Alpine Valley, Bavaria

Posted on 22 July 2013

Alpine Valley, Bavaria

Alpine Valley, Bavaria

Alpine Valley, Bavaria. Near Königssee, Germany. July 18, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

Sun dappled alpine scenery in the Bavarian Alps above Königssee, Germany

We have been traveling. After a week in London, we spent two weeks in Germany, one of which was in the Königssee area of Bavaria, Germany, where we stayed in an old farm-house. I’ll have more to say about this trip as I post more photographs over the coming days and weeks, both landscape and distinctly urban photographs. But for now, something from the Bavarian Alps.

As some of you know, I’m a long-time “Sierra Nevada guy,” who is very accustomed to hiking long distances in somewhat undeveloped areas in order to do photography. The landscape here is no less spectacular, but the experience is in many ways quite different. Take this day’s hike for example… It began with a ride on the Jennerbahn (ski lift) up to a point high up in the mountains, with scenery that reminded me in some ways of parts of “my” Sierra, but even more of some places I have visited in the Pacific Northwest. From there we hiked downhill for a kilometers, first across the top of a high ridge and then dropping down into a beautiful alpine Valley – complete with the Mahlerian sound of a chorus of cowbells. Halfway down we stopped for (fellow Sierrans, eat your heart out!) a lunch of bier und käsebrot before continuing on down to where we began at the base of the lift. The light in this part of Bavaria, at least during our visit, was very different from the clarity that I often seen in the Sierra – here the atmosphere was often thick with moisture, creating a soft quality. On this day, this was enhanced to a gradual build-up of thunderclouds that led to a spectacular evening lightning show, which we enjoyed outdoors at a picnic table back at our lodgings.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.


6 comments to Alpine Valley, Bavaria

  • Interesting contrast between the verdant foreground and the barren blue of the mountains in the distance. Including the farmhouse really helps set the context as it contrasts with your main stomping grounds. This place has a more “civilized” feel compared to the High Sierra

    • Thanks for the comments, Jerry. My natural instinct is to contrive to not include man-made structures in such scenes, and I caught myself doing that here. But I only had to think about it for a moment to realize that the human element is most certainly an element of this landscape. (Plus, it made a wonderful “anchor” point in the lower left of the frame! :-)j

      About that “barren blue…” The atmosphere here, at least during our week-long visit, had a distinctive quality that was much different from what I am used to in the relatively dry areas of the western United States, mostly in California and the Southwest. Here in Bavaria there was none of the brilliant clarity of the light from these other places, and instead the light and the atmosphere almost always had a soft and diffused quality. At first I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it, being used to much more crystalline light, but before long I began to “see” this light and enjoy it quite a bit.

      Dan

      • We’re dry in Tucson too, but we have a lot of haze from various sources (pollution, dust) =:o) The view from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, which we visited back in March, even though it’s not right next to a major population center has a haze obscuring it like a dirty gauze… =:o(

  • Nice Dan !! Your experience sounds similar to what I remember of Switzerland.

  • It looks a bit like the Sierra in this photograph, but as Jerry said, the house in the foreground helps to establish the context and good counterpoint to your Sierra images.

    • Thanks, David. By the time we got go this spot in the alps (following a bit more than a week and a half in London and then Heidelberg – both wonderful!) I was very excited to see the closest thing to my Sierra Nevada in the context of these mountains of the Bavarian Alps. We stayed in a large farmhouse – with a group of extended family members – that had a view of Der Watzmann, the highest peak in the area, along with other peaks and ridges. The day after arrived we took the very civilized boat ride up the Königssee to the equally civilized cluster of lawns and restaurants near the landing… and then hiked up the Die Eisenkapelle (“Ice Chapel?” or perhaps “Ice Cathedral?”) area where I was able to leave the trail and walk across rocky country and feel a frigid wind coming down from above, momentarily reminding me of the high country experience.

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