Sunday, September 8, 2013


Yet another beautiful sunny day in Munich! 

We actually slept in this morning (well....8 a.m. is sleeping in for us!).  About 10:30 we walked over to the Hauptbahnhof and bought our tickets to the small village of Herrsching, the nearest station to Andechs Monastery.  It was a nice 45 minute ride through the pretty countryside to Herrsching , where we caught a local bus up to the monastery.  The monastery sits atop a pretty hill, overlooking the beautiful farmlands surrounding the village.

View from the train window:

A little about Andechs:
Andechs Monastery was founded in 1455, and his home to an order  Benedictine monks.  Andechs is one of the few monasteries that is totally self-supported.  They brew some amazing beer, and also have a small restaurant serving great Bavarian food and beer.  Their specialty is pork, and they raise their own pigs, feeding them hops and grains.  They also make their own cheese!  Talented and busy Monks, they are.

The bus driver let us off in the lower parking lot, and we walked up the steep path to the monastery grounds.  The path winds thru a pretty park, complete with rustic carved wooden statues.

This was my favorite-- I named it “The Drinker”!  That handsome man next to it is kinda my favorite, too!

Soon we came to a pretty guesthouse near the monastery, passed a couple of souvenir stands (there’s no escaping them!), rounded the corner and caught our first view of the Monastery and church:

First we checked out the main public building--the restaurant and biergarten.  The outdoor biergarten is on a deck overlooking the valley, and is surrounded by gorgeous big blooming flower boxes.

We found the gift shop, and took a quick look around.  Just a small little souvenir:

And Matt, it’s NOT for you!  I think it’s time I had my own shot glass!

We walked up the hill a bit further, and came to this pretty building--maybe the monk’s quarters?  No signage--so we don’t know for sure.  Anyway, I could live there--it’s just my style!

Next we came to the abbey (1712) with it’s tall bell tower. It’s a pretty building, and the bell tower is nicely decorated, but as churches go, it was pretty unassuming.  It does have some decorative painting on the tower itself:

 We walked in thru the very plain, old oak double doors,..........

and WOW, we were surprised!!  The interior was very ornate and beautiful--definitely a masterpiece of over-the-top Baroque design. 

As we were walking around the church I noticed a young man come down some stairs--so I had to check it out.  We walked up a couple of flights of stairs and found a small chapel and an interesting big model of old Town Jerusalem.  As we were leaving to walk back down into the church, I noticed another tiny set of stairs with a turnstile at the entrance. Yaaaaay-----we can climb the bell tower!  We paid our 1 Euro each and started up the narrow stairs.  

It didn’t take me too long to ask myself: “what have I gotten myself into”??  But I kept going, and each level was a little steeper and narrower.

David at level 10:

 I was so happy to see level 10 (where the bell is).  I’d made it!  I sat in a chair and rested my weary legs, admired the big bell, and looked out the windows at the pretty valley below.   The bell actually rang once on the half hour while we were there--and it scared the living daylights out of us!!

The offending bell!

About this time a couple of “climbers” came thru a different doorway, and we realized we weren’t at the top after all!  David assured me that Level 10 was good enough--but I’m pretty stubborn!  We climbed 4 more levels to the very top, and these last 4 sets of stairs were more like ladders.  I was very thankful they had sturdy wooden hand rails to hold on to!

The view was spectacular--and well worth the climb.

I made it! (yes, that's a rosy glow on my cheeks!)

The beautiful view:

On the way down the steep steep stairs ( backwards):

After another short rest it was time for the loooong climb back down.  The last 4 sets of stairs were so steep that I actually climbed down backwards!

Finally we were back on the ground--and I’ll admit my legs were a little shaky.  We’d both worked up a pretty good appetite, so we decided it was time for lunch and a couple of well deserved cold beers.

We made our way to the beirgarten, getting in line with big trays to choose our meals.  Oh, boy---talk about pork overload!  David chose the “famous” Andechs pork knuckle with sauerkraut and potato salad, and I had a nice slice of roast pork with sauerkraut and a pretzel.  Beer?  Oh, yes! Two frosty mugs of the monks delicious “Spezial Hell” and “Dopple Bock”.  I think the “Spezial Hell” beer might have been named after those stairs up the bell tower!

We chose a table in the shade with a nice view of the valley below, and we ate almost every bite of that delicious pork and sauerkraut! (We drank all the beer, too!!)  It was delicious!

Here’s our yummy lunch:

Here we are:

David enjoying his B-I-G pork knuckle:

After a quick trip back to the beer hall to buy a few bottles “to go”, it was time for the walk back down the hill to the bus stop.  We lucked out and the bus came after a very short wait.   We drove back thru the pretty village and the driver let us off right in front of the station.  We lucked out again---the Munich train was at the station, just ready to leave.  We ran to get on board, settled into our seats and really enjoyed 45 minutes of sitting down and resting our weary legs!

David checking out his Andechs beers:

Soon enough we were pulling into Munich Central station, and from there it’s just a short 2-3 blocks to our hotel.  We dropped off our heavy packages, and hit the small sidewalk cafe in front of our hotel for a big glass of iced tea!  By now it was after 5 pm, and we decided we’d walk back over to where we’d had dinner last night--there were a couple of shops I wanted to check out and we needed to find an ATM. 

The streets were really busy tonight, and as we got closer to  Marienplatz (old town square) it was mobbed--thousands of people!  Soon we realized there was some sort of sports celebration going on in the main square--with people dressed in their soccer team colors, faces painted, waving their team flags and singing loudly!  There were several stages set up, each blaring very loud music. It was a pretty crazy scene.  We noticed a big police presence, and when a riot police van drove into the square we decided it was best to NOT be there!  Everyone seemed to be good natured and having a great time, but it was a little too much for us old folks!   We cut through a side street and took another route back to our hotel, stopping at a grocery store for a few supplies.  

Dinner tonight was just a small snack of cheese, bread and an apple in our room.  After our pork overload at lunch today, we probably should have eaten celery sticks for dinner!  

Tomorrow in Munich:  Nymphenburg Palace

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm worn out just reading this post.. I would have been done in after walking to level 2!