Thursday, June 17, 2004

The days are getting away from me so I thought I would post about our final day in Garmisch before it's really old news. We got up Sunday morning to more clouds but no rain so decided to head for the Partnach Gorge. You park at the Olympic Ski Stadium and from there you can walk up a road to the base of the gorge, or ride in style in a horse carriage. There is also a Summer Rodelbahn there, but it wasn't open due to the wet weather. We are dying to try it, so it is a must for the next trip. Anyway, we decided to take the easy route of riding in the carriage instead of letting Jacob make the walk. We probably would still be there if we had done that. They let you off at the base of the gorge and then you have a few options. Go right into the gorge and make your way up and then turn around and come back through it, or keep going up to the hotel Forsthaus Graseck (scroll down and click on the English button) about a 1/2 hour hike past the gorge and take the cable car down, or take the cable car up and make the hike about 1 hour total back down and through the gorge. We have done the second option, so this time we decided to take the cable car all the way up and then hike all the way down. The cable car "Graseck Bahn" is a small thrill ride in itself. Even more so now as I was searching the internet for info and I read that it is 50 years old! Here are some photos I found of it, to give you some idea. It is a gondola or cabin type cable car, only room for 4 people standing. Sways a bit in the breeze, creaks and groans, all those exciting things. But it provides a few minutes of some beautiful views, and then all you have to do is make the hike down!
The bahn takes you right to the yard of the hotel, and then you just start your hike, following the signs on the paths. They are very well marked, with destinations and apx hiking times. We decided the best way would be to have Jacob ride in the backpack so we wouldn't have to worry about him sliding off one of the edges on the trail. He was quite content up there and it made for a more relaxed hike. The trail down to the gorge is really nice, very scenic. We met a few hikers along the way, even a couple Americans coming the opposite direction. We finally reached the gorge and took our time walking through the tunnels and enjoying the open areas where you could watch the river rush by. Jacob enjoyed the waterfalls and drips from the roof that he could catch. We would have to squeeze by the other hikers as people are going both directions on the trail. At the end there are some little shops with refreshments and souvenirs. We enjoyed the atmosphere a little more, than headed for the car. We loaded up, grabbed some lunch and hit the highway, going home. We hit a big "stau" (traffic jam) as we neared the Nurnberg so we once again took some back roads on home. (Not the same ones as we took on the way down either) It was basically following the path of the Altmuhl River, so it was a nice ride, once again made us realize how much there is to see within a few hours of our house.

So that was our weekend in Garmisch, you can see why we can't wait to get back. Hopefully in the next month!

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