More lakeside memories

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Following on from a recent post, I’d like to continue the lakeside theme especially as after writing about Tegernsee, and the setting of its Bräustüberl, my thoughts returned to a few other experiences of enjoying a beer, and food, at the water’s edge.


There is definitely something relaxing looking out over an expanse of water, especially when it’s a large and almost perfectly still lake.  It’s a different experience to sitting close to the sea, as apart from there being no tidal rise and fall, there are normally waves, of varying height and ferocity, breaking upon the shoreline.

Lakes too can have waves, and some of the large inland areas of fresh water, such as North America’s Great Lakes can experience quite large, storm-generated surges, on occasion. By and large though, the shoreline of a lake is a much quieter and more tranquil place than that of the sea. 

This calming effect is what appeals to me, and nowhere was this more apparent than at the small lakeside town of Herrsching, another lakeside destination in southern Germany. Herrsching is situated on the banks of the Ammersee, one of several large lakes to the south of Munich. It lies at the southern terminus of the city’s S-Bahn S8 rail line.

Matthew and I have passed through the town on several occasions, on our way to Kloster Andechs. This monastery and Bräustüberl perched on top of the Holy Mountain,  over-looking the Ammersee, needs little in the way of introduction to regular visitors to Munich, and it was on one such trip that we decided to stop off in Herrsching, on our way back.

We decided to break our journey there, because Kloster Andechs was absolutely heaving, and we fancied somewhere quieter for our lunch. So, after catching the 14.20 bus back down into Herrsching, we made our way to  Seehof;a largish restaurant over-looking the lake, with a separate self-service beer garden area complete with tables set right at the water’s edge.

As I wrote at the time, with a glass or two of Hofbräu Original, a plate each of O'bazda (a Bavarian cheese delicacy), and a ringside view of the calm and serene Ammerseeagainst the backdrop of the surrounding hills, I can think of few better places to spend a sunny afternoon. We watched the steamers coming and going from the adjoining jetty and got chatting to a lady who lived the other side of the lake, but who had cycled right round to Herrsching.

Our conversation began after she’d started reading the back of the shirt, I was wearing that day. The garment has long since gone to that great laundry room in the sky, but my Hop Back Summer Lightning T-shirt had a long list of adjectives, printed on the rear, describing, and praising the beer, and the long list of words had caught this lady’s eye.

With the T-shirt serving as an introduction, we started chatting, primarily in English because she
wanted to practice her language skills. She told us that after a glass of beer and a bite to eat, she was planning to return back by ferry with her bicycle. We had a lengthy and interesting chat, before this charming lady had to depart, but what a fantastic way to spend your day. Cycling around the shore of a beautiful and scenic lake, stopping for lunch at a beer garden over-looking its calm, still waters, and then taking the ferry home!

A couple of years later we visited Berlin. It was our first and, so far, only visit to the German capital and as well as doing plenty of sight-seeing within the city, we also took a couple of excursions out into the surrounding countryside.  One of these involved a short train ride to the south-east of Berlin, to the city’s largest lake, known as the Müggelsee.  

We visited the lakeside suburb of Kopenick, home to the recently closed Berliner Burgerbräu Brewery and It was here that we had the only tram ride of the trip, travelling from the S-Bahn station to the Bräustübel attached to the brewery. Once there, we spent a very pleasant afternoon sitting out in the sun, on the terrace of the Weisse Villa, overlooking the perfectly still waters of the Müggelsee, enjoying a couple of Burgerbräu Pilsners.It was just perfect, and totally un-expected for early March!

Finally, we cross the Atlantic and to Lake Erie, the second smallest of the Great Lakes and also the shallowest. Despite its place towards the bottom of the size rankings, Lake Erie still contains one heck of a lot of water, and from the water’s edge, looks and feels more like a sea, than a lake. In common with the other Great Lakes, it has sea-like characteristics, such as rolling waves, sustained winds, strong currents, great depths, and distant horizons.  

My sister and her family, live in a small town, which is about 20 minutes’ drive fromLake Erie. On the final morning of my last visit to the US, my sister and I stopped by the lake for a spot of breakfast. We picked up takeaway from the nearby McDonalds drive through, parked the car, and then sat on a bench, enjoying our sausage and egg McMuffins’ hash browns and coffee.

We felt like a couple of naughty school kids, tucking into our breakfast, primarily because my American brother-in-law has a real downer on the junk-food diet espoused by many of his countrymen. He’d had to go into work that morning – hence our McDonald's indulgence, but it was just the right thing on that calm and still August morning.

Lake Erie was as calm and still as the proverbial millpond, with no signs of the disturbances that sometimes trouble its waters. Yet again, a large body of calm and still water proved the perfect spot at which to sit and relax.

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