At the end of June, we headed to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany along the Austrian border. It was our first glimpse of the Alps and it was spectacular. There are so many things to do in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area. Here is what we were able to see in our week there. I decided to break this post up into 2 different parts because, honestly, I babble on too much and there are a lot of photos to see!
The Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain at 2,962 meters (a little over 9,700ft). Now that may not sound like much to our Pikes Peak friends, but let me tell you it is just as breathtaking. It is a sharp, steep mountain that rises from the valley floor. There is a cog railway train that takes you to the top and the view is of the Alps flowing into Austria.
Of course we had to head to the top and we were not disappointed.
At the “top of Germany”
Uncle Marcus (official title, kind of a big deal) was able to join us on this adventure.
On the way up to the top of the Zugspitze, we caught a glimpse of this beautiful lake. It was the Eibsee.We spent the next day on its shores. The water is unbelievably clear and an enchanting blue. There are hiking trails throughout this area and at the start of the lake there is a hotel, ice cream shop and a rental place to get a paddleboat, paddleboard, etc. Don’t worry this did not detract from the beauty and overall quietness of the lake. You could spend days here.
This is a picture of O up to his waist in the water. You can barely tell he is sitting in water.
The boys went out on the lake. The 2nd red dot is their paddleboat. Lucky for O, he had Uncle Marcus and Daddy to push him all around that lake. Ha!
The girls stayed on shore.
This lake is so special it has made it into our list of top destinations.
This was a quick side trip we did spontaneously one day. It is an active Abbey and school however the big draw seems to be the beer. They brew a variety of beers on site and sell in the gift shop. The place is stunning including the inside of the church.
However, I feel that it has turned into a tourist trap. Beautiful scenery, good beer, but don’t know if I would do it again. We went at the very end of the day and were able to avoid the rush as the last tourist bus was loading up as we got there.
Neuschwanstein Castle is probably the most famous castle in Germany. It is thought to be the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
This is another super busy tourist area but if you have the chance you simply have to go. Once you arrive into the parking area (at the bottom of the hill) you have to decide if you are going to walk up or pay for a horse drawn carriage ride. It is a somewhat steep hike but worth it (there is a hiking path and a paved road). Takes 30-45 minutes.
(view of the castle from the start of the path)
Hiking up to the castle doesn’t actually give you the greatest views. So you have to continue the hike up the hill to Mary’s Bridge. On the way up you will get a great view of Hohendchwangau Castle (try to say that 3 times).
And views of the valley.
When you finally make it to Mary’s Bridge you are greeted with this:
Mary’s Bridge also happens to be a metal bridge with a wood platform. The wood bends and moves with the weight of all these people. I stepped on and NOPE! It totally freaked me out. I was on the bridge for maybe 30 seconds, had Marcus snap a picture and made a run back for solid ground. There is a beautiful waterfall sitting just below the bridge.
However, everyone is there for this picture.
Glad we went. Beautiful to see.
There are also tours of the castle that I have heard are fantastic. You must book them far in advance. We have 2 small children so …yeah…outside pics are good for us.
End of Part 1. Part 2 soon to come!