31 March 2016

Suitcase. Tegernsee, Germany - Travel Guide

I take great pleasure from visiting destinations that are a little more under the radar. Sure big capitals like Paris and Barcelona have their drawcards, but there's something majestic and quaint about visiting a smaller town for a few days. Living a local way of life.

Tegernsee is a storybook little town in the Bavarian region of Germany. It's somewhere I've long wanted to visit - my mum was here in the '80s and has often spoken of its magic and charm.

Last week, I arrived. I checked into my jaw-dropping home for the next few days - Das Tegernsee and set up camp in my beautiful suite overlooking the lake; complete with balcony, shower large enough to host a party and bath tub with lookout.

Whilst spring had arrived there was certainly still plenty of evidence of winter with bare trees, brisk air and snow-covered ground. I stood in wonder on the balcony of my chic alpine chalet, marvelling at the lake and giggling as a trickle of falling snowflakes landed on my nose.

After settling in I headed for the centre of town. English isn't very widely spoken here and in my three days in Tegernsee I had to resort to charades a handful of times. It always worked and the locals seemed to think I was a laugh. Twice I ordered food off a menu with no idea what it was. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised both times.

I don't know about you but I've always thought of Germans as a stern nationality. But it looks like the Bavarians got the friendly gene. Everywhere I went I was smiled at, locals attempted to strike up conversation and were always willing to help. Even more charming is the fact that the men actually wear those Tyrolean hats that you see in the movies.

Down by the lake you'll find the Tegernsee Abbey. Always one to enjoy churches I took a gander and was highly impressed by its ornate ceiling. Across the road, I found myself entering the town's cemetery. No morbid stories here, only fascination with the fact that on every gravestone I saw evidence of a long life. 80 years, 90 years. This town obviously promotes good health.

Time for a spot of lunch at Aran right on the lake's shore. Be sure to try their toasted sandwiches here, choose your flavour and then go for a hot chocolate on the side. You won't regret it.

With a full stomach the weariness of my 4am start struck so it was back up to the hotel for a luxurious afternoon in the spa complete with indoor/outdoor infinity pool.

That evening I checked out the hotel's Senger restaurant. With all those pool laps and lounge-lazing I'd worked up quite the appetite. I opted for the beef carpaccio for entree with such beautiful, delicate flavours.

For main I choose the king prawn risotto. It's served with asparagus and vanilla tomatoes which provided the most beautiful flavour combination.

To finish I had to taste the region's finest cheese platter. Extraordinary.

I awoke to my view of the lake overlooked by sleeping giants covered in clouds of mist, heading for the breakfast room to sip warm tea and tear into flakey pastries.

I hired a car for this trip and after so long without driving in London I was chomping at the bit to hit the road. Time to explore the lake region. Lake Tegernsee is dotted with villages around its 25km circuit, of which Tegernsee is just one.

Each one has such Bavarian charm. The architecture is undeniably typical of the area, huge wooden homes with painted details, heart carvings and wooden shutters. It's just like a storybook.

Having made my circuit I couldn't say no to viewing it all from the lake, taking the little local boat on a round trip that afternoon.

The way of life here is simple. Pure. It's like they've wound back the clock 30 years. It was certainly a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of London. If the UK capital is fifth gear then this was neutral. I left feeling relaxed, revitalised and reminded of what really matters in life.

If you're looking for an incredible experience then you simply must stay at Das Tegernsee. No detail is missed, no desire is left wanting. There is a little touch of unpretentious luxury in every experience. Thank you for having me.

Next stop, Neuschwanstein Castle...

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Photos by Krissie.