Ollie, bassplayer, our local guide, took us out on the S-Bahn today on our first full day off, toward the south-east and the Munich lakes district. ‘There are five,’ he told us, ‘the smallest lake is number one, the largest is number five…there is my local lake and some people walk around it clockwise and some anti-clockwise…you can only walk one way though, if you walk that way you just don’t walk the other way’…….mmm, sounds serious!
At the first lake we came across, Horace our tenor player surprised us all by stripping off, running past us on the jetty and diving straight in for a long swim. He said he was gonna do it, and did so straightaway. It wasn’t exactly the warmest of days either. One thing I do love about the Brits is their stoic attitude to the elements, making the absolute best of their time outdoors, whether it be by the ‘seaside’ (that is, where the land meets the sea, not necessarily the beach, which is most often the case) or out in the open fields, or indeed at any place at any time of year on that weather-tortured isle.
Herrschinge was the end of the line, yet another cute moneyed-up village, where it was an hour’s walk uphill through the forest (‘Stand By Me’ vibe) to a monastery at the top. A magnificent church with all the Baroque trappings, and via the tourist store, a beer garden with the local ale brewed by the monks (holy water perhaps?) accompanied by the best of Bavarian cuisine – pork knuckle, sauerkraut, potato salad, and the biggest steins imaginable. Back over the fence the magnificent views of a countryside so picture perfect I wondered if I hopped over the fence and walked ten metres that I might be touching it as a painting, a la end of ‘The Truman Show’.
And of course we’re late for one of the hourly trains back home, so there’s nothing for it but a short stroll down to one of the local gardens by a lake for some more steins and ample digital photography of an immaculate sunset...