André Alexander

Growing up near the Alps, he discovered his love for nature very early. Today he shows it in unique images. André is a freelance photographer, brand ambassador for Nikon and author. Among other things, he shares his photographs on his Instagram account @formdesigner. With over 100,000 Instagram followers, he is definitely one of Germany's better-known landscape photographers. He told us his favorite places in Bavaria.

What excites you about your work as a travel photographer?

I guess you could call me an endless wanderer who just loves to discover and explore new places. Telling stories through the art of photography and highlighting our beautiful planet in the best way possible motivates me every day. I love sharing my experiences and travels on social media with those who want to listen and seek adventures for themselves. My passion has taken me to over 45 countries. My goal is to inspire and motivate people. Our current opportunities and possibilities are limitless. 

How long have you been taking pictures and how did you get into it? 

Self-employed as a photographer I am for about four and a half years. But since my grandfather and my father took me on all the trips early on and also photographed and filmed them, I've been in contact with it from childhood. At that time we were in almost all Balkan countries, the USA, Hawaii and so on. I also took my first pictures with my own camera in Hawaii.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Nuremberg, where I still live today, and in the foothills of the Alps near Chiemgau. Thus I have since childhood always a connection to nature, am often hiking and in the mountains on the road.

What are your favorite places in Bavaria? And what do you associate with these places?

I have some favorite places in Bavaria, these are both in urban areas and in nature. In the environment of my place of residence it is especially the city Nuremberg itself and the Franconian Switzerland with its countless possibilities for outdoor activities. I meet friends at Tiergärtnertorplatz in Nuremberg, especially on warm summer nights. Here, young and old meet in front of the medieval backdrop of half-timbered houses. Especially in summer, the square is always very well attended and there is a buzz of voices from locals and visitors from all over the world. The local pub Bieramt/Wanderer is cult and for me there is nothing better than being able to start the weekend from there with a cool Franconian beer.

This is how you get to Nuremberg by train: Plan arrival.

The Franconian Switzerland is located virtually at the gates of Nuremberg and has Frankenjura, Germany's second largest climbing area and a world-class sport climbing destination with quite a long history. In this large area, there are about 1,000 different cliffs scattered in a picturesque landscape of forested valleys and medieval villages. In any case, besides climbing and other activities, we must not forget the excellent local beer and Franconian food. In a small group of friends we regularly try the different and sometimes very challenging routes.

To Oberstdorf I also have a special relationship. I spent a lot of time here and also lived here for a short time. A hike up the Foghorn or to the Stuibenfall is part of every visit for me. The Stuibenfall in the Oytal is the largest waterfall in the municipal area and has a drop height of about 25 meters. The hike from Oberstdorf is not to be underestimated and amounts to about 2 hours walking time easy. I like to ride my e-bike here and stop at the Oytalhaus on the way back. The Foghorn is a 2224 high mountain that belongs to the thumb group in the Allgäu Alps counts. He is from Oberstdorf from the cable car, the Nebelhornbahn. The summit area of the Nebelhorn offers the entrance to the Hindelang via ferrata or to several other tours starting from the mountain station Höfatsblick. One of the most beautiful hikes is the one along the Zeigersattel with a view of the Seealpsee.

This is how you get to Oberstdorf by train: Plan arrival.

Not far from Munich is the Walchensee. For me personally, the fastest alternative to get to the next mountain region. Around the Walchensee I have already made countless hikes or sunrise tours. The Herzogstand (1731m) is one of the most famous mountains in Munich and offers a magnificent view of the summit. Thus one looks southward on the Walchensee and the Karwendel lying behind and to the north over the Kochelsee into the lowland. The tour is on good paths throughout and can be done without danger even in winter. At the summit, a small pavilion invites you to rest and eat your snack. If you don't have it with you, you're sure to find a delicacy on the large menu at the Herzogstand mountain inn, but you'll have to share it with many lift lovers. I also have a very special personal relationship with this mountain, since it was as a surprise for my bachelor party with about 20 of my closest friends as a start for a long weekend first went to this mountain.

This is how you get to Walchensee by train and bus: Plan arrival.

The Eibsee near Grainau, a piece of Canada in Bavaria. An absolutely gorgeous lake at the foot of the Zugspitze and with one of the most beautiful mountain lakes that the region probably has to offer. The Eibsee is located about 20 minutes southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and is very easy to reach - whether by car or by public transport. In addition to various hiking trails, the mountain lake invites you to swim in summer (and sometimes also in winter). Sporty people can rent pedal boats, rowing boats and stand up paddle boards at the Eibsee Hotel and explore the lake on their own. A tour around the Eibsee, which I admittedly somewhat underestimated in terms of time during my very first visit, is a must. With 7.5 km and numerous stops for photo opportunities, it took more than the previously planned 90 minutes. You should start the round trip counterclockwise. A small hint: Halfway there is the possibility to return with the "Reserl" (motorboat). However, I can definitely recommend the entire circular route. Especially the Zugspitze in the background of the emerald green mountain lake lets the Eibsee shine even more beautifully.

This is how you get to the Eibsee by train and bus: Plan arrival.

I also like to be on the road in Regensburg on the Danube. My brother and my wife's family live here, so I'm always visiting. The medieval well-preserved old town with its landmark, the Gothic cathedral, is just always worth a photo. But the Pappelalle is the secret landmark of the city - at least for us photographers. Also outside Regensburg There's a lot to discover in Kelheim: the liberation hall, the monument on the Michelsberg, for example. We also like to take a tour to the Weltenburg monastery, including a boat trip through the Danube breakthrough. This is a narrow section of the Danube valley that is recognized as a nature reserve and geotope. There are also countless hiking routes from Kelheim to the Liberation Hall to the Weltenburg monastery. 
This is how you get to Regensburg by train: Plan arrival.

And who is looking for even more nature: The Great Rachel is with 1453 meters altitude the highest mountain in the Bavarian Forest National Park. Northeast of the mountain, on Czech territory in the Rachel Forest, lies the headwaters of the Little Rain. The Rachel Chapel, which towers above Lake Rachel, invites you to take a rest. The chapel was built by a forester out of gratitude because his horse had saved him from falling over a rock while riding through the dense and dark forests. 
This is how you get to the Great Rachel by train: Plan arrival.

Cover photo: The Stone Bridge in Regensburg is the city's most important landmark © André Alexander

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