Sandboarding in Hirschau - and more

Some years ago, somebody thought I should learn to snowboard. The 2 most wasted hours of my life! Not only did I not succeed, I fell on my knee so badly I had to spend the next two days on a couch, while all the others were having fun in the snow… And while I was sitting there, reading through random magazines, I saw a Camel ad where you could win a sand boarding trip. And I said "THIS is what I will do! Sandboarding!"

Well, it took a while, but Olivier and me found some guys who make sandboards (in France) and a place to use them that we did not have to fly to: Hirschau in der Oberpfalz.
It's a little village - which we found out the first day by walking around. The board shapers were a bit late with their delivery so we told them to send the boards directly to Hirschau so we could get them in time.

Anyway, first we had to get there ourselves… Waiting in line for the ferry over Lake Constance (from Romanshorn to Friedrichshafen).

 View from the hotel room to the garden restaurant
 Schlosshotel Hirschau
 Taking a walk in the forest


 And there's even a cave! Maximilians-Grotte
 Germany's biggest stalagmite, 12 million years old!

The bones of earlier visitors… Bears on top, soldiers on the bottom

And off we went to Monte Kaolino - an artificial dune made of quartz sand, the byproduct of kaolinite.
 Mining of the kaolinite is still going on, to three sides.





Here we go! 
Fortunately we didn't have to walk all the way up - although we tried a few times. But that's a fitness training by itself.
 Looking back down at the camping site.



 It's really steep! But sand is not as fast as snow, so you need that angle to build up speed.



 We didn't had boards on the first day, but enjoyed running down the hill!



Finally, our boards had arrived! We went to the local post office to pick them up. Then Oli adjusted them to our shoes.
My board and me! Note the pants: my own trousers had turned out to be made of a too thin material that would not go well with the hard sand - they'd be ruined in no time! So Oli lent me one of his pairs and that's what I wore for boarding from then on.

There are several advantages to sandboarding:
1. The basic slogan of sanboarders: Sand Never Melts! 
2. Falling doesn't hurt, since sand will never get icy hart like snow.
3. Because of 2. it's easy to learn because you can really just go and not be afraid of falling.
4. Sandboards don't need much maintenance or special materials - at least that's what we were told.
5. You can do something really cool that not everybody else does :-)

 Always maintaining graceful dancer arms!

 Yeah. He's the pro. Oli just manages EVERY board within short time, no matter what surface it's on!
Fearless kids! We called them "sand fleas". Many of them were going down on big foots.


 Down in the "dune bath"
 Sand castle builder
In the evenings we fled the tiny Hirschau and went to Amberg, the next bigger town. It was actually really pretty, with a lot of well preserved medieval structures.


 City wall that actually goes all around the historical center

 Here's a special profession: Kirchenmalermeister - master church painter!


When debating which way we should drive back home, one possibility was to go via Munich.
Turns out that Oli had never been there before!
So on Sunday we left the sand behind and went to park our car on one of the most expensive parking spaces I had ever seen! Well, it was right in the center of Munich...
 St. Peter


 Viktualien-Markt
He was not spared the disappointment: a "Dampfnudel" has nothing to do with noodles and isn't very tasty either!
 But the restaurant was nice!