Happy Birthday to me!

Rex's b-day dinner with Liisa and Lea.

After traveling through Austria we returned to the cabin.  Liisa took me out for a nice birthday dinner complete with a piece of chocolate cake and a single birthday candle.  Happy 26th birthday…lol.  Unfortunately, I won’t be home again to celebrate her birthday, but she wanted to ensure I had a special night.    Liisa gave me a surprise from my mother in Pennsylvania.  Prior to leaving Florida, she sent my favorite pineapple-filled and chocolate chip cookies to Liisa.  Liisa packed them in her suitcase for me.  Thanks for the cookies, Mom!   My wife also surprised me with the latest book written by Greg Mortenson “Stones to School”.  It’s a continuation of Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea”, a New York Times bestseller for 3 years in a row.  Mr. Mortenson is still actively building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

After dinner we had some fun by sitting in the large Santa chair.  I also convinced my mother-in-law to do the same thing.  She was reluctant, but she gave in and I

Red leaves inside Partnach Gorge.

promised I wouldn’t publish her picture on my blog.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t email copies to her children and grandchildren.

The next morning we decided to do some more sight-seeing.  It was raining off and on and I really didn’t want to travel very far in case the roads would start to freeze.  We opted to visit a gorge in the nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen area.  We drove out of the town and merged on to some back roads.  This road actually had some potholes.  Since it was raining intermittently, we figured the rain would drive away the crowds and we would have the gorge to ourselves.  As we expected, the parking lots were empty and it looked like an abandoned ghost

Partnach Gorge.

town.  It’s obvious during the popular summer months; this place is crowded with hikers and on-lookers.  The vertical gorge walls are several hundred feet high and tall pine trees have found a way to root into the crevasses of the solid rock.  A meandering river narrows to only a few feet wide and is responsible for cutting a path through the solid rock forming the gorge.  An entrepreneur has capitalized on its beauty and has dynamited a tunnel through parts of the gorge.  Most of the path has been naturally carved and stands about 3-4 feet above the thundering river.  Notice the red color of the leaves that have been trapped on the rocks.

Although my mother-in-law is still an

View from outside Partnach Gorge.

avid walker, since it was still raining, she had no desire to climb the switchbacks and path leading to the top of the gorge walls.  So we went back through the gorge to our waiting car and drove to see the Eibsee Lake positioned at the bottom of the Zugspitze mountain peak.  Many of these lakes are remnants from the glacier period thousands of years ago.  The lake was a bit of a disappointment and it was too cloudy to see the highest peak in all of Germany.  The Zugspitze peak is over 2962 meters (9700 feet) above sea level.


2 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday! You are making me miss Germany (not to mention Marten!) Been there done the gorge! Beautiful! It was so wet when we went that I couldn’t get very good pictures! Enjoy your time together!!! The two weeks go by TOO fast!!!

  2. The gorge you visited after hours was used as transport mechanism to more trees from the top of the valley down to the sawmills in the valley floor. The path along the side was used to allow loggers to walk up and dislodge trees caught in serpentine path of the stream. It also served as a rescue path for those bringing their many injured compatriots down from accidents in the gorge ( hence the chapel in its center) Some tunnels were added eventually after it was converted to a tourist attraction. You can proceed up past the gorge a strenuous 3 hour hike to one of Ludwigs most rural castles complete with Garden. Not a trivial hike even in summer.

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