I took my son to Germany five years ago when he was twenty. Taking my kids there had long been on my bucket list. I decided that I should take them one at a time to maximize our quality time together, plus if I only took my son, it would guarantee me another trip later since I couldn’t take one without doing the same for the other. Can’t play favorites, right?
One of my son’s friends told him that if he was in the Munich area that he should go to Kloster Andechs, which is an old Benedictine monastery and brewery. We looked into it and decided to add it to our itinerary. Originally, I had planned to stay in Munich for a couple of nights, but I was having difficulty finding a reasonably priced place to stay. Then I started looking to see what was available closer to the monastery and found what seemed like a great place–the Andechserhof. It was located in the town of Herrsching and near the trail that takes you to Kloster Andechs, which sits atop the Heliger Berg (Holy Mountain). The only problem was the website didn’t have online reservations; however, after a little more looking I found the hotel on booking.com. Yay, reservations made! It wasn’t until later that we realized that the hotel where we booked our room was not the same hotel. As it turns out there are two Andechserhofs, the other one being in nearby Tutzing. Nearby as the crow flies that is, but not as the S-Bahn travels. At that point it was too late to change the reservation, so to Tutzing we went!
Tutzing is a beautiful small town on the Starnberger See and is apparently a popular vacation spot for city dwellers and the home to several German celebrities. American visitors, though, appear to be few and far between or perhaps even non-existent prior to our arrival. The hotel had a lovely Biergarten where we ate a few of our meals. Our waiter immediately recognized us as tourists and asked where we were from. When I told him that we were from the U.S. near Washington, D.C., he got very excited and asked, “But why are you here?!?”
I was too embarrassed to tell him that we didn’t mean to be there, that we had thought we made reservations at the other Andechserhof, so I lied and said that we just thought it would be a nice place to visit. That made him happy and he said he was going to tell the rest of the hotel staff that Americans from Washington, DC were visiting. When he came back later he told us he had told everyone where we were from and they all asked, “But why are they here?!?” Granted there is not a lot to see or do in Tutzing, except to enjoy the quiet and the natural beauty of the lake and the surrounding Alps. It’s a place to go to find peace and to recharge.
We did still make the trip to Kloster Andechs. We had to take the S-Bahn half way back to Munich, change trains and then travel west again to Herrsching. We had a fabulous day of hiking and enjoyed the Biergarten at the monastery and the one in Herrsching after the hike back down the mountain.
If you’re ever in the Munich area, take a day or two to explore the little towns around the Starnberger See and definitely make the pilgrimage to Kloster Andechs. The beauty of the lake and the forest leading up to the monastery, and of course, the beer are definitely worth the 40km trip.