Chiemsee: The best laid plans …

Marjorie Appelman

			
				                                The likeness of King Ludwig II graces the shore of Chiemsee, the largest lake in Bavaria. Ludwig built one of his three castles, this one modeled after Louis XIV’s Versailles, on the largest island on the lake.

The likeness of King Ludwig II graces the shore of Chiemsee, the largest lake in Bavaria. Ludwig built one of his three castles, this one modeled after Louis XIV’s Versailles, on the largest island on the lake.

<p>Food and drink options are available near Chiemsee.</p>

Food and drink options are available near Chiemsee.

<p>Walkways to the water offer playgrounds for the young and benches for others who just want to relax near Chiemsee.</p>

Walkways to the water offer playgrounds for the young and benches for others who just want to relax near Chiemsee.

<p>Renting a boat on Chiemsee provides one way visitors can explore the lake.</p>

Renting a boat on Chiemsee provides one way visitors can explore the lake.

<p>Sailing on Chiemsee is a popular activity.</p>

Sailing on Chiemsee is a popular activity.

Polishing off their breakfasts and lingering over their morning coffees, patrons sat scattered about the tables at the outdoor cafe. Individuals emerged from their respective lodgings and stirred along the waterfront. The July air was crisp underneath the overcast sky.

My husband and I had just arrived at the lakefront town on Chiemsee, the largest lake in the Bavarian state of Germany, and parked in the public lot.

Already out on the water, several sailboats drifted across the surface. At the ticket booth that doubled as a souvenir shop, several people purchased tickets and casually boarded the ferry destined for the largest island on the lake and to a castle built by King Ludwig II.

But we would not be immersing ourselves in that setting that particular day. Just passing through. Absorbing what we could while we were there. Leaving the rest up to our imaginations.

No doubt the boats that lined the shore would soon be out on the water. Perhaps throughout the day, more swimmers would join the couple already logging laps near the break wall. Families and friends, alike, would be kicking about the waves of the massive lake. Playing on the playground.

As we explored the sidewalks and docks along the shore, the ferry pulled away and headed toward the island we would not be visiting. In fact, we had not planned a stop in this particular location in the first place.

Earlier that morning, we left Munich for Salzburg, Austria. Using our phone GPS, we attempted to reach another location on the lake. There, as was our plan, we would spend some time breaking up the day’s trip.

For some inexplicable reason, though, we struggled to reach our desired destination. Our GPS constantly commanded us to “return to the route.” And the blue dot flashed aimlessly across the screen. This happens sometimes.

Ultimately, we just ended up “rounding it up,” following turn-by-turn instructions based on the location of the lake and its relationship to us, the flashing blue dot, on the screen of my phone.

We never reached our desired destination on Chiemsee that day. We didn’t. But, we did eventually reach the lake. And we made the best of our time while there.

I think about that experience a lot lately. It’s such a metaphor for this global event through which we are all navigating. Through which we are all making sacrifices, some more than others. Certainly, our arrival here was not in any of our plans.

But we are adjusting. Rerouting as best we can.

(Note: Marjorie Appelman is an English, communications and journalism teacher at Mason County High School and co-founder of Tales from the Trip, which is on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. She can be reached at [email protected].)