Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Drew and I have been to Garmisch 6 times since we've been in Germany! It is the most visited place we've been to. But we've never been able to check out the Gorge. This time, Drew got a last minute 4-day weekend, so I took a day off and planned a trip down to Garmisch, well it's full name is Garmisch-Partenkirchen! Garmisch and Partenkirchen remained separate towns until their mayors were forced by Adolf Hitler to combine the two towns in 1935 in anticipation of the 1936 Winter Olympic games.

This time around, we stayed at the Garmisch Army Lodging. Usually when we head down to Garmisch we stay in Grainau, but after doing the math, I realized it was cheaper for us to board Rylie for 2 nights and stay at the Army Lodging, than it would have been if we had taken her and stayed in Garmisch.
Such a cool building!
The room had everything we needed.

Honestly, staying at the Army lodging saved us so much money! It wasn't as fancy as staying at Edelweiss, but we were a 2 minute walk away from the Resort, and what we paid for 2 nights, we would have paid for 1 night at Edelweiss and we were able to use all the facilities the Edelweiss guests could use.

On our first day in Garmisch, after checking in, we headed off to the Partnach Gorge. It has been on Drew's must see list anytime anyone talks about Garmisch.

To get to the Partnach Gorge you park at the Olymipic Skiing Stadium. There's lots of parking. It is 3€ to park there for the whole day. (*Side note: When paying for parking, they give you the option to pay for 2 hours, for 2€, since we weren't sure how long we would take, I paid the extra euro to be on the safe side) I thought it was pretty cool that you can walk through the stadium (For free!) before heading to the Gorge.
 There's signs that tell you where the Partnach Gorge is!
 Since we could walk through the stadium for free, we took advantage of it and walked through the stadium before heading to the Gorge. The ski jump was built in 1923, and it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1936. The mountain's steep slopes were not sufficient for the ramp so it was necessary to build an artificial start tower that was 43 meters in height and 5 meters in width.

 Over the years, the jump was modernized. In 2007, it was replaced by a completely new building with a 100m long start tower. You have the option to climb to the top of it, but since we were on a time crunch, we decided just to admire from a far. On our way back from the Gorge, more people had gathered int he stadium for an event. There were people using the ski jump, and actually jumping from the top, but the jump was soaked in water. Maybe they were water ski jumping? I'm not sure what the term is. But it was pretty cool. We watched for a minute before leaving. The cloud of cigarette smoke was too much for me. (For this reason alone I can't wait until we get back to the states.)

 The Olympic Rings are still on the outside of the building!
Can you see the ski jumper?

From the Olympic Stadium, it is about a 20-25 minute walk to the Gorge. It is easily marked. You could also take a horse drawn carriage to the intersection where the cable car starts, but it's 4€ per person one way, and you still have to walk quite a bit to get to the entrance. It wasn't worth it in my opinion. But if you're a horse lover, you might feel differently.

This was the cutest house!

If you chose to walk, you'll reach the cashier, it is 4€ a person to enter the gorge, remember to keep your ticket because you have to show it to the cashier on the way out.

The gorge is a narrow valley, usually with a stream running at the bottom. The gorge has been cut into place by the water continually eroding and cutting the gorge deeper. Once you enter the gorge, there are two different paths you can choose. We followed the crowd of people and walked along the gorge, in the path built just above he rushing water.

The pathway is about a mile long, maybe less. It might have felt longer to me because we stopped and took pictures every five seconds.

Once we reached the end of the Gorge, it was time to turn around. People use this as a base to hike up the Alpspitze, but we decided to turn around and head back, not before climbing up to the bridge so we could get a picture of the gorge and us from it.

After leaving the Partenkirchen side of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we headed off to the Garmisch side, to check out the little stores. Back in 2013, on our first trip down to Garmisch, for Drew's birthday we picked him up his lederhosen, he's been dropping hints for the past year that he wants the matching shoes, but since he was gone during fest season this year he didn't get them, so we figured we would use this as opportunity to price check. Unfortunately, my husband is "big foot" in human form and they didn't have a big selection of shoes for him.

We walked along the shopping district, we had forgotten to pack swim suites (the Edelweiss Hot tub is amazing!) and wanted to go searching for them. October in the Alps, is not the time to look for swim suites. We were "SOL". Haha.

While we were browsing, time had gotten away from us and it was time for dinner. We decided that since we were already in town, we would just sit somewhere for dinner. I was craving German food, so we stopped off at Gaststätte Flößerstube for a quick bite to eat.

Over all it was a nice trip, the next day we headed off to Neuschwanstein for round 2, and Highland 179, then of course the next night we headed over to Edelweiss for some drinks and ended up talking to the Bartender till last call! Be on the look out for those posts. Yay for last minute vacations!