We had 2 nights at the end of the Romantic Road to see the king’s castles and town of Füssen (Germany Austria May 2018: The castle at the end of the Romantic Road). We’d booked an apartment in Füssen itself, but my best friend Archana’s stunning lakeside pictures of Austria tempted me to find a lake to stay on. That’s how I found Hopfen am see, 5km from Füssen and booked a hotel right at the waterfront and had the most beautiful and serene stay of our trip.
We were glad to reach the end of the Romantic Road drive as the hubby had injured his shoulder badly and needed rest. So naturally the glimmer of the lake as it came into view was more reassuring than alluring.
Had I been younger, I would have kicked off my shoes and dived right in. Sadly, age and prudence have taken away the fun side of me.
We drove by the pretty houses on the hills to reach a road just parallel to the lake, amazed by the numbers of people and cars. “Maybe because it’s a warm and sunny day,” I reasoned.
We had chosen to stay at the waterfront hotel Geiger. A small family owned hotel, this was a brilliant find, mainly for the location and the food.
We’d taken a lake facing room, which was simply decorated, but outstanding for the balcony that looked straight out to the lake with the Bavarian Alps just behind.
We could have sat and stared out of the balcony for ages, but the lake and the mountains called out to us and we set of on an evening stroll. It was very sunny but a pleasant breeze was blowing from the lake. Hotels and apartments lined the road, all facing the lake, pretty wooden chalet type hotels. The mountains were right behind the lake, looming tall with snow all over them.
Kids were playing with their parents. Mothers were pushing strollers, fathers were throwing balls to their kids, couples were holding hands and walking. It was Saturday, family day out. And I was lucky to be here with mine.
I was thrilled to see boats of different types on the lake, but we were too late to go boating ourselves, everything had started winding up.
So we just walked on and noticed that spring had certainly arrived in Hopfen am see!
And love was in the air!
The kid merrily hopped about on platforms on the lake and gardens alike, surrounded by her favorite dandelions.
The sun was setting now and we turned to see it light up the entire town. No wonder Hopfen am see is called the Riviera of the Allgau.
We walked back to our hotel, when I suddenly remembered that we needed to stock up on milk and fruits. Thus began the hunt for a supermarket, that led us all the way past the town to the Hopfen camping grounds. The supermarket was closed, but we got a great walk about the camp grounds.
The path wound up very close to the water’s edge and we stood there for long, enjoying the view.
A place like this is essential on a trip, where life seems to slow down and you can forget all your cares and feel a great sense of calm.
What a wonderful place to shoot into the sun.
We returned to our hotel to retire early as we had an early start to the next day to visit Neuschwanstein castle. We were up earlier than the alarm because of the sunlight pouring in through the window. I rushed out to see a totally still lake with a gorgeous reflection of the mountains.
The morning rays just shone off the mountain tops. A cool breeze ruffled my hair as I stood in the balcony. How I wished that I’d booked a later time for the Neuschwanstein castle and gone instead for a walk along the lake now. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ll go tomorrow morning instead, when there is no rush at all.” As we drove past the lake to see the castles, all the surroundings just reflected off the still waters.
We came back in the early evening, when the kid and the hubby rested in the room and I set off on a solo walk around the lake. Coldplay was my companion on this outstanding walk. I walked right at the water’s edge for as long as possible then followed the path to wherever it led. As I crossed the last house to be seen for a long time, the path ran parallel to the lake where it was lined by reeds.
Ducks swam near the edge, quacking gently. There was complete silence. The only people there were a few cyclists that crossed intermittently. Otherwise I was alone. I crossed a little bridge over a small stream and pondered over the path ahead.
I felt like a buoy in the water, bobbing up and down, letting the waves wash over it, but not drowning by them. I felt the world shut itself out and leave me alone. There was just me and nature.
Ok, and Coldplay too. I was keen on walking the entire perimeter but it seemed a huge way around and I was already tired. so, I headed back, this time, climbing up among the apartments for an elevated view.
What a gorgeous place to stay in! All these apartments faced the lake and had outstanding lawns with flowers and armchairs and a view to match.
The gardens were filled with spring flowers and tulips grew here and there. Hopfen am see had totally stolen my heart.
After walking for more than 2 hours, I finally reached back to the hotel, flushed with joy. I came back with a dancing heart and a lot of springs to my steps. I felt refreshed, calmed, pacified, but most of all repaired. This was what I’d needed. The best 2 hours of the trip.
The next morning was our last one at Hopfen am see. I woke up early to walk along the lake one last time and to capture the mirror reflections I’d loved the previous day. I stepped out into the balcony with my coffee and my heart sank. This day was a totally cloudy day, completely overcast. Strong winds were blowing and there were ripples all over the surface of the lake. I was shocked. Even as I watched, it started raining.
There was no point heading out now. It was as though the weather was mirroring how I felt leaving this lovely town. I simply packed up and waited for the others to awaken.
But Hopfen am see was determined to give us a beautiful farewell. By the time we checked out, the weatherman blew off the black clouds and sent on bright white ones instead. As we got into the car, the sun was out, the sky a brilliant shade of blue and the lake, calm once more, mirroring the deep blue of the sky. The fluffy white clouds clung to the middle of the mountains and the snow on the mountain peaks gleamed in all their glory.
Bye lake Hopfensee, thanks for the healing.
P.S. A lot of these pictures have been shot by the kid, on the slr and the cellphone. Very impressive indeed!