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How To Prepare for Munich Madness? Hike Garmisch-Partenkirchen

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order”

Oktoberfest was my “bucket list menu as the main entrée.” I also was with friends who are like-minded in that people and crowds have their place; of course, present company excluded. To be honest, I loved partaking in this epic bucket list check. And yet,

Crowds abound

Oktoberfest grounds

it was important for all of us to ride the peace train, to get out in the natural world and a side bonus of walking off those extra travel calories.

I have to give the credit to my friend who looked into the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area for some peaceful and picturesque hikes. I don’t know that I would have picked this spot on an Oktoberfest trip, nor had the wisdom to foresee the need for nature.  I sincerely enjoyed the entire area. Kudos to my friend!

The site of the 1936 Olympics, it is a picturesque town for outdoor enthusiasts to jump off from. Interesting fact. Adolph Hitler worried that  the small size and lack of lodging in Garmisch would cause this site to be passed over for the 1936 Olympics.  The two towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen were ordered merged, and the rest is history.

Our hotel had a shuttle van that took us to the Olympic Park Beginning at the ski stadium and the ski jump area. We waved to the arena since we all couldn’t wait to get out and play.

From there, we walked along a trail that leads past beautiful homes and outbuildings alongside a small river with a beautiful color.

Walking through the meadows, I got the sense that I was leaving “somewhere” and entering the wonder of nature.

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The river rolls

The river rolls

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LOVE when the mountains come into view.

Cuties

Cuties

And the river began to sing

And the river began to sing

After a walk of about 30 minutes, we came upon a trailhead where you pay a modest fee to hike the trail. Adults are 3€. We wondered why there was a fee but learned that the trail is extremely well maintained with safety features for all to enjoy. This area was declared a natural monument in 1912.

You walk through a series of tunnels

You walk through a series of tunnels

There are twists and turns in the path.  There were many people of all ages hiking, some classroom students.  There are places to stop and view the majesty of the glacial river and nature’s artistic carvings.  The stunning Portnach Gorge or Partnachklamm measures 2300 ft in length and 263 feet in height.

Next we passed by trails and signs that could guide you to many magnificent hikes and destinations.  There are 300 km of trails with a walk that will take 10 hours to get to the Zugzpitze. With a series of places to stay, I would love to do that someday.

Seriously, I want to do all  of these hikes

Seriously, I want to do all of these hikes. choices,choices

There are great maps at the trail head.

Lucky to have great compasses with me.

Lucky to have a few great human compasses along. 

We chose to hike to a place called Partnachalm.  There are more ways than one to get to this destination.  We chose a hike that led us through the woods sometimes on a steep rugged path, and sometimes in the meadows.

Take the path less traveled!

Take the path less traveled!

Just when your breathing and cardiac functioning is testing you, you enter into the meadow.

Phew!

Phew!

Get outa here! Awesome panoramic views!

Get outa here! Awesome panoramic views!

We were able to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  The views at this restaurant are among the best that our world has to offer.

Check out this reflection

Check out this reflection

This was one of my favorite photos from this 2015 Bavarian trip.   Food, friends, nature and one heck of a view.  It does not get better than this.

A few other photos from this spot depicting the quaint, the majestic, and the peaceful nature of Partnachalm.

The walk down was serene and had vistas.  All of us felt refreshed and envious of those who are able to live in this type of atmosphere. We felt gratitude and peace.

Walk descending

Walk descending

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Except for the fact that we did not see a cow, with a bell, in the meadow.  But, we did see this sheep in bovine clothing.

Cow-sheep

Cow-sheep

At the end of our walk, we spotted out this house and were in awe of it.

What a picture perfect setting and home.  We had to get a closer look

What a picture perfect setting and home. We had to get a closer look

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I saw a woman walking her longhaired dachshund.  For real, that happened.

Life is good!

Life is good!

On the next day, we found this.  Bonus!

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MEGastars: 5 of 5 star walk.

MEGatips;

MEGatips; Here are some things that I learned and of course a few things AFTER my trip.

