Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
Königssee’s reputation precedes itself. A massive, Alpine lake virtually untouched by humans. Sign us up. Obersee was a much smaller, remote lake. So it took a boat ride and a hike to get there. Again, we’re game.
I want to say we loved our Königssee boat ride. I really do. It hit everything on our checklist:
- Stunning scenery
- Trumpet music as we floated through the fjord-like mountain walls (seriously)
- Turquoise, clear water
- And crisp, refreshing early morning mountain air (yes, seriously)
But we had a tired toddler on our hands. And well, that’s the end of that. She wanted to run and make loud noises – she wanted to be a toddler. Normally, that’s what we do. Trouble here, everyone was sitting quietly listening to the guide tell stories in German. And we faced the “how do we navigate everyone else’s social graces?” challenge. Reasoning is usually – and surprisingly – effective, but being tired changes that entirely. One limp body, lots of stares and fifteen painfully slow minutes later, we were finally off of the boat.
What I love about traveling – and what I love about being a mom to a toddler – is that the unpleasant moments are always fleeting. There is always a smile, a joyous moment or – in the case of Obersee – a stunning backdrop to make you forget that timing is everything. (Pre-parenthood, my cure was always a good meal. Am I evolving here or what?) Thank god for our carrier, our ability to nurse in it, and a quiet morning walk through what my sister called the Shire from the Lord of the Rings. Within five minutes, she was fast asleep. No amount of cow bells would wake her. So off we set toward our picnic lunch destination: the remote Obersee.
Hiking, even mild hiking with a child in a carrier, is like being pregnant all over again. I heave-hiked my way through this gorgeous landscape, not minding for a single moment that I was struggling or falling behind my husband and sister. All I was looking at were the beautiful woods + waterfalls. And to top it off, my daughter was calmly sleeping against my chest. I took in this moment and couldn’t wait for her to experience it with me.
We stopped at an opening for our picnic lunch. It was another one of Germany’s amazing private, picnic lunch spots. (And I thought nothing could top our Eiffel Tower picnic. France, meet Germany.) We ate and then she woke, bright eyed and bushy tailed, as though the boat ride never happened. Ah, the power of a nap!
That afternoon, we lazed about teaching her how to skip rocks or when it was enough of that, how to clunk rocks into the water. It was (mostly) private and it was (purely) idyllic. I remembered from traveling in Thailand, the more challenging it was to get to a place, the more it truly felt like your own paradise. I think it will be a little while before we get this off-the-grid again. Although maybe not if the timing seems right. But there we were, and it was simply wonderful.
Now, for that boat ride back…luckily, ice cream is the cure for everything in the Alps.