Trip Start Jun 15, 2010
26Trip End Jul 21, 2010
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Where I stayed
The hotel was very cool. It's set a little bit out of town, up on the mountainside, and is reachable only by hiking trail and by a cable car that I think is a relic from the 30's era Olympics held in Garmisch. The kids loved getting in to the cable car and riding up the mountain, over a rushing stream and through some of the countryside I was describing. At the top the hotel was ready for us, but the hotel restaurant had closed its kitchen and there was no possibility to get dinner. Not a big deal for myself (I could probably stand to skip a meal here or there), but we felt bad for the kids who got by on just drinks and saltines that night. One of the two rooms didn't have a private bathroom (we had expected this), but the shared bathroom facilities were very clean and generally wasn't a problem for us
In the morning I woke up early to the sound of bells. The local herd of goats (each with a bell around its neck) was heading up the hillside next to the hotel and made a noise like a dozen cowbells in the clothes dryer. Just to see what things were like, I took a short walk up the mountainside. Trails were very clearly marked, and were wide with a fine gravel covering. Judging by the roadside signs, there's a network of hiking trails that led all through these mountains and hikers have their pick of guest houses and restaurants when it's time for a break and a beer. Some of the hiking signs are sponsored by breweries, and I even saw a couple of small billboards advertising to hikers along the way.
After the walk and the family was awake, we had a very nice breakfast at the hotel. Our first coffee in a while, and some great homemade marmalade in four different flavors. Typical German fare was avai.able like sliced meats and bread, as well as a granola / musli bar that had this fantastic chocolate granola that was a little like those chocolate / peanut butter no-bake cookies. We planned out our day to include a hike up one of the mountain trails. One of the trails had a 90-minute walk up the mountain with a cable car set up for the trip back down. That sounded like our speed, so we spent the morning on that one. All the trails branched out from the old Olympic ski stadium near the hotel. The stadium is still in use by the German national team, and has the big ski jump building (see pics) as its central feature.
On the trail, we found no miscreant bees this time, and nobody got carsick on the way back down
After hiking the mountain, we found a bobsled track right next to the stadium. The bobsled track was set up with a winch to pull the sleds up the hill a ways, and let them go down through a steeply banked course to the finish. The great thing is that these bobsleds all had wheels, so the sleds were usable during the summer. It was really cheap for us to ride it as well (seems like Germany's famly-oriented activities are usually affordable). Six Euros bought rides for all the kids, and it was only another 1.50 each for Melinda and I. What a blast. It was like a roller coaster, but you could control how fast your sled went with a brake handle built into the sled. I used the brake a bit and still thought it went really fast, but the kids said they could make it all the way without. A good time; everyone enjoyed the day in the Alps.