  1. If you only have one day, I recommend this walk. Love to hike stay a week, a year or forever!
  2. The gorge is a “must see.” I have read reviews about folks who complained about the gorge. Examples: I got wet, it was slippery, the tunnels were dark, there was people who stopped to take photos of the views. All of these complaints are avoided by; wear the correct clothes, and shoes, a hat or hood that you can put on will avoid the drips from the limestone-this is nature, if you have a vision impairment of if you are unsteady on your feet, , use the light on your phone or bring a small pen light. Yes there are tourists and visitors.   Be thankful that Bavaria has shared this majestic gorge with the world. Be a fellow human being and show peace and courtesy towards others.
  3. Unable to hike to the gorge? A horse drawn carriage is available to take you to the gorge.
  4. Another way to view the gorge, one may take the tram up the mountain from the Olympic Village in Garmisch, and then hike down the gorge through Grasek.
  5. There is a steel suspension bridge where one may have a spectacular 360 panoramic view of the gorge. They say that the dizzying view is spectacular.
  6. There are torchlight tours with a dinner from Hotel Das Grasek. That could be fun. These happen in the winter also, and I read that this is gorgeous.
  7. The hotel Das Grasek has some fun events, I did not stay there but the torchlight walks and Christmas events (fireworks, live music-etc) look super fun. They have three on site restaurants including a beer garden.
  8. I have to give a shout out to The Best Western in Garmisch. I really LOVED my stay there. I felt the price-point was reasonable in a trendy tourism spot. The service was above and beyond. The staff was extremely friendly, the breakfast was above par; with a huge choice of European style breakfast items and included a juicer. There is a van, that will take you to your spots of interests, and the driver couldn’t have been more enjoyable. Excellent stay.
  9. Don’t let winter stop you from visiting. Winter visits look outstanding with something for every outdoor lover to do.   One may still hike the gorge for spectacular frozen views.
  10. There are several lifts and gondolas that give you scenic views of the area. I think it would be fun to go on all of them, I believe that there are four.
  11. Get out there, leave no trace, take the road less traveled.
  12. Be safe, brush up on your mountain safety and study your trail ahead. There are ample resources available in Garmisch to assist your experience.
  13. Do have lunch or dinner at Partnachalm. They have a wonderful menu of Bavarian cuisine. Desserts begin at 2 p.m.
  14. Visiting the Zugspitze, see my prior blog on this stop.

Meg’s Munich Moment

I had a serendipitous moment while meandering around central Munich. Near the Odeonsplatz, I visited a farmer’s market that will remain as one of my all-time favorite Munich moments. The photo below was from a prior visit and the church appears to be under repair at this time.

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Quite near The English Garden and Residence Place is a public square called Odeonsplatz.   On this particular day I found a live band on the stage and a big crowd in a beer garden like setting, with a backdrop of beautiful and historic buildings.

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Surrounded by tents with food vendors and beer, I thought this might be a fantastic place for breakfast.

Music at Odenplatz

Music at Odenplatz

Great people watching

People of Munich

People of Munich

Thanks to modern day research, I later learned that this is Germany’s largest Farmer’s Market and is called Farmer’s Market Mile. I LOVE a good Farmer’s Market where I find the season’s best bounty of vegetables, flowers, meats, cheeses, and specialty products. I learned that this market showcased approximately 125 Bavarian vendors.

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I LOVE HOPS

I LOVE HOPS

As an aside, I saw this while out driving in the countryside.

HOPS FIELDS

HOPS FIELDS POST HARVEST

A highlight for me was learning about regional foods and specialty products. There was opportunity for learning about farming in this beautiful region. Due to my language barrier, I was able to enjoy the beautiful booths and displays.

Fish YUM!

Fish YUM!

Gorgeous Goat Cheeses

Gorgeous Goat Cheeses

HONEY PRODUCTS

HONEY PRODUCTS

BEEF

BEEF

EGGS

EGGS

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SAY CHEESE

I am originally from Wisconsin and very proud of my home dairy state.  Not easily impressed by cheese, I had some of the tastiest cheeses that I have ever tasted while visiting Bavaria.  Check out this gigantic wheel of cheese. YUM!

CHEESE ME

CHEESE ME

DESSERT

DESSERT

The grapes were awesome!

The grapes were awesome!

I tasted a new variety of grape called a strawberry grape.  It actually tasted like a strawberry.

Just your average YAK meat

 YAK meat display

I was most intrigued by the meat vendors. The trucks and stalls were interesting with so many varieties, the likes of which I have never seen at a Farmer’s Market. i remember visiting the small local meat market in my hometown as a child with all of the unusual meats and deli slices.   Wisconsin boasts the largest German American population in the United States.   With contributions of brewers, dairy industry and well more breweries, it is the small European meats and bakeries that have a strong-hold in my heart. I did not appreciate the meats as that child but now see the pride in craftsmanship and heritage worth preserving.   With that nostalgia in mind, I was amazed to see so many meat vendors with their unique specialties. It was a deli lover’s heaven!

this one had a catchy truck

Interesting display

Animal heads

A market with pride, presentation, heritage and some very tasty foods was a treasure for me to find.  Thank you serendipity and thank you to the farmer’s of Bavaria for their dedication to the art of fine quality goods.  Real food by real people. The recipients of this bounty are very lucky indeed. I will not soon forget this MEGastop!

