“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,
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.
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.
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.
There are great maps at the trail head.
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.
Just when your breathing and cardiac functioning is testing you, you enter into the meadow.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of our walk, we spotted out this house and were in awe of it.
I saw a woman walking her longhaired dachshund. For real, that happened.
On the next day, we found this. Bonus!
MEGastars: 5 of 5 star walk.
MEGatips; Here are some things that I learned and of course a few things AFTER my trip.
- If you only have one day, I recommend this walk. Love to hike stay a week, a year or forever!
- 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.
- Unable to hike to the gorge? A horse drawn carriage is available to take you to the gorge.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get out there, leave no trace, take the road less traveled.
- Be safe, brush up on your mountain safety and study your trail ahead. There are ample resources available in Garmisch to assist your experience.
- Do have lunch or dinner at Partnachalm. They have a wonderful menu of Bavarian cuisine. Desserts begin at 2 p.m.
- Visiting the Zugspitze, see my prior blog on this stop.