Change of plan – mixed economy holiday

We were planning something similar to what we did a couple of years’ ago – Danube, Altmühltal, Taubertal and Maintal. In the end, we decided to mix cycling and walking. From our base in Munich we are tackling a few Alpine climbs and cycle-route classics. First up for walking, a circular walk featuring a peak called Bodenschneid (1668m). We are using the Hikeline Wanderführer (authored by Katharina Spannraft) as our guide (left). I sense that Ms Spannraft thinks that the German Alps are a bit tame. They are far from that.

We took the train to Fischausen-Neuhaus from Munich. It takes about one hour from Hauptbahnhof. The signage is very good – yellow signs with particular routes captured by coloured dots (right). Navigation, then, is not so difficult; though in bad weather, one would need to be very attentive as some additional green signs are, by definition, not so easy to see.

The first part from Neuhaus to Bodenschneidhaus (a welcome Alm eating house) is pretty simple – though the gradient is not trivial. The path is well defined and and made of stable gravel. However, from thereon, if the plan is to go to the summit, the path becomes less well defined and variously slippery, steep and ambiguous. At times of heavy rain, I suspect it becomes a river (left). At one point, the path is made up exclusively of exposed tree roots.

At the peak, of course, there is the obligatory cross. Bodenschneid’s is pretty impressive. And modern (right). As are the views (the sun thwarted my attempts at a good summit photo).

The signs to the tantalising Untere and Obere Firstalms were there at the summit. The route down is precarious and a stick is a major help as well as appropriate footwear.

We stopped at the Obere Firstalm – and we are glad that we did. Not only was the food ridiculously fine and generous (we had a vegan stuffed pepper), but necessary to complete the walk despite earlier sandwiches.

The route back starts with a steep track cut into the side of the hill. For about 50m one joins the road but very quickly goes left into the forest in the direction of Josefsthal. The forest is dense, but one is rewarded by a waterfall (right). The walk through Josefthal is dull. We missed the train by 6 minutes. They are hourly. There are no pubs – though there is a restaurant just to the South that seemed pretty busy when we passed.

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