Exploring Germany: Actress-singer Annette Lee swings by alpine lakes and Munich

Annette Lee and her husband, Mr Raphael Foo, at Konigssee Lake in Bavaria.
Annette Lee and her husband, Mr Raphael Foo, at Konigssee Lake in Bavaria.PHOTO: ANNETTE LEE

Who: Annette Lee, 29, a film-maker, actress and musician, and her husband Raphael Foo, 31, a hedge fund manager

Their trip: A self-drive holiday in Bavarian countryside, plus Munich and vicinity, from Sept 24 to Oct 5

The couple chanced upon a late-summer parade of cows bedecked with flowery headdresses in a small town edging an alpine lake in Bavaria.

They also dined on molecular-cuisine "laksa" crafted with squid sashimi strands and clear broth at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Munich.

And so their pandemic holiday fused serendipity and serious planning. It was also an equal balance of town and country experiences portraying Germany's many facets.

Mr Foo, an ace planner, created their 10-day itinerary in a couple of days and his wife shared ideas.

They kept in mind that Lee, while she is an effervescent YouTube personality, is also a self-confessed "homebody". She says: "My ideal is to spend three days at a destination, then recharge one day at home. Home is my charging port. I'm introspective."

They both did study stints in Germany as undergraduates and had travelled with friends on a budget. This time, they rented a car to explore freely amid the natural splendour of the south-east.

Mr Foo says: "The profile is similar to New Zealand, with mountains and lakes, though Germany is more densely populated."

Their journey encompassed the great outdoors, five Michelin-starred restaurants, Hitler history, a half-day of shopping and more, yet they could linger.

The first days were most memorable, possibly because they were returning to travel, Lee says. They had not taken a flight since visiting Dubai in January last year.

"The Konigssee Lake is straight out of a movie," she says of the lake where they boated for two hours. This is in the Berchtesgaden area, where some scenes from the classic musical The Sound Of Music (1965) were filmed.

In that mountainous zone, one fun favourite was the Alpine Coaster, a summer tobaggan run on ski slopes. Already, at least 20 followers want to replicate the couple's itinerary. Lee has more than 350,000 followers across her social media platforms.


Lee at a farm house on Lake Obersee and on the garden swing at Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden. PHOTOS: ANNETTE LEE


Lee and Mr Foo on Lake Eibsee. PHOTO: ANNETTE LEE

Looking back, the couple sped to Germany because they had been primed to travel for so long. They had yearned to visit Cuba, Egypt and Australia, and were hoping to sail with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection from Mallorca in Spain.

"Our plans were all shattered," she says. "But within a week of the Vaccinated Travel Lane announcement, the trip was planned."

Tips to explore safely

• Although masks are not mandated outdoors, the couple wore them in crowded places. They internalised the"Singapore thinking", Mr Foo says.

• Renting a car for a self-drive holiday outside cities will "de-risk" travel while seeing more, he adds.

• The countryside gets crowded on weekends when Germans venture out for a respite, so plan weekday jaunts instead.

• In Berchtesgaden, do not inadvertently drive or trek across the border into Austria, which does not have a VTL with Singapore.

• On Singapore Airlines flights to Germany, business class cabins tend to be full. Premium economy is quite popular too. Consider economy seats as there may be space to spread out.