Almost all of the 295 kilometers or 183 miles long Isar River lies within Germany. This mighty river is the fourth longest in Bavaria, and it starts in massive Karwendel mountain range in Austria.
We meet the Isar River in Germany in the romantic town of Mittenwald, a town along the Via Raetia scenic route. This alpine town is great, known for its mountains and canyons, and its Local History Museum and Church of Saints Peter & Paul.
In Bad Tölz the Isar skirts the western edge of town, but you’re not here just to see the river. Look up to see the naked rear-end of St. Florian. That’s his way of flipping off the tax authorities.
Oh, how I want to do the same thing. ;-)
Better get lost in the spas or along the many cycling routes of Bad Tölz before those tax guys want even more money.
An even better idea — I’m gonna follow the Isar to Munich. Hey, are those people naked…
Yeah, they sure are. Don’t be surprised if you see a number of people skinny dipping along the way. Maybe they think the green water of the river will hide ’em.
Oh, the water’s green because of the mineral content — not because of any strange or polluted reason from its Amper and Loisach tributaries.
I just wanna know what all the trout, perch, and pike are thinkin’ about all the naked swimmers. ;-)
I was so distracted by the skinny-dippers I forgot about Munich. This city is more than just its world famous Oktoberfest — it hosts an annual Opera Festival in June, has plenty of beer gardens, a Greek Art Museum, a BMW Museum, at the Munich Residence is where you’ll see the crown of one Bavarian queen.
Here’s what I don’t get. Munich’s famous for its beer, but it’s the town of Freising that’s got the oldest brewery in the world. Yup, thanks to some 11th century Benedictine monks who started making this stuff.
That’s not all you’ll find at this town along the Isar. There’s an 8th century library and a Romanesque crypt at the Mariendom in Freising too.
One of the biggest towns (besides Munich) along the Isar is Landshut. Nestled amongst the cafes and beer gardens is plenty of Baroque architecture — but it’s the Gothic styled Holy Spirit Church that does it for me.
You could grab a meal at a restaurant that was once a 15th century cellar — but that means no view of the Isar.
Oh well, you’ll have plenty of time to see it as you make your way along the Isar Cycle Path towards Plattling.
If you love the outdoors, Plattling is where you’ll want to be. The Isar flows right through the middle of town; and you can do everything from whitewater rafting and canoeing to fishing, to bird watching at the bird sanctuary, to partying at the Medieval Market (every two years on even numbered years).
Every four years Plattling holds a Nibelung Festival in honor of the Nibelungenlied, which brings thousands of fans of the medieval story of Siegfried and Kriemhilde to town.
On it goes to Deggendorf, where the Isar empties into the equally mighty Danube River. But you should know before you make the trek along this northly flowing river — it can flood. Mostly in the Spring when all the snow starts to melt in the Alps.
So, if you’re going to try kayaking your way downstream, you better be careful — but the scenery is so gorgeous it’s worth it. And I’m not talking about all the skinny-dippers either. ;-)