Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Second stop on the Tramontana European Tour......Garmisch-Partenkirchen

The next stop on our luggageless European tour was Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This is a small "market town" in Bavaria (southern Germany) and it was the cutest little place. There were all sorts of shops, restaurants, pubs ... and of course, the Zugspitze Mountain!
We arrived with our fingers crossed that our bags would be at the Reindls Hotel, which is a wonderful retreat overlooking the Alps. It is supposed to have a wonderful restaurant - well, we actually *wouldn't* know from PERSONAL experience was rather dressy and since we didn't have luggage and had pretty much only been able to secure a t-shirts and shorts in Hohenschwangau, we really didn't feel comfortable eating there unfortunately. Of course our bags weren't there so we set out to visit the town and have dinner and a few German beers at this cute little outdoor pub where we could see the German dancers (kids). We came back to our hotel and ate a fabulous chocolate dessert (and trust me, the few people who were still there did look at us funny when we came in wearing such casual clothing).

Anyway, we had a great room with the Alps in the background. There was a little stream and a waterwheel outside of our balcony so with the windows open you could hear the water trickling - couldn't have been more relaxing. (Well, if we had our luggage it could have been.)

One thing I forgot to mention in my first post - as you probably know I travel for work a few times each month, and I book my hotels on Priceline usually so I can stay at the really nice places. Even when I get the Westin or Hyatt Inner Harbor, etc. I wouldn't dream of taking a bath in the hotel bathtub. The bathrooms never look that clean to me. I took a bath in EVERY hotel that we stayed in, except Paris and only because they didn't have a bathtub, but it had an awesome rainfall shower - so it was a little give/take on that one. The rooms/bathrooms were IMMACULATE, and I didn't hesitate to run a bubble bath!

Here's some pictures of our drive up to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and of our room. Sorry for any glare in the pictures (of the scenery) I was taking them as we were driving. (Not to mention you know Sam on that highway .... pedal to the metal!) <--- smile!

How would you like to be playing on this golf course? Incredible!

Justify Full

View off our balcony. Life could be worse.

The second day in Garmisch-Partenkirchen we went to Zugspitze mountain. We rode a train from right near our hotel to where you can either ride a cog-wheel train up to the top of the mountain or you can ride the cable cars up to the top. What do you think we rode?

Ok if you click on this picture there is a little dot in the top left corner. That's a cable car! eesh! When you're at the bottom waiting for it, it looks like it's going up, up, up and....of into nothing!

Here's some pictures from the top of the Zugspitze (the Summit) they call it. It was pretty chilly up there in the shaded areas but really nice where it was sunny. We weren't hiking, we only went up and hung out for awhile and had lunch - then came back down. Oh and we talked to our kids! From the top of the highest mountain in Germany, we were able to use our cell phone with perfect reception! Technology is amazing. There were so many people coming down at the same time when we were leaving, we had to take the train down or we were going to have to wait in a huge line .. so we decided to take the train. It was pretty much a tunnel through the mountain for most of the way!! I actually think that was more scary than the cable car!! I fell asleep, it took almost an hour to get down.

View going up the mountain from the cable car (glare from the glass.) See that lake - there were these spots that must have been perfectly clear water. It was so incredibly beautiful.

Here we are up so high - we're actually IN the clouds now.
Top of the mountain!

Whoa, are you falling off?
Typical Rachel............falling and she can't get up! (Smile!) The day after we left Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we sent a bunch of pictures home and had Zach and the girls looking at the while we were on the phone (actually they were talking to us through the computer while they were looking at them.) When they got to these pictures of us on the mountain, apparently Zach started crying and it was silent, tears falling down his cheeks, shaking. He really and truly thought we fell off the mountain and that we were not just playing. Poor thing. That was the only night that the kids had a real meltdown - needless to say, I didn't send them anymore pictures while we were gone.

Sad, leave Garmisch-Partenkirchen, but on our way to Innsbruck Austria. Maybe our bags will catch up to us there?

The scenery is so beautiful I just can't help but to keep taking pictures. (I kept forgetting about the car window glass/glare!)

Hope you all have a great evening! I'll be back tomorrow! :)



PS: Sam saw this sign while we were on our trip in several places. He said oh, it's the International sign for Rachel. (Because I always trip and fall.....just ask me about walking into the little deli/chocolatier in Paris. Yea. This is my sign.)

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