Each season has its particular beauty and one of the things I like best is to visit a favorite place in summer and in winter. It’s not often possible, but when I have the chance, I never miss it, because it’s incredible how much a different season and different change one and the same place. Like a diamond, each facette glitters and sparkles differently under winter or summer sun and even the color of the sky and clouds change the atmosphere. What is a thriving and hopping summer hot spot becomes a melancholic beauty in winter which invites to rest and contemplation.
A case in point is the Chiemsee, Bavaria’s biggest lake and the third biggest in Germany. Located at appox. 1 ½ hour’s drive from Munich, dotted with two bigger and three tiny islands, surrounded by mountains and picturesque towns and villages, the lake is picture perfect.
One of the islands is called Herreninsel and is home to King Ludwig’s last and unfinished dream castle, Herrenchiemsee, as well as being a sanctuary for..bats!!
The other is called Fraueninsel and dominated by a monastery, famous for its Schnaps and marzipan as well as a favorite location for art galleries and many craft shops. Not to forget smoked Renken, which is a fish only found in the Chiemsee and similar to trout in texture and flavor.
It’s hardly surprising, that the Chiemsee and the islands are a much visited tourist spot during the summer. The islands are reached by one of the many ferries belonging to the traditional Fessler fleet.
And in winter? I happened to visit a few weeks ago and just caught the tail end of a very cold winter. Which afforded me with a rare experience: the huge lake was frozen. It happens very rarely , because the water is 73m deep. But, there I stood at the shore, watching a few birds standing one legged on the ice, the Fessler fleet idle and the panorama bathed in a watery winter sun. In my eyes, picture perfect too. No crowds, the stark beauty of leafless trees, snow on the mountains and an atmosphere which inspired dreams.