(Recommended by PStuyvsant)

Hänslerhof
J. Schwarz
Seestraße 71
87645
Schwangau/Brunnen
Tel - 08362/8619
One single room - Two doubles (balcony - bath/toilet same floor)

(Comments by PStuyvsant) ..The weather has turned out great. Bright sun, clear skies, and cool temps. It's a perfect day. From here it is a short drive on over to Füssen/Schwangau, and my next farm accommodation at the "Hänslerhof", run by the Fam. Schwarz. The farm is located in Brunnen, and is situated right on the Forggensee about 300 yards from the camp grounds at the end of the road. It is a large dairy farm, and each day when I was up for my morning stroll I was greeted by Herr Schwarz taking his cows out to the nearby pastures to graze.



Since they didn't have e-mail or fax, and I am way beyond fooling with snail mail anymore, I had called them a couple of months earlier and had nailed down reservations for the next two nights. Frau Schwarz shows me to a comfortable EZ with balcony, and a nice mountain view, for DM28 per day including breakfast.

In short order, I am unpacked and settled in and enjoying another bier on the balcony and a sweeping view of the mountains. After charging up the camera batteries it is off for one of my favorite pasttimes in the area...the luge.. located at the bottom of the
Tegelberg. Always a winner, this course is made of polished aluminum, and after hopping on one of the sleds which then takes you to the top of the run by a chain driven pulley system, I soon find myself whizzing down the 800 meter long course, flying in the breeze, camera rolling, and praying I don't become prematurely airborne.

The lines for the cable car are rather long so that rules out a repeat visit to the top to watch the junior birdmen soar off the jump ramps. I am satisfied just to film them floating down over the luge run before coming to a gentle landing in the nearby meadow.

Back to the car for a drive over to St. Coloman church for a photo stop. Suddenly, three tour buses in column formation show up and slow down just past the church, and proceed to stop on the side of the road. Naturally this forces traffic down to one lane since the road isn't wide enough to accompany them.



I'm sitting on the bench in front of the church taking all this in and just then the bus doors open and out comes a small army of Japenese tourists, cameras at the ready, and they proceed to dodge traffic and run across the road to congregate in the middle of the cow pastures facing the castles for a photo session. Reversing the process, they all pile back on and head out as if nothing had happened. It was a hoot... ;0)

Thankful for such a beautiful day, I finally finish my smoke break and drive over toward the castles. At the circle there are the usual crowds and horse drawn buggies everywhere. The sunny weather has brought them out in droves. I then cruise on over into Füssen for a drive through and it too is crowded. The Fußgänger zone is wall to wall and I make a mental note to get here early tomorrow morning for my "Ritter run".

Finally, by late afternoon I am ready for some chow. I decide to pay another visit to the wonderful "
Gasthof Zur Post" restaurant on the main drag in Schwangau where Ben and I had delicious schnitzel dinners last year. The same waitress is there and after some chit chat she brings me a great salad and bier vom fass. In short order I am chowing down on a crunchy breaded pork chop with german potato salad and thinking I have died and gone to heaven!



Tired, stuffed, but content, I still have enough energy to make a pit stop at the Spar Market for a wine run. Back to the farm just as the sun is going down, the air is starting to chill, and I am looking forward to tomorrow's plan. It is the perfect ending to a perfect day.

After a good night's sleep I awoke to a cold,crisp, but sunny morning. According to the weather report on the radio it is currently in the 30's and I am loving it. It is 7am and breakfast isn't until 8, so I do my usual early morning ritual and head out the door to explore the neighborhood.

I appear to be the only guest up this early so I try to creep slowly down the stairs, but can't avoid the inevitable creaking sound so common in these old farmhouses. Out the front door and I am gazing at a bright morning haze hanging over the Forggensee. The lake is about 100 feet from the farm and I stroll over to film some ducks out for their morning forage.

The local farmers are cranking up their tractors and heading out to the fields for the day. The smell of freshly cut grass is overwhelming and at the same time intoxicating. I stroll down to the edge of the campgrounds at the end of the lake and see many of the campers are already up and about. Several are getting their bicycles ready for what appears to be a group ride, no doubt an all day affair.

