P1110744P1110745P1110746P1110747Until we reached the M Plank StrasseMaximillaneum Bridge and The Angel of Peace. This marks 25 years of peace after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, in which Germany was victorious. The Angel is 19 feet high and imitates the Greek statue of Nike Paioniosa on Mount Olympus.

P1110748P1040474We crossed and left the river.P1110749We passed a Parliament building flying the EU flag and a Lamborghini came out – I couldn’t resist a photograph. Is that what our EU contribution goes on? P1110750P1110751Given that Munich is hundreds of miles from the sea, I was surprised to come across surfers on a river! It was very cool. P1040482

P1110754With thunder and lightening threatening, we hurried on to Hofgarten and the Bavarian State Chancellery (Bayerische Staatskanzlei), which was completed in 1992. P1110756Then the Baroque Theatinerkirche, one of Munich’s finest buildings. P1110758We were overwhelmed by buildings to photograph, including the Frauenkirche which is the largest Gothic building in southern Germany and was built in just 20 years from 1468-88, a record time for the period. Since 1821 it has been the seat of archbishop of Munich and Fleming. P1040490We moved to Marienplatz and the Neues Ratheus (New Town Hall) which dominates with its golden statue of the virgin (1593) and the chiming clock which enacts a joust and performs the Dance of the Coopers. P1110759P1040487P1040488

We retired to a book shop for coffee and a cake and I tried unsuccesfully to find a book in English about Upper Bavaria.

Victoria also had plans to do a little shopping. It seems German women are just like British women – they can’t resist shopping when in a city. So I was abandoned outside H&M whilst Victoria went in 4 shops to find a blouse! Valuable time was being wasted and so I decided to have my lunch standing up. One of the great things about going to other countries is that you realise that we are all basically similiar and we all have the similar wishes and desires!

ac805e8c-2e68-4f24-b03e-57523768ecb7 We then moved to the opera house area, which is one of  the favourite locations of Dan who visits the opera here regularly from the UK. It is his favourite overseas city. I think I would prefer Tromso in Norway.

More important than the opera house – where was the famous beer hall of Hobrauhaus? My now very trusted guide found it quickly.

P1110764P1110768Certainly the atmosphere inside was very good with live music and beer flowing at very reasonable prices. It is the sort of place that once you get in you don’t want to leave!

P1110779P1110781P1110770P1110769It is worth looking closely at some of the detail:

On that note we returned back to Tegernsee only to find out Victoria’s parents were treating us to a meal and beer at the famous beer hall and restaurant, the Herzoglches Braustuberl. 15cba6de-9a83-4d72-b5ef-9b1d53704377The food was delicious and it is the first time I have had smoked pork belly.

5b6f7788-d32e-4936-9e6b-c09373d4f283followed by apple fritters, ice-cream and of course cream.07dd1c34-a341-44c9-b4fe-098fa5081356Life doesn’t get much better……Victoria did say on occasions she was a bad influence and now I was beginning to think she was right and so were her parents. I rarely drink so much alcohol.

A great way to end the day. Or did we have a gin and tonic or two back at the flat? Hmm……

Miles Walked 8



Day 5 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’ – Catching the Dawn, A Sculpture Garden, Porridge and Paper to Eat, A Walk away from it All.

Post 258: 14 May 2018 Bavarian Sculpture Garden, Walk around Elbach

After the previous fantastic day visiting The Eagle’s Nest and Salzburg, I was on a high and woke fairly early before 6am. I was determined to make the best of the remaining time of my holiday and not miss any opportunities. I looked out of the bedroom window and I sensed it could be a good dawn and also I wanted to photograph some sculptures I had previously seen nearby. I headed to Lake Tegernsee which was within easy walking distance. The mist was up over the mountains and valleys hereabouts, which I love because each time it is seen, it is unique and transitory.P1040407P1040408P1040409

P1040410I then reached the sculpture garden set against an awesome backdrop:


They are by:


Translated it reads:

Please do not touch any sculptures. 

Parents are liable for their children!”

I wondered how long they would last in England without them being damaged?

I ws enthralled with them and continued to find new angles locations, backgrounds and positions in order to photograph them.  It took about an hour and a half and I was starting to get cold!


Some sculptor!


My focus then returned to the lake and surrounding area. Beautiful.

P1110704P1040430P1040431P1040432P1040436The town of Rottach-Egern could be seen below me. Painters, writers and composers used to flock here to be inspired by the vibrant, buzzing and cultural life of Rottach-Egern. I have written books and blogs, I paint and draw a little, but I fall down on the composing criteria!

