Friday, August 17, 2012

Fersteinsee Camping

Day 4 -Fersteinsee Camping, Estimated travel time 5 ½ hours. Actual time 7 hours.

Quote of the day “Hey look! They are giving us a thumbs up!”
(Stella from the car backseat, upon passing 2 dreadlocked, bearded, motley hitchhikers.)
Now, we expected to see hikers, bikers (cyclists), campers, and traffic. We didn’t expect to see vast wood piles, men in Lederhosen or short shorts, or people 80+ years of age huffing up to the peaks of the Alps.

We witnessed vast numbers of those on the downward slope of the aging process, pushing up massive mountains. They were all decked out in boots, hats, complete set of gear to include poles and a deep suntan. No offense to those pushing 60 and up here, but we just didn’t expect to see at least 80% of those on adventure to be ‘senior’. Countless men were passed on their way up to mountain tops, riding their bike with 2-3 saddle bags. They were moving at a good clip too. Surely, at the same point on the mountains I’d have set pace of a slow crawl, or probably not even made it that far. Incredible.
As for this clan- we travel a with a little more in tow, but the trailer proves to be useful for all that gear and a handy table at rest stops when we're looking for lunch...

We arrived in a pitiless downpour, at Fernsteinsee, a former schloss where Bavarian King Ludwig II liked to visit. The country of Austria isn’t exactly short of castles, and this one did not disappoint. It’s been converted into a 4 star hotel. The King was known to come here for the enchanting lake and Tyrolean mountains, but he’d surely be amused by the campground now set amidst the castle’s gardens. The lake, which is incredibly clear with visibility of up to 50 meters deep, is available for swimming and boating, but if you want to scuba dive the lake you need a special permit. Thank goodness we weren’t up for any scuba this trip.

The swans offered for us to take a an icy dip, but we kindly declined. There were, however, other folks taking the plunge (and then yelping that they'd been frostbitten)



We were happy enough to remain nestled among the Fern pass among charming villages and the mighty Zugspitze in Germany. Before settling in, the kids howled it up in the dark of the tent, making crazy 'scary faces' and performing hand puppet/shadow shows for the family.

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