Two days in the Alps was supposed to provide a relaxing and enjoyable break from hectic cities during our family’s adventures in Germany. Leaving Munich under bright sunshine and blue skies, with an unseasonably warm day ahead, our destination was Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The quaint Bavarian village, which is adored by outdoor enthusiasts, was a quick and easy drive that we accomplished in our rental car in under two hours.
We decided upon arrival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to have some lunch before proceeding to our goal for the day, the summit of the Zuigspitze. The Zuigspitze is Germany’s highest peak and it is said one can see peaks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy on a clear day. The summit is a 10 minute cable car ride or 45 minutes by cog-wheel train and marked by a golden cross lugged up there by hand by devout mountaineers in the 19th century.
Unfortunately, we got lost on the way to the cable car/train station. We thought we had plenty of time in hand because we intended to ride the cable car to the top and had downloaded the schedule in preparation for the trip. When we arrived however, we discovered that the cable car had been shut down for unscheduled maintenance for the next two days and that we had missed the last train ascent of the day.
Despondently we checked into our apartment on a working farm just outside Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Whilst getting some much needed fresh mountain air, we found horses, chickens, and ducks to fascinate the children’s minds and act as their playmates for a few minutes. All the while, we hoped for better luck the next day.
The following morning was the exact opposite of the previous day. Grey clouds were low in the sky, there was a chill in the air, and misty rain was falling. Originally we had hoped to drive into Austria and hike the ruins of Ehrenburg Castle, but we decided, against the advice of our host at the farmhouse, to appease our son and visit the top of the Zugspitze that morning before visiting Ehrenburg. It was not cheap, €116, and as you can see in the pictures, I don’t believe we could see all the way to Italy that day.
By the time we descended and drove to Ehrenburg Castle, the light mist that had permeated the day had changed to a steady, moderate rainfall and we were on the fence whether to get out and hike in the cold, wet, mountains or not. The deciding factor was when our 8 year old projectile vomited throughout the rental car, including into a barely open suitcase, and covered a good percentage of our belongings in vomit. One has not truly lived, until they have found themselves on the side of the road in Austria, in the pouring rain, performing triage on clothing and trying to clean and deodorize the inside of a rental car.
It was at that point we decided not to tempt fate further and made our way back to Munich for our train that evening to Berlin. It was not exactly smooth sailing from that point until we caught the train, but perhaps that is another story for another time.
If you want to read more about our adventures in Germany, you know what to do.
Happy and safe travels!