Visitors from all over the world come to the promenade, Seestrasse, where they appreciate the lively and exclusive atmosphere around Malerwinkel, the hotspot of Rottach-Egern. It is even rumoured that some German national team footballers live in the area around the lake, former Russian leaders and other notable people and that Liverpool FC stay here.

I felt like I had won the lottery just to be able to spend 10 days in this area through the kindness of Victoria and her family. P1040434Now who could live in a house/castle like that?  P1040437It was now time to return to my flat as I was on porridge duty and Victoria would be awakening soon. I would not be popular if I was late as she had a walk planned. Microwaves are ‘in short supply’ here and I would be using the traditional method of cooking in a saucepan with lots of stirring. Porridge with cinnamon and blueberries is essential for walks! IMG_E2097

IMG_2291We started the walk at the church in Elbach, which all I can say is somewhere in Bavaria!P1110711Victoria seemed to know where she was and where she was going (without a map – a cardinal sin in Yorkshire and a guarantee to get lost) but there are excellent signs indicating where to go and how far it would take. I got a bit worried when I saw Durham was on the sign and it had no indication how far or how long it would take to get there. I estimated that as I had come from York it would take about a day with flights and trains to get to DurhamP1110719It was a warm day and Victoria accosted my rucksack to put some of her belongings in as she hadn’t brought one. Wear the old ones out first I say!  She knew she had been such a good guide that she could get away with anything now………P1110718We soon came across some lovely flowers and hay meadows. P1110713P1110714It was lovely, peaceful, rolling countryside far from the madding crowds. IMG_2242The calmness was interrupted when we stopped for lunch and I discovered Victoria had packed, amongst other things, what seemed to paper for lunch! At least they provide plenty of benches to sit on and bins for rubbish. P1110715P1110716We then came across a point to soak our feet, but we had passed it before Victoria explained its purpose. You don’t get that on the North York Moors – just bogs! P1110720There was suddenly an overpowering smell and I thought Victoria must have forgot to have a shower that morning. It turned out that the farmers had been putting manure on the fields.

P1110722The scenery and clear paths were a delight. P1110723Things got even better when we found the ultimate bench. Note the quick change into shorts as it got warmer. I could have stayed here forever.  Again it beats a little mat on the North York Moors! 221e8e10-81b2-416a-a4f9-a3e16d623257a0fa1364-b827-40ff-8d3a-f4fd121640fe But an ornate chapel and church, Wallfahrtskapelle Birkenstein at Fischbachau-Birkenstein, beckoned. P1110730P1110731P1110732It is off the tourist track and there is little information in English, in guide books or at the site. There is a Calvary scene with three crosses on the hill near the church. The church has an outdoors section and the main church is on the second story. No photographs are allowed. Downstairs there is a shop and another small chapel. Inside there are candles and a tomb with a statue of a male laid out on top.

A fascinating place off the beaten track.

Leaving the church we somehow managed to pass a highly recommended cafe (too soon after lunch) and passed an old fire engine. P1110733P1110734We were soon back in open peaceful countryside.

P1110735P1110736P1110737Soon the church we started from came into view indicating the end of the walk with some maps on noticeboards! P1110738P1110739P1110740

A delightful walk away from the busier areas of Bavaria. Another gem by my guide.

I got a little confused here but I think Pretzels and homemade egg liquor cake appeared on our return to the flat.


Miles Walked 9

Day 4 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’, Hitler’s Eagle Nest, Berchtesgaden and over the border into Salzburg, Austria, The Sound of Music, Jesus feeds the Two – not 5,000 this time.

Post 257: 13th May 2018, The Eagles Nest, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg. 

It was an early start for a Sunday as we left ‘base’ at just after 8am with the main aim of visiting Adolf Hitler’s retreat at The Eagle’s Nest. As a child I had seen footage on TV and photographs in my Dad’s war book collection of this dramatic location where Hitler had planned the ‘holocaust’ with his generals and also where he had socialised with Eva Braun. I never thought I would eventually get to visit this location when, as a child, apart from a school trip to Holland, I never went out of the UK. My first trip abroad independently was with the British Universities America Club (BUNAC) to New York at the age of 20, which involved getting a job for 6 weeks in New York and staying with my Aunt during my summer vacation.

I had also read stories of the Allied Forces wanting to get to Eagle’s Nest first towards the end of the Second World War in 1945. Its historical connotations are huge.

