A bright sunny weekend was ahead, the lock-down restrictions were eased in Germany and summer was at its peak- all these made it difficult to keep oneself restricted to home! So my husband Paresh and I along with kids planned a day trip place to Garmisch Partenkirchen, beautiful twin cities in Bavaria. But the night before we happened to read a piece of news about landslide there, so we had to plan another destination at the last minute. On the suggestions of some friends here we decided to visit Kochel, which is about 60-70 km, south of Munich. Kochel is located on foothills of Alps. It is also known for its two breath-taking scenic lakes, Kochelsee & Walchensee and also for it’s hiking trails.
We travelled to Kochel by the Bayern train (regional train of Bavaria) from Munich’s Central station. Instead of going on Saturday or Sunday, we opted for a less crowded Friday. The train took us to Kochel in exact 1.10 mins. You can also reach there by your private transport in less than an hour. After reaching Kochel we boarded a bus which took us to the base of the mountain Herzogstand. A cable car took us at the foothill of the range.
Hiking to the Peak of Herzogstand
Herzogstand is 1730 m above sea level at the foothills of Bavarian Alps. If you start hiking from the beginning of the mountain trails you may take about 4-6 hours depending on your speed. We opted for the Cable car which is also called as Herzogstandbahn. The Cable Car ride gave us a picturesque view of Walchen Lake and the mountain ranges behind it.
After the memorable ride by cable car, we reached the foothill of the ranges. There are trails around the destination stop of Bahn. There is also a restaurant with a beautiful view of the Lake. As we went with the kids we were apprehensive about attempting trek, but kids looked excited so we endeavoured hiking.
When the actual trek began it was not easy especially for kids but certainly it is was achievable. We trekked to the main peak of Herzogstand and it took us 45 min to reach the top. If you are an expert in hiking /trekking you might cover the distance faster. There are about 3-4 different peaks and if you are a pro you can cover all. As we reached the top of the peak the view was as expected spectacular, certainly worth all the effort. One could view both the lakes from the top of the peak. My sons trekked well which made me a proud mommy! On the way, many of the trekkers were looking at Aarya, my younger son who is just 4 years old, with a lot of admiration and fondness. Without children complaining or cribbing , we reached the peak of the mountain which felt like a reward for me and my husband.
You get to see the marvellous views of the lakes of Kochel and Walchen and the mountain ranges. I am sure these mountain ranges must be covered by snow peaks in the Winter. I tried to capture the beauty of that place in my eyes and the lenses of my camera. The weather was sunny but still, the breeze was cool and pleasant. Relaxing there for half an hour we were on our way back to the base. The beauty of the place had truly mesmerized me.
As we completed our trek in just two hours we still had ample time to explore the city of two lakes, Kochel. Herzogstand lies in between the two lakes. So after having an aerial view of the lakes I was keen on having a closer look at it. Walchensee has crystal clear water and is therefore known for divers. Sailing and windsurfing are popular here and so is pedal boating. This lake is 190 m deep and has an area of 16.9 sq.km. The woods, the meadows, and the highway surround the lake. If you love bicycle riding this is a perfect place for you. You can carry your cycle with you even on the train. There are many restaurants too on the banks of the lake which give you delicious food, drinks and a magnificent view of the lake. We too had some delicious pizza and Ice-coffee to beat the heat. Thereafter on our way back to Kochel station, we stopped at Kochelsee to enjoy the lake.
Kochel Lake and Walchen Lake are adjacent to each other. On a sunny weekend, you would find a public gathering in huge numbers there for relaxing, swimming and sunbathing. Its area is about 6 sq. km. and depth is about 66m, with a circumference of 15 km. The banks of the lake are good for cycling and walking/jogging. There are scenic cafes and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the views of Lake. When we reached the Lake it was almost 4 pm and the weekend had already begun. The banks of the lake were flooded with people all around the lake. We had a short walk along the lakeside and left soon after to the Kochel station for catching the next train to Munich.
What a beautiful day spent!! I thought kids would be tired and sleepy in the train, however, they proved me wrong!😉 As a parent, any trip is only fruitful if kids enjoy it, and this trip wasn’t fruitful but it was extremely sweet! As we took back some magnificent and pleasing images of the mountains, valleys and the cool blue water spread across a large area, I felt content and peaceful within! Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour through my eyes!