Hiking in the Alps

One of the things I like about my my university is that they have a really cool international office: the TUMi. Among other things, TUMi organizes activities and trips to nearby cities. These activities are generally targeted at international / exchange students, with the purpose of allowing them to get to know the culture of Bavaria and Germany.

Normally I don't attend TUMi events as much as I would like. However, this time there was a Hiking trip to the Bavarian Alps. Since I arrived in Germany I have not had the opportunity of experiencing this part of the Bavarian geography during summer time. I was not really sure what to expect from the trip but I have to say that it was an amazing experience. I had the chance to enjoy the Bavaria landscapes and, at the same time, to meet really nice people.

The Soiern group of mountain from the distance.

So, the idea of the trip was to hike to the Soiernhaus, a small cottage next to the Soiernspitze, the highest peak of the the Soiern group. A group of mountains in the south of Germany. Once there, we wanted to spend the night there and the following day return, but this time by going to the top of the mountain and going down to the valley.

It might not sound that hard, but it was my first time hiking in the mountains, and therefore I did not have the appropriate equipment for such a adventure (No hiking shoes but sneakers, not good jacket, and so on). However, we all managed to get there without major problems and only with some sore muscles the day after as a result of the long walk.

A view of the Soiern group with the Soiernsee (Soiern lake)

To get there we took a train from Munich Hauptbahnhof (central station) to a station close to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. From there we headed to a nearby town called Krün, and then we started going up through the mountains. The hike was good. It had a really challenging part, due to its steepness. As most of us were not "fit", we had some breaks along the way. During one of those breaks the guide took out some speakers from his backpack and started playing some Bavarian traditional music, very suitable for the occasion I would say. It was a bit surreal walking up the mountains and at the same time listening to this type of music. To give you an idea of the overall route, below you can see the GPS data of the first day.

After arriving to the cottage we could finally have some rest. Some of us went to the lake but sadly it started raining almost immediately and we quickly rushed back. After the rain stopped we had the chance of watching beautiful sunset. We spent the evening inside cottage having some bier and eating some traditional food. We had funny talk about how to say "Spooning" in different languages (it looks like there's not word for that in Bulgarian) and we played some cards. Some people went to bed quite early but others, like me, stayed a little bit late enjoying the conversation.

View from the Soiernspitze

The next day some of our group decided to go a do a morning hike to a nearby peak. I was too tired and I decided to sleep a bit more (yeah, yeah, I am lazyass). Around 8:00 AM we had breakfast and we started to walk again. The locidea was to cross the main mountain (we went around the first day) and go down through the valley in order to reach Mittenwald, where we would take the train back to Munich.

Hiking/Climbing the Soiernspitze

This was pretty tough. The path, although easy too find, was hard and steep. It had also many snow patches of snow making it slippery. That is not good at all when you high on a mountain walking on a narrow path. I can say I felt scared at times, because I was not wearing good equipment. Luckily, nothing happened at then end and we could enjoy the great view from the top of the Soiernspitze while having fun going down the mountain. By the end of the day though, we were exhausted and we were only looking forward to catch the train. Below the GPS data for the second day.

This was a really unique experience for me. I did not know how popular the Hiking paths of the south of Bavaria were and that hiking was such a popular activity among Germans. I fell in love with the Bavarian landscapes and the imposing mountains of the Bavarian Alps. I would like to thank the TUMi crew for such a great opportunity and all the group of "TUMis" for being such a great bunch of people to hike with. Now I am just thinking when and where my next hike is going to be. I am really looking forward to going south again and exploring another part of the beautiful Bavarian Alps geography.


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