Top of Germany

Trip Start Apr 12, 2012
1
4
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Trip End Apr 30, 2012


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Where I stayed
What I did
Zugspitze Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Monday, April 16, 2012

Finding our hotel took a little more effort in Garmisch due to construction. After making the detour and finding the river (the hotel was supposed to be right on the river), we were standing there trying to figure out where to go when I happened to turn around and there it was! It was very cute and colorful, not at all like what I would have thought a hotel would look like.  That's our excuse and we're sticking to it.

Once again we were greeted with the warm Bavarian hospitality and were personally escorted to our room. This one was just the opposite of the last one - BIG. We even had a sitting area and a balcony. I believe we would have been able to see the alps if the clouds were not so thick.

After getting settled we took off to explore the town. Our first stop was Woolworths - needless to say we were pretty amazed to see this old dime store from our childhood in a small Bavarian town. We thought they had gone out of business years ago.  (I had to Google this when I got home, and sure enough, they went out of business in 1997, although there are still retail stores using the name in Germany.)  Since I was not well prepared for the cold and rainy weather I purchased a rain coat, which is in just about every photograph of our trip, a turtleneck and some leggings. I was now much better prepared for my winter in April vacation.

We walked around the quaint little town with me trying to avoid cobblestones whenever possible.  We also checked out dinner options as we went along so we wouldn't end up in another Chinese restaurant. The streets were not as tangled as in Füssen so it was a bit easier to find our way back to the place we decided on - Isis Goldener Engle.  There we had a delicious German meal in a rustic country setting.

One of the things we learned was that all the beautiful paintings on the outside of the buildings, which we saw throughout Bavaria, once served a purpose beyond that of decoration. Back in the days when very few people could read the pictures told the story of what shops were in the building.  They could have just painted something simple, like a pair of shoes for a shoe store, but instead they went a step further and painted an entire scene or scenes capturing the details of the shops.  Although the paintings are no longer needed to identify the shops they continue the tradition which adds a lot of charm.

The next morning we were up early to head up the Zugspitze, but first came breakfast. The hotel offered a lovely buffet of cereals, breads, pastries and fruit. You could custom order hot dishes if you wished, which we did not. We were ready to go up the tallest mountain in Germany.  We were able to leave our luggage in a locker at the train station, although we could have left it at the hotel. This worked better since we would be catching the train back to Munich when we returned from our mountain adventure.

To travel up the Zugspitze you take a cog train, and I believe it is much like the one we went on to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado.  The day started with a lot of cloud cover and we were a bit dubious about what we would actually get to see once we got to the top. The snowy scenery was beautiful on the ride up, and once we went as far as the train could take us we took a gondola the rest of the way. We must have been doing something right as the clouds dissipated and we were able to see all the way down to the town of Garmisch. It was absolutely beautiful up there, and so clean and pristine. We went into the cafe for some dessert - orange cheesecake, apple strudel and hot chocolate - YUMMO!  After taking lots of pictures and losing Julie's hat in the attempt to look cute (didn't work) we headed back down the mountain, this time in the company of a lot of skiers.  Once in Garmisch we caught the train for the hour long trip back to Munich.

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