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Today it is raining and therefore a perfect day to test my conviction that the Alps can cheer you up on even the most dismal of days – you just need to get off your butt, go outside and open your eyes.
I decided to visit a lake which quite frankly I had never heard of before; this is how most of my sightseeing trips start off. Those of us who have lived in this region are very familiar with lakes like the Chiemsee and the Tegernsee. Both are beautiful locations but because of their close proximity to the A8 Autobahn which connects Munich with Salzburg they are very popular with city dwellers and can get very crowded. They are also therefore rather commercialised and just finding a parking space can be a challenge. Although you can see the alps in the distance the immediate countryside around these lakes is rather flat so if, like me, you have a mountain fetish they can be a bit frustrating.
So on this rainy day I headed down the Deutsche Alpen Straße (B 307) in the direction of the Achensee. From my alpine hideaway in Bad Feilnbach this route took me past the Schliersee and then the Tegernsee. So before I had reached my ultimate destination I had already had a chance to see two very scenic lakes and, since the (kind) rain had kept most of the tourists indoors, the roads were relatively free. As the photographs in this blog will show the rain did not prevent me from enjoying some fantastic mountain views.
In fact the clouds, together with the mountains, can often help to create some very dramatic images like the one below. As all of my photographs are in high-definition you can get a much more detailed version by clicking your mouse over the picture. In particular this will help to bring the wider panoramic landscape pictures to life.
One of the things that impressed me most about the Achensee is that it is surrounded on all sides by incredible mountain scenery. It sits in the Achental valley which divides the Brandenberg Alps to the east from the Karwendel mountain range in the west.
Sometimes lakes in this region have waterfront properties which go right to the shore-line preventing visitors from walking round the lake. This is not the case with the Achensee which has very pleasant made-up walking paths around its perimeter. Clearly on a rainy day it is advisable to bring an umberella. Because this is the largest lake in the Tyrol a stroll around the edge can be something of a challenge; the lake is 1 km wide and 9.4 km long!
Wherever you go along the side of the lake you will be able to enjoy splendid alpine views like the ones in the photos below.
On the north side of the lake there are sporting facilities. These include a swimming area with a huge wooden platform. The water of the lake is almost of drinking quality and it is so clear you can see down to a depth of up to 10 metres. There are many sailing activities on the lake due to its large size and the winds created along the valley. It is therefore very popular with windsurfers.
Among the sporting facilities there are also beach volley-ball courts which thanks to this rainy day did not challenge my blood pressure with a preponderance of lightly clad volley-ballettes (today the only naked surface in view was that of the volley-ball court itself!).
The mountain scenes at the beginning of the blog were taken from the South side of the lake. Moving 10 kilometers to the North I took the photographs here and those below which show a totally different alpine perspective.
If you are interested in reading about, and seeing photographs of other scenic ‘secrets’ from the alpine region please take a look at some of my other blog entries. These can be found using the links below:
here (Spitzingsee or Spitzing Lake in the Bavarian Alps)
here (Bavarian Schwarzenberg or the Black Mountain in the Voralpen region)
here (Thiersee or Lake Thier in the Austrian Tyrol), and
here (Bayrischzell: a Bavarian village with an impressive background)
Here’s looking forward to the next rainy day!