Visiting beer gardens in the city was definitely high on my list when visiting Munich, but an experience like Kloster Andechs was what I was really looking forward to. We woke up Monday to blue skies, fluffy white clouds. We caught the S-Bahn out of the city to a town called Herrsching on the lake Ammersee. (Or should that just be Ammer?)

There was a river that joined the lake at Herrsching. We followed it in the opposite direction, through gorgeous Bavarian forests up into the hills. It was a four kilometre hike through the trees to the peak of one of the hills, the location of Andechs.

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The Kloster is a centuries old settlement, first established over a thousand years ago and most recently converted into a monastery in 1455. Sometime shortly after the abbey was built the monks started on the piggery, the brewery and the beer garden.
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It was sunny and warm on the long, wooden tables of the Andechs beer garden. I worked out self-service without any troubles. I ordered a litre of the special Dunkel, my day's pretzel, and half a Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle). All local. A sausage and fries were thrown in, all up less than 20 Euro. I was happy.
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After lunch we climbed to the top of the bell tower. It was a climb not made for tall people. The extra-strength beer helped convert the risk of head-smashing and falling into a thrill. From the top of the tower were panoramic views of the green countryside.
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I wanted to thank the monks for making such delicious beer. I never saw any of them. Regardless, the day was kind of spiritual.


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