Whilst I have utterly fallen in love with Munich since coming here in September, with its pointed spires and tree-lined streets, but at the end of the day, I’m a country girl through and through. I found myself missing proper fresh air, grass that doesn’t have houses behind it, and trees that cover mountains. Where could I go for my nature fix?

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I headed on a train to Starnberger See, one of many lakes in the Bavarian countryside, known for being picturesque and peaceful. It certainly didn’t disappoint.

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The group I was with (myself included) got over-excited after just 40 minutes on the train; we saw the sun glinting off a seemingly endless mirror of water and, despite it not being the planned destination, leaped off the train to get closer to the lake. Our eagerness and the lack of trains in the rural areas of Munich meant that we had to walk to the remainder of the journey, taking a couple of hours before we got to Roseninsel, the island we were aiming for. But there are certainly worse places to be wandering.

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The lake itself was enormous, big enough for areas to be bustling with boats, windsurfers, and, despite the cold, swimmers, but in other areas, there was not a soul to be seen aside from waterbirds. The water was impossibly clear, down to the moss-covered rocks on the lake-bed, and it was so peaceful in places that I could have stayed there all day.

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The walk took us down a long stretch of road, with just glimpses of the lake being caught through the densely-packed trees, but when it finally opened out onto a wooded path along the side of the lake, it was well worth the effort.

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Autumn had not yet set in enough for the trees to be bare, but the path was still heavy with fallen leaves, and the warm temperatures leftover from summer made for a pleasant stroll along the lake to Roseninsel.

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The small island was surrounded by ducks and swans, and the water looked so inviting that three guys from our group braved the extreme cold of the water to swim across to it. The rest of us sat on the bank and watched the birds, lingering for as long as we could before hunger pangs dragged us away.

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