We always like going to Berlin. It’s one of the cities that keeps inventing itself, be a world in its own. People usually have very different opinions of Berlin based on their experiences or which part of the city they live in. Like most metropole, it has its flaws and a few darker sides but once you’ve managed to look pass them, you’d keep coming back for more, like we do.
I lived here for 3 months when I first arrived in Germany and I had the best of time. When we first started dating, J kind of had half a job in the city so I accompanied him pretty often when he came here for business. At some stage it became such a rituals for us to come here before Christmas, we don’t really know why. However we never took much fotos just like you never do of your own home, because it’s so familiar that you don’t have the need to capture it in pictures.
Fortunately for us this time, our friend Nicolas (who’s a half Berliner himself) has introduced us to such a cool place, the Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg which is most famous for its street food Thursday event. Needless to say, we needed to check it out.
After spending the weekend in just out-door clothes and bathing suits in Eibsee, we got to play dress up for the classical music festival taking place every summer at one of the palaces of the infamous King Ludwig II in Herrenchiemsee (he built 4 or 5 of them during his lifetime leaving Bavaria almost bankrupted, the folks “hated” him back then, but everyone really adores him now, they call them the fairy-tale King). This palace is an impressive building but some rooms never got finished. The concert took place in the big “Spiegelsaal” (mirror hall), a replica of a similar – but much bigger – mirror hall of the Versailles palace. Even the garden is kind of a miniature of Versailles, but far smaller. Chiemsee is one of the most popular lakes in all Bavaria, we like visiting here on occasions, we will even celebrate our wedding here next year. But if you’ve already seen Versailles, this place will only disappoint. You’d better spend your time on the water instead.
Anyway, it was a mid-summer afternoon, about 30+ degrees Celsius. Imagine us in dress & suit. Yeah, now you got the picture. But I like it anyway. I like all these occasions where we get to really dress up and go out together, even all those business dinners where he got to take his plus one with. Going out just seems more fun on the right occasion, no? It’s maybe because our place is sooo comfortable and he can hardly get me out of the house without giving me a very good reason for it ;-).
On our hunt for the right location for next September, i.e. one by the water with the mountain in sight ( I know I sometimes ask a lot of him 😉 ), we found this place in Eibsee. It is indeed a stunning place with an interesting history. The great-grandfather of the current owners bought the lake and the land around in the early 20th century. He built the hotel and established a transport service to Murnau, the closest village with a train station at this time. Until then the lake was only visited by some local fishermen and not at all popular. That guy obviously had strategic visions about starting the whole tourist business in the Zugspitze and Garmisch-Partenkirchen region. During WWII, The Nazis confiscated the hotel and its land to use as an air force training center. After 1945, the Americans took it over so the owner-family did not receive it back until the Seventies. They then put it into the state in which it is today, which is kind of a problem. The view of the lake and the mountains is magnificent, but the condition of the rooms has not changed much since the 70s, which is a real shame for what this lake has to offer. Besides, the hotel management makes no effort at all to make you feel like they will try their best to make your special day memorable. We kept on looking then.
Still, this place still has the most astonishing view of all hotels we know in Bavaria, being the one and only operator allowed in the whole area. Being a Monopolist isn’t so bad, no?