Hiking, ski jump, x-c skiing and Christmas market

Trek through Partnach Gorge

In the morning we cleared another inch of fresh snow off the car. This activity has become a daily routine and I am beginning to wonder if it’s going to snow every day that we have left here. We still want to see the Zugspitze Mountain, but to be truly appreciated, this can only be done on a clear day or it would be a waste of money. Today we are going to hike the Partnach Gorge. This time we will hike through the gorge and then trek to the top to see it at a different angle.

Due to the cold weather, parking was not a problem again. The gorge took on a different persona today. The last time Liisa and I hiked it, there was very little snow. Today it was eerily beautiful. Previously we

Liisa standing next to frozen icicles.

saw water flow from the top of the gorge down the side of the face of the gorge. Today this water was ice covered and it created a large collection of icicles. The once flowing water was frozen in time and formed static pieces of abstract art. Being tall, I had to exercise additional caution while walking through the tunnel paths that run parallel to the river. Much of the path has been carved naturally by the eroding power of the rushing water, but parts have been dynamited forming the cavernous tunnels. Steel chain and railing have been added for tourist safety. On our previous tour I managed to crack my cranium against the solid rock ceiling and nursed a bump on my head for a few days until it healed.

The Marches descending from their alpine climb above gorge.

Liisa wasn’t up for the alpine climb due to a back injury, but our Tampa friends were eager to experience some mountain hiking. Mountains are very rare in Florida….lol. I’m a pretty avid hiker and I would categorize this climb as semi-difficult. Wooden benches were strategically placed along the trail to permit rest stops and take in the natural beauty of the gorge. Trekking in the snow and climbing several hundred steps really consumed the calories and tested one’s will and motivation. The climb upward never leveled off until we reached the summit and then it was flat for a hundred meters before the descent began. Hiking downhill utilizes a different set of leg muscles, but is still easier than ascending. We crossed over several bridges and were able to

Standing on bridge looking at gorge below.

look down into the mouth of the gorge, standing at over a hundred feet above it. If you look closely at the crevasse in the picture, you can see the water flowing at the bottom. It wasn’t until we reached the bottom that we confirmed our suspicions that the hiking trail was closed due to the slippery surface on the path that had frozen over. I guess we were ignorant to the German signs and I suppose the lack of fresh footprints should have been a clue.

After catching our breath and adjusting to being back on a level walking surface, we departed the gorge and stopped outside the Olympic Ski Jump stadium. I was uncertain where to park, so I followed a truck through the stadium

Ski jumps at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

gates hoping to find the public parking area. Instead, I found myself at the bottom of the Olympic Ski jumps and next to the Olympic stadium seating. Since I made it this far, I decided to take some pictures before departing. Talk about prime parking!

The IV Olympics for ski jumping was held at this site in 1936. I think this is also when the

Parked inside Olympic stadium.

two towns of Garmisch and Partkirchen came together and united under one name of Garmisch-Partkirchen. In the picture there are several ski jumps to include the latest state of art structure. This new jump was built to meet the revised stringent Olympic standards. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see anyone ski-jumping, otherwise

IV Olympic Stadium

with our front row seat, I would have taken a picture.

After lunch, my friend Windy and I ventured out for more cross-country skiing. We returned to the same site where he had his first outing. He was determined more than ever to execute the proper timing of sliding the skis and coordinating his ambulatory functions of moving his legs and his arms to propel his skis across the groomed path. Due to the brutal cold weather, we managed to muster out about 2 miles. There were several marked paths and it appeared you could ski into the next town. We opted for skiing around the farmer’s wood and hay storage sheds. We are still unsure if we have

Rex X-C skiing at Grainau.

resolved the mystery of the wooden sheds. They are everywhere and positioned in an illogical fashion. Most of the ones we saw were empty, while others contained hay. We are also curious why the wooden slat bottoms of these sheds are smaller at the base then at the top.

We returned the skis to the local MWR shop and ate a hearty dinner

Candy store at Garmisch.

before going back into town. The local Christmas market was drawing our attention. We parked the car and walked 2 blocks to the festive market. Our first stop was at a candy store. My wife has a “sweet tooth” for several things … one for jewelry and one for candy… lol. The jewelry stores were closed, so she opted for candy. The Christmas

Vendor selling meat at Christmas market.

market was bustling and crowded with people. At one pavilion, they were singing German Christmas carols and they were annexed by dozens of vendors selling food, Gluhwein (hot wine), meat, candy and Christmas ornaments. Everyone seemed to be in a jovial mood or perhaps I should say in the Christmas spirit. I suppose enough cups of Gluhwein would make anyone cheerful. It was another great night and our friends decided to visit the hot tub to top off the evening.


One Response

  1. Amazing, awesome, no words to present this site. Stunning and cute presentation. Keep it up.

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