Some background noise on the German Alpine Road
It was once called the Queralpenstraße, later the Alpenquerstraße, and finally the Deutsche Alpenstraße. As such, it became Germany’s first holiday road 80 years ago. In the meantime, it has become a beacon for sustainable travel.
Our actual tour, i.e. driving the German Alpine Road, starts in Füssen. The itinerary does not allow time to explore the entire 484 kilometres of the route.
Reports on the German Alpine Road actually begin far to the west of the country, in Lindau on Lake Constance, Germany’s largest freshwater reservoir. There is another special body of water on the German Alpine Road, in the very south of our country, the eastern end of the route: it is Lake Königssee near Berchtesgaden, our destination.
In the course of the pilot project “E-Mobility on the German Alpine Road” funded by the Free State of Bavaria, more than 300 charging stations have been built along the route to date – also with a lot of private initiative. Some are publicly accessible, some are installed at or near hotels, some at tourist destinations such as campsites, as well as at private accommodation providers. For the road, the “electron food supply” for our e-car, the Audi Q4 e-tron, thus seems to be sufficiently guaranteed.
In 2019, I already cruised along the German Alpine Road with a “Stromer”. Back then, in the month of May, it was the entire dreamlike route from the starting point in Lindau on Lake Constance to Königssee. This time I was surrounded by a colourful autumn scenery from the beginning. “Pure Indian summer feeling. For this spectacle of colour and experience, we had a four-wheel drive vehicle at our disposal in the form of the Audi. While the provisions for the day’s journey to Füssen were being bought, the battery of the E-tron was also filling up.
The range indicator of 419 km at the end of the charging process testified to sufficient reserve for the drive to Füssen the next morning.
The aim of our e-tour was to experience on the road and in selected places what can be experienced in terms of sustainability, nature and culture along the German Alpine Road. And as is so often the case with all our e-mobile pleasure tours: what interesting people we would meet, the most enriching experiences alongside the magnificent landscapes and the culinary specialities of the individual regions.
Journey from Meitingen to Lake Hopfen with stopovers at the Ziegelwies Forest Experience Centre in Füssen, Uniper hydroelectric power station, exploratory trip around Lake Forggensee, Füssen.
First overnight stay at Biohotel Eggensberger
For the day of arrival we had hoped for a sunny autumn day. Well. Together with my companion, I left the district of Augsburg under low-hanging cumulus clouds. But already from Landsberg am Lech onwards, the light for landscape photographs became better and better. These special light conditions, caused by a mix of cumulus clouds, blue sky and sun, finally favoured our shots at the first destination of our trip, the Walderlebniszentrum Ziegelwies (WEZ) in Füssen.
The top branches of the spruce close enough to touch, 20 metres above the Auenwald Trail
The treetop trail, a special experience
Tuned in by the spectacular impressions at unusual eye level with the most diverse tree species on the treetop path as well as the view of the Lech, the floodplain forest lining it and the nearby Bavarian and Tyrolean mountains, we were well prepared for our agreed meeting with the managing director of the WEZ, Ms Carolin Klughammer, the next day.
From Lake Forggen to Lake Hopfen
Taking advantage of the weather, we decided to take a panoramic drive around Lake Forggensee before continuing directly to Füssen. Every now and then we left the main road and followed hilly side roads that led us to unique views of the lake and the eastern Allgäu mountain landscapes. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the planned visit to the Roßhaupten storage power station from our list of places to see, as “unfortunately closed due to Corona”. So we moved on straight away.
We reached Füssen in the afternoon via Bad Faulenbach, took a few pictures of the beautiful Benedictine monastery of St. Mang on the banks of the Lech, and then hummed along the E 532 to our last stage destination, the Eggensberger Biohotel on Lake Hopfen. After checking in at the hotel, we wanted to take advantage of the remaining light of the approaching dusk to take our first test drive on the Hopfensee with the packed e-scooters, the robust “Moovers” from Metz Mobility.
Explorations on two wheels
After all, we had planned multimodal travel with the E-tron and two foldable e-scooters for the e-tour on the German Alpine Road. So we did the “proof of concept” to find out how integrative this melange of two e-vehicle typologies proves to be in everyday travel. So we rolled quietly down the hill from the Eggensberg Biohotel, the Audi Stromer recuperating as we went, so that I didn’t have to press the brake pedal once until we parked the car on an accessible section of the shore of the Hopfensee.
Fetched from the boot, unfolded and the scooters are ready to go
Click-clack-click and the two two-wheeled movers were lifted out of the spacious boot and put into driving position. A few snapshots in front of the picturesque scenery in the background, an extended lap along the lake and it had already become dark.
Hungry and satisfied after this first scooter round, also because we had done more on this arrival day and were lucky with the weather, we were now looking forward to a delicious dinner of organically produced products. Everything from the organic farm of the brother of our host Andreas Eggensberger. We wanted to meet this pioneer of e-mobility and sustainably run hotels for breakfast the next day.
Oh yes: for the main course of the dinner we chose a kohlrabi risotto, with miso, pak choi and toasted sesame seeds. Yummy!
And of course our electric four-wheeler also got a full charge of electrons into its battery from one of the many hotel-owned charging boxes. Enough buffer, then, for the destinations of the coming day.
Roßhaupten storage power station
Travel ideas, tips and information about the German Alpine Road
Text: Elmar Thomassek
Picture Map: Bayrische Fernwege e.V