Our last vacation inspired us to make our way back to Garmisch-Partenkirchen as quickly as possible to sneak one more ski weekend into the books for this season. We brought along our friends Josh (a first time skier) and Meryl, and it made for a fun whirlwind adventure on the highest peaks of Germany!
When we skied at Garmisch-Classic last month, the weather didn’t cooperate for a third day of skiing on Zugspitze, so we were eager to check it out this time. We arrived in Garmisch on a rainy, cloudy night and the weather for the following day didn’t look promising, but we ventured out with our gear anyway. To our surprise, in spite of the wet weather in the valley, the Garmisch-Classic ski area was getting hit HARD by snow instead! We were greeted by a winter wonderland when we exited the gondola. It was beautiful and a big relief to know we wouldn’t be skiing in the rain (which we decided we wouldn’t do anyway). Still, the heavy deep snow made it a bit tricky for Josh to learn on and for the kids to ski in. They were good sports in spite of the conditions! Beau didn’t let the deep snow stop him and Willow was a powerhouse, showing off her solo moves. I didn’t worry one bit when she would take a spill because she always came up laughing and half buried in fresh snow! Didi took some convincing to get going as the snow was SLOW and her muscles (and attitude) fatigued quickly, so it was a learning experience for her. Overall, for a day that looked like it might be a dud, it turned out just fine! It was fun to experience so much snow and learn ways to maneuver in it. I think Josh found it to be a good way to learn too, when an unexpected slip landed him softly in fresh powder. We also found out that a German “meatloaf” is basically a giant hotdog loaf. Go figure!
That night the kids got to go to the Edelweiss ‘Kids Night Out’ and had a blast with other kiddos eating dinner, playing games, doing arts and crafts and watching movies while Derek, Josh, Meryl and I went out to dinner. It may have been a drizzly evening but we were still able to hop around the town and check out a few places for drinks, dinner and dessert. Servus, where we had drinks before dinner, was a nice little bar with eclectic decor and a relaxed vibe. Mukkefuck was a delicious place we ate at for dinner (reservations recommended) that friends had suggested, and we gorged on big beautiful salads, fresh bread and a selection of meat and gnocchi dishes. We ended the evening eating dessert at Maronis and had delicious chopped up “pancakes” with plum sauce and powdered sugar (a German specialty) that were a big hit. Garmisch is such a cute little German town…its a place that will be fun to explore in the future! Lots of little shops, bakeries and eateries, and everything seems accessible on foot. We made our way home that way, walking off our massive apres-ski dinner!
Saturday was the exact opposite of Friday weather-wise, so we were VERY excited to make our way to the infamous Zugspitze! After yesterday’s dumping of snow, we knew the conditions were promising. There are several ways to get to the Zugspitze ski area – via the train or two gondolas, one in Germany and one in Austria. We decided to take the brand new, world-record breaking Seilbahn Zugspitze gondola up the Germany side from Eibsee. Parking was fairly easy, and since we got there early, the wait times weren’t too bad. The Zugspitzbahn (cable car) is the longest free span in a cable car at 3,213 meters (over 10,000 ft!). It can hold 120 people at a time so the gondola itself is huge, and we were amazed at how fast and smooth it was, too! Once you reach the top, you’re at the highest elevation in Germany at 2,962m (9,718′) above sea level. From there you have to take an additional cable car down the hill to the ski bowl, which is basically a giant glacier. We all exclaimed how impressive it was to start above the clouds and descend into the ski bowl where not a single tree was visible. Only snow and mountain peaks as far as the eye could see! It really felt like we were on top of the world! From parking the car to taking our first run it took about an hour, so plan accordingly with children and arrive early for the best parking spot!
Our first impression was a bit overwhelming – especially for Josh as it was only his second day on skis – but after feeling it out on our first run we figured the place out pretty quickly and everyone (except Willow, who pretty much decided she was done after one long run) had a great day of skiing every run we could handle! Lunch was yummy too in the lovely lodge. The views were unparalleled – it was the perfect day and way to end the ski season!
We were all pretty exhausted after a FULL day of skiing, and all of us had a little sunburn on our faces too! A worthwhile souvenir, I’d say, for a weekend well spent. The kids couldn’t wait to swim and the adults couldn’t wait to soak in the hot tub back at Edelweiss, so we returned ski equipment and headed straight for the water! After, we enjoyed a nice buffet dinner and passed out! Garmisch-Partenkirchen is around 7 hours from Papa, but we took a scenic route home via Hallstättersee since it was almost 70º, sunny and clear. What a fun trip to close out the 2018-2019 ski season! See you next year, Garmisch!