The roads were quiet and I noticed interestingly that lorries are not allowed on the roads on Sundays and end up parked up. How good is that.


We starting driving past wonderful mountain scenery at just after 9.30am in fine weather.

We started climbing just before 10am towards the car park, where we were due to catch a bus to The Eagle’s Nest with the scenery becoming increasingly dramatic. The excitement of the day was building gradually.

We parked up at the Berghgasthof car park and got on one of three buses which would take us in convoy up a long and winding road to The Eagle’s Nest. There were exhilarating and tantalizing views from the bus.P1110603P1110604

The buses arrived at a turning circle quite high up and there was chance to take photographs of the Untersberg mountain range in the far distance at 1972 metres (6470 feet).

We then paid for our ticket and entered a tunnel and the waiting area for an elevator. It was quite cold and eerie in the tunnel. Quite scary for any actual visitors to see Hitler.

P1110605P1110606P1110608P1110609We emerged onto the top with fabulous 360 degree views. Lake Konigssee can be seen below and just to its right Germany’s second highest mountain Wartzman at  8900 feet(2713 metres)P1110610P1110611P1110612P1110614P1110615There was then time in bright warm sunshine to explore The Eagle’s Nest with snow still about.

P1110638P1110640There are some photographs and information about The Eagle’s Nest in the restaurant building.

P1110646P1110647P1110648P1110649P1110650P1110651P1110652P1110653P1110654P1110655P1110656P1110657P1110659P1110660P1110661As Hitler was no longer about I decided to have a cup of coffee and cake to celebrate (any excuse). It always comes with cream in Bavaria. IMG_E2190Shortly afterwards we had our packed lunch with this view!  P1110662P1040377I was definitely feeling light headed through the altitude and we decided to descend on the bus with yet more fine views. My ambitions to climb Everest are on hold!

The Eagles Nest was an unforgettable experience and again we had been lucky with the weather, although my trusted guide takes much credit as she had made the effort to take me to these places whilst the weather was holding.

There was no time to reflect as we headed towards Berchtesgaden, renown for being a good base for hiking.

I decided it should become renown for its ice-cream cafes. It was a lovely mid-afternoon stop in warm weather and a chance to recharge batteries in what had already been an awesome day. The biggest problem was choosing which ice-cream to have.

IMG_E2192IMG_E2194Victoria then broke the news that we had time to head for Austria and Salzburg!!!! She had warned me to take my passport as there are occasional checks since the migration issues. The thought of ending up as an illegal entrant whilst on holiday concentrated the mind. We arrived in Salzburg at 4.15pm.


The Hohensalzburg Castle dominates the city and is one of the largest in Europe.  Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria. The city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1996). The architecture is baroque. It was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was the setting for the musical play and film The Sound of Music, which when I sang to Victoria, ‘The hills are alike with the sound of music”, she didn’t recognise it. Must be her age or mine or my singing!

P1040397P1040398P1040399In front of the castle we found a bench to listen to a concert in warming sun. It was very atmospheric with horses passing by. What a finish to the day!


P1110682P1110683P1110684I could have lingered there for hours but we had a long journey back to Tegernsee and I  started to think of food. I asked Victoria if she knew of any restaurants she could recommend on the way back. Needless to say she came up with the goods!  We found a picturesque walk back to the car.


We left Salzburg at about 5.30pm.

What I hadn’t anticipated was that Jesus would need to help us find the restaurant. We had been going along some winding roads in the country in the middle of nowhere and to be honest I wondered whether we were going to find the restaurant. Victoria suddenly brought the car to a screeching halt in front of Jesus. With no sat nav this was the next best thing. I think Jesus pointed to the map and told her where to go!!!

P1110693It was a fabulous choice of restaurant in the middle of nowhere and of course I had to have traditional soup, wiener schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet) followed by pancakes and ice-cream. Not forgetting the beer of course. Victoria is very cheap to run as unlike me she rarely has a pudding. It was she who said I am not allowed to diet in Bavaria! I would never be able to find the restaurant again. IMG_2213IMG_2212IMG_2214e16ebd74-f678-4e19-9d60-117adb649caf A fabulous end to a fabulous day. 

Miles Walked 6



Day 3 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’, To the Top of Germany, 9718 Feet (2962 Metres), Altitude Sickness, Mittenwald.

Post 256: 12 May 2018, The top of Zugspitze – Germany’s Highest Mountain,  A Walk around Lake Eibsee and a Walk around Mittenwald.