MEGastars I give this market 5 MEGastars *****

Magnificent Munich

I am in love. I love Germany, I love Bavaria, I love Munich.  “Far Away Friday” in this great city.

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Bavaria stole my heart.  I wrote in four other parts;Dachau, Rothernburg ob der Tabuer, Wieskirche and Neuschwanstein.  This was one of those MEGASTOPS that will remain with me forever.

While the countryside of Bavaria was fairy tale and peaceful, I found Munich to be energetic, historical and a whole lot of fun.

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Here are a few sights that i took in.

OLD

OLD

Mix of old and new

Mix of old and new

Great mixture of old and new. Beautiful churches with amazing craftsmanship.

Munich is a fun place to walk around and see ‘stuff.”  Great parks, A mix of old and new. Castles, gardens, parks and squares.

Interesting things that I see while zooming around this planet. Yes, it is touristy sight, but I am a tourist, Duh!  And w ho doesn’t have this on their bucket list?

One of the places that represent this city has to be the Glockenspiel in the tower/balcony of the Neues Rathaus. It is in the Marienplatz Square. Since 1908 people have been gathering for the 12 minute scene. 32 figurines that represent stories from Munich’s history, revolve on two levels. Cooper’s dancers, an angel of peace and the city coat of arms. Right on!

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You can go to top of tower and see city sights. On the day that I visited there was construction and I missed out.  I really want to do this and hope I get another chance.

Unusual things Imust see while zooming around this planet

Unusual things I must see while zooming around this planet!

Not pictured is some pretty cool shopping nearby. I didn’t do because I got a bit thirsty. Which brings me to the beer. Born in Milwaukee and raised in Wisconsin.  The largest German population in the U.S.A., there is a little bit of beer, and a whole lot of party. Munich had that familiar spark.

Nearby there is a market not to be missed. Oddly, I must have deleted my photos from the market area.  Viktualienmarkt (a farmers’ market.)  Picture fresh fruits, vegetables, sausage, cheeses and yep beer under beautiful oak trees.  Speaking of beer.

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This is the real deal.  Not a beer drinker?  This location offers a fantastic lunch stop in a beautiful courtyard.   You can wander around inside and buy some goods. Music plays on a stage indoors.  Great menu in a fantastic setting. 5 MEGastars for this place!

My favorite meal in Munich was a completely unexpected find. I peeked into the door of a recommended German restaurant, I just wasn’t feeling it, and decided to walk up the street to a flea market that I had noticed on the drive in.

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I found this neighborhood park. Apparently, it was beer o’clock here.

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I wonder if this man saw my “secret” snap. I was trying to be polite.

I found a full on neighborhood shindig in this lil park. There was a band, food carts, people joining in the music and more beer. I ate the BEST food here. There were about 5 carts with different foods and a bakery cart.  Wish I had more snaps to share.

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The food was not a mutant hybrid.

I may have had some fun here.  Seems I stayed past dark.I took some blurry photos

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Great sites, great walks, great markets, great beer, great friends. What more could a girl ask for?  I have put Oktoberfest onto my bucket list and hope that I can spend a bit more time in  Magnificent Munich!

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I love Germany and it loved me!

And I always try to find a cool toilet.  Outside of that beer garden cause when ya gotta-ya gotta go.  Bring your € !

COOL TOILETS W/C

COOL TOILETS W/C

Some quirky photos are on https://instagram.com/kickingthebucketlistwithmeg/

MEGastars-5***** Love

MEGatips

  1. Spend more than a few days in this fine city.
  2. I stayed in a few Munich locations. I loved Marriott Residence Inn Munich East. In the Haidhausen District. Just steps away from The Munich Ostbenhauf (train station) and just 7 minutes to downtown.  I had a car and there was underground parking.  An amazing breakfast buffet. Super clean-modern rooms and outdoor seating.  A 25 minute drive to the airport and near that fun park. This was one of my favorite stays europe ven alp mun 265
  3. There are many great restaurants nearby. I loved that park.  I also ate at L’ANGOLO DELLA PIZZA – Ristorante, Bar & Holzofen-Pizzeria.  You need reservations but they let me have someone else’s spot as they were late. Oops, sorry, their loss. europe ven alp mun 257
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