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Germany> Bavaria> Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Germany - Bavaria


A Karen Brown Recommendation
Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Framed by some of Germany’s most dramatic, jagged peaks, *Garmisch-Partenkirchen is backed up against her highest—the towering Zugspitze. At one time two villages, Garmisch and Partenkirchen, merged to meet the demands of accommodating the 1936 winter Olympic Games, and the distinction between what were once two communities is still apparent. Garmisch is a bustle of activity with broader, newer streets lined by larger stores and hotels. Partenkirchen, with narrow, winding streets and timbered buildings, preserves more old-world charm. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a skiers’ delight in winter and a walkers’ paradise in summer and fall. One of the loveliest well-marked trails takes you through the Partnachklamm Gorge (behind the Olympic ski stadium), where you walk along a rocky ledge with a guardrail between you and the tumbling river, sometimes passing through rock tunnels and behind cascading waterfalls. You get a little wet (take a raincoat) and the gorge is chilly even in summer, but the experience is breathtaking. Pretty walks can be by taken by riding the cable car up the Wank mountain and walking down to the valley floor. (8:45 am–5 pm, May to October.) Additional scenic views are found by taking the Osterfeldbahn to Osterfeldkopt (2050 meters).For some it’s a must to travel to the top of Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2966 meters)—remember to take warm sweaters for this excursion. The Zugspitze cog railway departs from the Zugspitzebahnhof, next to the main railway station, almost every hour on the hour (also from Grainau). The train ascends through the valley and brings you out below the summit of the Zugspitze—a cable car departs about every half-hour and whisks you the last 3 kilometers up the mountain. Enjoy the view, soak up the high Alpine sunshine, and return to the valley on the other cable car for the ten-minute descent to the Eibsee Lake. From here the train returns you to Garmisch or Grainau. (Departs hourly 7:35 am–3:35 pm in summer, last return approximately 5 pm.)
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