I was somewhat surprised when Victoria said we would leave for the top of Germany early in the morning at about 8am. Clearly my ‘training’ of her during her 10 Days in the Yorkshire last September was paying off when much to her horror we would leave at 7.30am in the morning and not return to 9.45pm in order to explore Yorkshire! Given that she was on holiday from work for 9 1/2 days to guide me around, I was impressed she would miss a few lie ins, which is what most young people crave for when working. She always said she could get up early if she had to – a big mistake saying that to me. On this bright sunny day with the top of Germany our destination she simply had to.

‘It’s the early bird that catches the worm’ we say in Yorkshire and in Bavaria they have a similar expression  and of course it means you avoid the traffic too.  Also as it was Mothers’s Day soon (13th May 2018) and so we had some flowers to drop off. P1110471The location where Victoria left the flowers had amazing views of the Alpspitze mountain at 2628 metres (8,622 feet).P1040255


P1040256We passed through Garmisch -Partenkirchen,P1110472which became known around the world when the Winter Olympics were held there in 1936. There was still relatively little traffic at just before 10.00am on a Saturday.

Other mountain scenery appeared as we drove further towards Zugspitze.

We continued our drive to the cable car park, near the Eibsee Lake, to look up to the cable car and summit at 2,962 metres (9718 feet).P1110894




It was going to be an interesting ride as the cable car broke 3 world records! I had already been on Europe’s steepest cablecar ride at Mount Loen in Norway but this looked steep too! P1110480Each car holds up to 150 people. Cosy!P1040277 Having beaten the crowds that would later appear later we were soon off – only 10 minutes to the top. P1110484

P1110482The views of Lake Eibsee (the green lake) were stunning. P1110488The views either side and up were also breathtaking. Going over the huge single tower caused some wobble and I had to grab onto a support.

Finally, the summit was reached and the views were all expansive, 400 mountain tops and 4 countries, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.P1110503







P1110512 At some point we went for a coffee in the cafe/restuarant. Children were playing in the snow and people were having photos taken on the summit, which was starting to get enveloped in mist. P1040289



We then crossed a few borders, including passing into Austria, with no signs of border control!P1110513

P1110516I was glad to be descending as I was starting to feel light headed due to altitude sickness – the first time in my life. Or was it due to the beer and gin and tonic the night before?

We then had to descend to the glacier on another cable car. There was lots of fun going on and loud music!

There was also a chapel.

Finally, we did some photograph posing amongst the glorious mountains and scenery.P1110539



It was then a train ride through a mountain tunnel back to the car. A simply stunning trip and at 45 Euros superb value (prices may go up in the peak season). I got my Zuspritze mug to remind me when back at home when drinking tea of this super trip. We had avoided the worst of the crowds and now Victoria had a quiet walk around Lake Eibsee planned for me. Not much time to catch my breathe.

Towards the end of the holiday I said to Victoria:

“Where had the time gone?”

She said “We left it on the street”.

I think with hindsight:

“We may have left it on the cable car!”

We had our packed lunch on a beach on the lake looking towards the mountains. It was as though we had been transported to Canada on a time machine! Simply idyllic. Pollen on the lake caused mustard coloured effects against the backdrop of the greenness of the lake.




P1110553The day was not over and we headed to the village of Mittenwald, which used to have a trade route from Italy passing through it since Roman times. It is surrounded by the Karwendal range of mountains which is part of the northern, calcareous Alps. It consists of several chains of mountains characterised by precipitous, steeply soaring, bare rock walls and peaks most of which reach a height between 2,000 and 2,800 metres ( 6562 and 9183 feet).

Lets now take a walk through this village of great art and colour – quite unbelievable when I think how I used to hate painting the outside of my house before PVC windows arrived. The beginnings of the local violin-making trade can traced back to the 17th century and Matthew Klutz (1653-1743), a pupil of the famous Nicola Amati. A violin school was founded in 1853.

A traditional wedding passed us by.

The interior of churches are opulent and this St-Peter-und-Paul-Kirche with its Gothic Tower is no exception:




The painted houses were staggering in their detail.

After leaving  Mittenwald we then had some more fine scenery.

What a way to finish a day that had touched all the senses. It was time to head back to ‘base’ with my trusted driver, guide and friend for a few beers and gin and tonics.

When in Rome do as the Romans do and when in Bavaria do as the Bavarians do.

Miles Walked 12