(Recommended by PStuyvsant)

Stefan and Inge Gasteiger
Fetznweg 16
Grassau im Chiemgau
Tel - 8641/699770 ~ Fax - 8641/1809
Email -
Zimmers - Apartments - Camping area - Hay beds available in barn
Bath/shower, TV, Radio, Refrigerator, Balcony, Sauna
Pony and donkey rides possible, bicycles available to guests

...I am soon approaching the South end of Lake Chiemsee where I get off the Autobahn and take the backroads toward my stop for the next two days, the little village of Grassau. My accommodations are at the Bauernhof "Fetznhof", located in a quiet location on the outskirts of town. It is a large dairy farm run by the Familie Gasteiger. I had made reservations by e-mail several months ago and upon arrival am glad to see they are expecting me.

It is a typical old Bavarian style farm with that weather-aged look, a small brook running next to the house, and surprisingly about 200 bicycles parked in neat rows which I thought odd at the time, but would soon quickly find out their signifigance. I had asked for a room with balcony and am given a very nice large DZ overlooking the pastures, complete with a genuine loft bed, facilities in the room, color TV. So far so good.

After settling in and kicking back on the balcony with a couple of brews, I am just getting into the swing of things when it starts to rain again. Nevertheless, my plans are in motion and I am soon heading out the backroads toward Unterwössen and then over to Reit im Winkl. Despite the weather the countryside is beautiful and dotted with lots of old farms just begging for some tourist to show up. The crowds in Reit im Winkl are sparse, and after parking in a nearby lot I spend the next hour strolling around, and finally end up at the local Movenpick enjoying a delicious bowl of Goulaschsuppe and Weininger bier to ward off the chill in the air.

By mid-afternoon it looks like the rain is here to stay. Visit complete, I am once again on the backroads enjoying the great mountain views and rolling countryside. Berchtesgaden is about an hour away but I am saving that for tomorrow, so the rest of the day I spend snooping around the numerous little villages with their decorative Maypoles that are scattered throughout the valley.

Around 6 p.m. I am rolling back into Grassau and spot an open Spar market. Seems like a good time to pick up some "essential supplies" for the cold evening ahead. I've got a radio, PatBee's book (which I am deeply engrossed in by now), some smokes, some wine and sausage and the sound of the rain beating on the roof. It seems the logical thing to do at this point is to take a few sips to ward off the cold.

It was late before I could really drop off to sleep. Suddenly, I was awakened by what sounded like someone throwing rocks onto the roof and balcony. Thinking I had only been dozing a few minutes I glanced over at the clock certain that it must be the middle of the night, and was surprised to see it was 6 a.m.! What is it with these short nights??

Opening the door to the balcony to see what all the commotion is about I am smacked in the kisser by a bitterly cold blowing rain. This is no drizzle...it's more like a genuine Texas downpour complete with a lightning show. The room has gotten quite cold during the night and I manage to fumble around and get the radiator going. After that it is back under the covers until a more decent hour comes around.

After some more fitful dozing it is soon 8:00, and I may as well get going. It is still raining, and around 9:00 I venture down and am soon munching on some rolls and coldcuts, and gulping down coffee like it's going out of style. According to the Frau, the weather report for today is rain all day. Great!

With camera and backpack in hand I am out the door and soon heading back towards Reit im Winkl to pick up the B305 over to Berchtesgaden. I pity the poor tourists who were probably looking forward to a boat ride on the lake, or a visit up to Eagle's Nest today. The low hanging clouds obscure the top of Kiehlstein and I didn't even bother checking out the boats.

Cruising over to the saltmines I am surprised to see very long lines standing patiently in the rain to get in. At least they will get their money's worth. Back into town, I park in a small lot at the top of the hill overlooking the Bahnhof below, and the dark green waters of the river running through town.

Strolling down the main drag I manage to cover most of the town within an hour, and after picking up some postcards I end up at my favorite imbiss ordering up a roast chicken with pommes and a bier. A perfect meal on a day like this.

By mid-afternoon I have seen what I came to see and am soon back on the B305. The plan is to head up towards Inzell and pick up the A8 back along Chiemsee to Grassau. But first, a quick photo stop at the church in Ramsau. Crossing the little wooden bridge I manage to click off a couple of shots and then it is back to the comfort of the car heater.

The rain has started to lighten up a bit and the drive back is a whole lot better visibilitywise than it was coming in. I am back in Grassau around 5:00 and stop off at the T.I. office to pick up any literature they may have on farms in and around this area for use on future trips. I also hit the Spar Market to pick up a couple of Lowenbraus and some cheese and sausage for the inevitable midnight snack and head back to the farm.

As this is my last day in the area I get the packing out of the way, and had just settled down on the balcony with a brew and my notebook, when all of a sudden the whole area erupts in, of all things, air raid sirens! Geez....did George drop the Big one or what? I haven't heard these things since I was a kid and they used to do those Saturday afternoon drills which got everybody all excited as to whether it was the real deal or not.

The clamor lasts a good half-hour and the droning finally winds down and stops as quickly as it started. Since I didn't see anyone running for cover, I figured it was a good enough reason to finish off the rest of the biers and considered it an added attraction to have experienced something like this out in the middle of nowhere.

Oh well...the weather was lousy but tomorrow is another day, and I am heading toward one of my favorite areas of the trip... Füssen and castle country. Hopefully it can only get better from here.

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