Friday, June 28, 2013

Braving The Zugspitze! Garmisch Adventure.

Hello everyone! 

Edelweiss in full bloom
I am in Germany! I just finished hanging with my family at the American Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. When I was a young girl we came here during my dad's two week R&R from Iraq. The resort is different now, they gave the old one back to the German government, and built a brand new hotel. Basically, its really really nice, and my family always has a blast when we visit Garmisch. We conquered the Zugspitze, ambled through the Linderhof Palace, and biked our way below the Alps. 

Garmisch - Partenkirchen is the site of the 1936 winter olympics, you can visit the stadium and see the giant man made ski hill. There is also a bob sled course set up for the general public. My family loves driving their own bob sled along the steep metal track.  

The first day of our weekend spectacular we rented bikes from the resort and rode on the farm paths through the bottom of the Alps. We rode about six miles, which was great for my legs, although they were a bit sore afterwards. It was a good sixty degrees outside, so when we got back to the resort we went to the pool and I spent two hours in the hot tub. After dinner we walked around downtown Garmisch and enjoyed the shops with their painted murals.

The next day we headed over to the Linderhof Palace. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who happens to be my favorite European Monarch to read about. He is like the Michael Jackson of monarchy. He was very strange, did what he wanted no matter what it made people think, and was a bit far from reality. 

King Ludwig was obsessed with the absolutist kings of France, namely King Louis the 14th and 15th. Most the palace and its furnishing are modeled after Versailles, and there are no portraits of his own family, only portraits of people from the Sun King's court. His obsession with Richard Wagner, was the other half of inspiration for his palaces. Most of the indoor palace walls are stretched canvas painted with scenes from Wagner's operas. 

We hiked up to the top of the Garden, and took pictures of the palace. We then hiked over to the Venus Grotto, which is the world's largest artificial grotto. It was breathtaking. The compositions of Richard Wagner were blaring through the caverns, while colored lights made the stalactites glisten red and blue. It was truly an experience, much of it made me think of Disney World  and how Walt must have been so inspired upon visiting all of Ludwig's properties. He was truly the Fairy Tale King. 

At 9,718 feet the Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany. The Austrian-German border actually runs right across the top of the mountain. There are two ways to get to the top, train or cable car. Of course my family always wants to take the cable car, despite my fear of heights. I'll admit I enjoy it, but my legs don't stop shaking for about ten minutes after we have reached the top.

Photo from the cable car, not even 1/4th of the way up 

The top of the Zugspitze was socked in completely with clouds, so we couldn't see much, but that didn't prevent us from being able to sled on the inside of the mountain! It was pretty steep and scary, so I only went down once. Sledding on the Zugspitze was one of the most thrilling things I have done.

After a couple hours of playing in the snow, it was time to head home. I slept hard the whole ride home. What a great way to kick off my German summer! 

I hope you enjoyed reading, until next time 


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