Getting Lucky at 9,718 ft
I am head over heels in love with visiting Germany. Due to geographical distance, and infrequent visits, I have a loose hand written German bucket/wish list. Visiting the tip-top of Germany did not disappoint. I thought maybe it was going to be a €52.50 ride up, an ooh and an ahh and go home. Zugspitze was so much more.
Shared by Germany and Austria, one can visit from either country. I drove from Germany to a parking lot that is near the idyllic Ebsee Lake at the base of the majestic mountain.
Seeing this mountain, a valley, a gorgeous lake and alpine flora is like foreplay, you are excited to get on that ride.
The Eibsee cable car ride is literally a trip. I packed in tight with about 35 people for the approximately 10 minute ride up. Except for feeling a bit too close to my neighbor, it is a pretty comfortable ride up, even for someone who has a moderate height phobia. Each time you pass a pole, there is a little sway in the lift, but it was not at all uncomfortable. The day that I went, it was cloudy. It was fun to break through the clouds and see the clear blue sky.
When you arrive to the top, there are many places to jump off to. There is a climb to the historical golden cross. It is a climb that requires moderate skill and is fun to watch. I saw an older man and a kid climb. Most of the people who made the final steps to the cross were clamped on. I did not climb but two of my fellow travel companions did so. I almost had to wonder why they couldn’t charge for this final climb, using an expert to assist. Anyway, I have a bit of a height phobia and it took me a few minutes to acclimate and take photos.
Because it was cloudy, I was unable to see the panoramic view that this part of the world offers. This spot is unique in that there are not other mountain ranges at this same height. On a clear day, you are able to see peaks of four countries; Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
There is an area where one is able to cross from Germany into Austria. In the old days, crossing was a big deal with a border and passport stamp. Now there is no border, you simply walk across the stairway. However you can make a snow angels there and take some fantastic photos. of the mountains in the distance.
There is a really beautiful viewing area on this side.
With four restaurants and other freestanding food spots, there is something for all budgets.
Food-because let’s face it, I was too chicken to do the climb.
- Sonnalpin is a restaurant at the Zugspitze glacier. It is a cafeteria style with traditional dishes to vegetarian. The outdoor seating area is gorgeous.
- The Glacier Garden is a glass building that can open up on a fine day. Described as modern-minimalist that serves German food with International flair. You will find locally sourced fish and meats.
- Gipfelalm-is Germany’s highest restaurant. They serve Bavarian cuisine. This is a great spot to sit outside and enjoy a meal. This is the place where I got lucky. What are the odds that a bird will poop on your menu at 2,962 m (9718 ft)? And yes, this is good luck. Google it! Not what you were thinking? I bet.
- Panorama 2962-The name says it all: the glass fronted Panorama 2962 welcomes you with jaw-dropping views of alpine peaks in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, Lake Eibsee and far beyond to the Alpine foothills. On the day that I visited,it was a bit crowded with an Oktoberfest going on
There are many choices of activities, museums, guided tours and fun tho be had. I took a cable care which carries you down onto one of the three glaciers. Even though it was cloudy, it was beautiful.
Eating lunch at the top of Germany with wonderful food and great company. Watching the climbers and athletes come and go, I could not have gotten much luckier, wink.
What a great day. I give this visit 5 MEGastars ***** My life was enriched. Stops like this are not about collecting sights. I learned, had fun, ate great food and I was inspired to get out there and do it. I gained a sense of awe and one of peace. The kind that comes from standing in the clouds at the top of a country with warm sun upon your face. May the road rise to meet you…
MEGatips: I am not going into the details of how and where and what. There are fantstic websites that can give you this type of information. A few pointers that I gained.
- Duh on visiting on a cloudless day. If you are like me, you can’t control that gig. Go anyway.
- It is pretty crowded going up and then down on the cable car. Plan for waiting.
- I got a bit queasy up there. It came and went but know that the altitude can give you a buzz. So drink at your own risk.
- Plan on trying some food. There are truly fantastic places to chow down.
- About the climbing. Bring appropriate attire. The climbers have that going on.
- On that note, remember there is no bad weather only bad clothes. So don’t wear flip flops.
- Do not forget your camera
- You can bring children and dogs.
- Do some research into the museums if that sort of thing interests you. There is history and science abound.
- Take part in the outdoor scene of this area. Obviously winter brings another world of mountain fun.
- Can’t get there? check out their webcam.