At 8:00 sharp I stroll into the breakfast room and am greeted by the other guests already chowing down. They are all a bunch of young Germans and from bits and pieces of their conversation it appears this is their last day and they will soon be hitting the road for points South.

After a delicious breakfast, and plenty of that great coffee, I load up and hit the road into Füssen. The sky is now crystal clear with a beautiful sun shining over the castles. It's going to be a great day, and after the dreary weather in Grassau I am ready for it. The immediate plan is to make a "Ritter Run" to replenish Ben's and my stash.

I find a parking spot just off the main drag and am soon strolling the Fußgänger zone watching the businesses get set up for the day. There are only a few strollers out, but I know that in short order the place will be wall to wall once the tour buses start to arrive. At 9:00 I am entering Woolworth's and heading downstairs to the market section. I make a bee line for the candy rack and am lucky to find plenty of Ritter's up for grab. I load up with about 30 of the "Voll Nuss" at DM 1.19 each and am soon back on the street, happy to have accomplished the mission.

The rest of the day is now mine and after a quick stop for a vignette, I am soon crossing the border into Austria. In about 20 minutes I am entering Reutte and make another quick stop at the T.I. office to pick up literature on local farms. Making my way through town I am soon back on the main drag towards Lermoos.

My destination (as usual when in this area) is the 4000 foot long luge run near Biberwier. It is a perfect day for sailing down the slopes.



Pulling into the parking lot I am pleased to find only a couple of cars there so it looks like I don't have to sweat the crowds. For the price of a $5 ticket I am quickly whisked away on the chairlift to the top enjoying the crisp, cool morning air, and the absolute quietness of the surrounding forests.

There are some cows grazing on the grassy slopes directly beneath the lift, and in short order I see a brave soul flying down the course 100 feet below me who manages to get off a wave when he sees me filming his run.

At the top of the hill you hop off the chairlift and pick up one of the single person sleds next to the run. The course is constructed of some sort of concrete type material, only there is no friction to hold you back, only your skills ( or lack thereof) on the brakes. If this stuff ever gets wet it is like being on ice and for that reason the course shuts down if it is raining. Having once become airborne myself, and having to walk back down, I can attest to the fact that you have to pay attention the whole way down ;0). But all goes well this time around and after a thrilling two minute descent it is very tempting to go around again, but better to save it till next time.

There are now a few more cars in the lot and my timing has been perfect. I am soon back on the road to Reutte, but instead of going back the same way I divert over and pick up the backroad which goes along the Plansee. I always enjoy a drive through this area. The dark green waters of the lake, and the surrounding hills, make this a photo heaven.

There are bikers everywhere along the entire stretch of road enjoying the picture perfect weather. I am soon passing the former border crossing (where Ben and I once got stopped and asked to show our car rental papers, only to find they were safe and sound back at the zimmer) back into Germany not far from the entrance to Linderhof.

It is now early afternoon and I decide to swing over to Oberammergau for a look see. Although touristy, this is still one of my favorite little towns for a stopover. I guess it must be the history of the town, and all the neat painted frescoes that seem to be on almost every building. The whole town got a facelift for the 2000 Passion Play and should be good to go for a few hundred more years.

Back on the road toward Füssen, but first a bier stop at Eichelsbacher Brücke. There are a couple of tour buses there for a photo stop at the bridge and I spend a relaxing hour enjoying people watching while nursing a couple of brews before heading back to the farm to rest up.



The plan for this evening is to make the short drive back into Austria for dinner at the Zum Schluxen (formerly the Schluxenhof made famous by Mr. Rick and King Ludwig II) located in the tiny village of Unterpinswang. Ben and I had an excellent dinner here in 2000, and while a bit pricey for budget travelers, the food is certainly top notch. I stayed here back in '95 and at that time the previous owner was a vibrant figure who spoke excellent English, loved the history associated with the place, and who also let me use his computer.



I am soon chowing down on a delicious typical Austrian meal of "Tirolergrossl", a mixture of fried potatoes, topped off with chunks of ham and a fried egg. It is almost too much for one person, especially after a couple of mugs of the excellent "Mohren" bier, but I manage to polish it all off.

There is still some daylight left as I make my way back into Füssen and head over to the castles. The crowds have thinned, the carparks are nearly empty, and the locals are settling in for the night. Tomorrow it will start all over again.

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