We love going to the mountains. For my wife and me, the Austrian-Bavarian Alps are easy to reach. It is less than two hours’ drive from our Munich home.

 

Part of the fun is that you come across Alpine pastures, i.e. cattle ranches that are in operation just during summer. Some farmers even open their huts to guests, offering refreshments and accommodation. On the menu, look for such classics as Kaiserschmarrn (sugared pancake, often with raisins and almonds) or Kaspressknödelsuppe (soup with a fried, bread-and-cheese patty).

Spending time in the open countryside has become more and more popular in recent years. We use to go late in the day, thus enjoying a relative solitude on our way back. Just avoid Sundays. Trails and huts are much less crowded on Saturdays, when people are still busy with their weekly household chores.

 

A great time for taking pictures is in winter. Snow-capped peaks add to the sensation, low temperatures make for clear views. In summer, haze sets in quickly after sunrise, leaving only a small window of good visibility.