Day 4: The weather has improved so today we headed for Zugspitze, the tallest peak in Germany that lies in the Alps straddling the Germany-Austria border. First a short drive to the station and then a ride on the gondola straight up to the top! (2960m/9718 ft.) Yesterday’s rain brought a nice dusting of snow that left me completely unprepared in the clothing department. The truly awesome views outweighed my fear of heights. We took another gondola down into the glacier and then a less than exciting cog-wheel train that cut THROUGH the mountain back to the starting point. After our mountain adventure we drove into the small town of Oberammergau, best known for skilled woodcarvers and their decennial (every ten years) Passion Play (a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ: his trial, suffering and death). The townspeople have been performing the play since 1634 in gratitude for being spared from the bubonic plague. We used the bathroom in the theater and had gelato. Almost everything was closed for Sunday Family Day. We continued on to Linderhof Palace, a stunning estate with a dazzling Rococo-style palace built for King Ludwig II of Bavaria beginning in 1869. From there we hopped on the autobahn to jump up to Munich. There was more spatzle and beer for dinner. Tonight, Kai had schnitzel. After dinner, we walked up to Hirschgarten, Europe’s largest biergarten. I had a crepe with apfel zucker und zimt (apple and cinnamon sugar). Prost!
Friday, August, 26, 2011
Day 3: 35 degree temperature drop from yesterday. Raining and 48 today. Bad weather has derailed plans to visit Zugspitze, the tallest peak in Germany. Instead, we explored by car down into Austria. Seems everyone else decided to do the same thing. 😦 It took us two hours to go 16 km. Finally made it through traffic and passed through Reutte and Innsbruck (site of 1964 & 1976 Winter Olympics). Stopped at “SPAR” market and filled the cooler with local foods (although we couldn’t find the ice). Ate lunch in the car as we continued on to Mittenwald, Germany (famous for world-class violin, viola and cello makers). Explored Mittenwald (the highlight was the ReWe grocery store because it was after 6pm and everything else was closed). Finished our journey in Garmisch, a mountain resort town. After settling in to our hotel we headed to the restaurant for another delicious meal (salad, spatzle, schnitzel, potato croquettes, white wine). Kai even had some snails! We’re closing up the long day with one if our pirated DVDs from China (our American ones don’t work here). Gute nacht!