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Summer Begins at Tegernsee

June 7, 2015
View of Tegernsee from North Side, near Gmund

One of the nice things about living in Europe - the days off!  This weekend was another long weekend due to the Feast of Corpus Christi observance this past Thursday.  This day is special as it celebrates the tradition and belief in the body of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  "Corpus" meaning "body" and "Christi" meaning "Christ".

Also, popular in Austria and Germany is fenstertag - or 'window day'.  Let's say, Thursday is a national holiday and Friday is technically a work day.  On a holiday weekend, that Friday is a fenstertag which turns a one day holiday into a FOUR day weekend!  Everone plans their fenstertag days in advance... planning a nice little vacation or road trip.  Let's just say, there are many of these opportunities for mini-vacations throughout the year.  And, you don't want to be the one who forgot!

So, this weekend, we made our way to Tegernsee - a lovely town in the Miesbach district of Bavaria, Germany.  It is situated along the shores of Lake Tegernsee and was about an hours drive from door to door.
The original settlers of this area were the Illyrians during the Stone Age.  They were also found in the Zillertal Valley, which I mentioned in a previous post here.  However, recorded history of the area around Tegernsee began around 6th Century AD with the arrival of the Bavarians. 

The Benedictine Abbey,  also influential in the Kochelsee area, was founded here in 746.  This abbey had strong influences on the development of Southern Bavaria during the Middle Ages.  Fast forward to the Thirty Years' War when this area was infested by the Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history.

During the Austro-Prussian War and on through to World War II, this area suffered many casualties.  During World War II, the abbey buildings were used as hospitals.  The valley became over crowded from evacuees fleeing from bombing in urban areas.  During the final weeks of the war, the Nazis moved into the valley and began to prepare for a major American advancement coming from Bad Tölz.

As the Americans moved into the area, it was German Army Major, Hannibal Von Lüttichau, (recovering in one of the makeshift hospitals) who convinced the Nazis to withdraw in order to save the town and all of the noncombatanats from imminent bombardment.  Afterward, Major Luttichau walked - uniformed, unarmed, and alone - with a white flag towards the American troops and convinced the commanding officer to spare the town.

Credit: From the Gmund Tourist Map

Our final destination was at the northern end of Lake Tegernsee in the town of Gmund am Tegernsee. It is located near the Mangfall River, which is the left tributary of the Inn River which flows into the city of Rosenheim.

In terms of sight-seeing, we didn't do very much.  Here's a link for a few ideas if you're into churches and old history.   

Gmund, an old paper mill of the same name, is located here. I wrote about this company and their connection to The Acadamy Awards back in the States in a previous blog post here.  There's a funny interview with a Gmund representative who tells the story of their printing machine, affectionately called "The Old Lady", that is the oldest machine in Europe!

Also, not far from Gmund, is the Durnbach War Cemetary.   Here's a link to a photo taken of the military cemetary a year after the withdrawal by Von Lüttichau.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) created the Durnbach War Cemetary as a central war cemetary for mostly members of the Royal Air Force and a few soldiers of other military units.

But, I digress... on to the fun stuff!!!

Paradise Found

As you can see from my photos, we didn't do many touristy things.  This is because the people here (and the folks who flock to this area) make relaxation their priority.  I think it just radiates that summer vacation feeling of rest and well-being... (kind of like Fire Island, but less sandy, for the New Yorkers reading this!)  It's also a major destination for people looking for medical or holistic recuperation or rejuvenation.

Our weekend was definitely relaxing - and summer memories were being made hard core!  Swimming in the lake, playing on the playground, chasing ducks, greeting cows, grilling outside, fresh berries, dripping ice cream cones, rock throwing, and bug catching... so many things! Even a summer thunderstorm - poor Coco!

Spider Girl
El is growing up to be quite an active adventurer.  Seems she may have a bit of a rock climber in her blood.... as well as a swing rider!


I guess we can see where she gets it from!

Brings back old memories!

The lovely old wagon was a constant travel companion - and way cooler than dragging around a double stroller!  I mean, check out this set of wheels!!?


Such a summer memory - waiting in line for food (usually ice cream cones!) but who's complaining?

Next in line for fries!

Vacation Food

Ice Cream!!

Not these two girls!

New Friends

A new rag doll friend was found in the house we stayed at... very cute! I'd like to make one myself!

Down by the lake

Coco's new friend

Coolest Swan on the Lake

Not kidding - this swan was the coolest.  It swam right up to us at the dock.  Auntie Phia even let it nibble her finger.  Usually, the swans that I've met are agressive and hiss.  Once, one even tried to nip Coco in the butt!  But, this guy must be used to all the lakeside tourists... He was awesome... and huge! I've never seen one so close up!

Greeting the Girls

And, more fun meeting animals!  This small herd of cows lived across the river from us.  They were relatively young (around their teenage years) as we could tell from their running and frolicking around the field.  So cute.  And, they love to nibble on fingers, too!

Teenage Cow

All in all, it's the evenings in the summertime that feel so good... when the sun is setting and your body is tired from a day's worth of play... just after dinner, when food coma hits... when eyes get drowsy and peaceful slumber arrives... and when you remember that summer is just beginning and that there are many more weekends to come!

Endless Summer Walks

Live Action Down by the Water

Summer Napping

Tired Kids

Sunset Walks

Can't take any more

Summer Memories

Thank you, Mikel-Phia, Niki, and Alain... for making this weekend so wonderful! xoxo

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