Our first Bavarian excursion was the big one – the Zugspitze. Thanks to cousin Oliver having some time off work we had a driver, guide and travel companion all rolled into one! After a leisurely and delicious breakfast we were off to Garmisch Partenkirchen. Our drive initially took us along a freeway and it wasn’t long before we were seeing mountain scenery. We stopped briefly at a roadside stop and took a few photos of the scenery that included some castle ruins. Back on the road and we were soon crossing the border into Austria and then some time later back into Germany. We parked near the station at Garmisch. After purchasing all inclusive tickets we were on our way on the first train which took us a few stations along, past green fields with brown farmer’s storage sheds dotted across them, to Grainau.
There we swapped onto another train, a cog one. As we approached Eibsee we had our first glimpse of the beautiful lake. However after a quick twenty minutes we found ourselves leaving the sensational scenery and going through a tunnel for the next 25 minutes. TV displays in the carriages gave us background information as we travelled so the time past quickly. On our arrival at Zugspitzplatt we followed the other passengers out. It was a brilliant sunny day and no matter which direction we looked there was a great view and accompanying photo to be taken.
We walked around snapping for a while. Signboards on display informed us which mountain was which in the distance. There was a small chapel uphill a bit and a restaurant and outdoor eating area at this level but it was easy to see the cable cars heading further upwards to the Zugspitze. As time was getting on we decided to have lunch here before continuing up. We also suspected higher elevation would mean higher restaurant prices. Karen and I tried two different soups that were in fact very thick tasty liquid meals and Oliver ate a schnitzel that was accompanied by a mountain of French fries. And on a sunny day of 25 a beer was in order too.
After lunch we took our cable car trip to the top. Unlike the one in Slovakia we had taken six weeks earlier this one was modern, fast and held about 45 people. Once up at the top we walked around taking in the sensational views.
The actual top was just a short distance away from a barrier fence. Some people were actually using a cabled fence and making their way to the very top. Some safely using carabineers, others taking a risk by going unattached. If they made a mistake or lost their footing it would be fatal. On closer inspection we noticed some were there training in military uniform but the rest were tourists just like us.
Oliver explained to us that the Zugspitze was in both Germany and Austria. So after taking photos of the surrounding mountains from our new vantage point we duly crossed over the border into Austria for the second time that day.
This time it was just down a corridor. After a good look and a few more photos back we went along the same corridor and returned to Bayern (Bavaria), Germany yet again!
As time was moving on we queued up to take another cable car down on a different side of the mountain. After a short wait we we onboard ready to go. It certainly moved quickly too but we had a great view of the mountain on the way down.