The Descent

As per usual I need to preface this blog post with an apology to my avid readers out there (moms/grandmas). I have no legitimate excuse for my excessive delay other then my addiction to the Game of Thrones series and that Kenny bought me a gym membership… However, to make up for it, I have some excellent photos for you guys! This post will finally conclude our trip to Zugspitze! Holy cow, that was a long time ago…

Mountain peaks are really cold, guys. Once the exhilaration wore off I could no longer feel my face. Thus, due to that and my admittedly incessant whining, we decided it was time to go! Lucky for us, a train was headed out within the hour. Except that the mountainside is too steep for trains and we had to take another lift car just to get to the train station. Kenny was hoping he had seen the last of these…

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Fortunately, this one was a larger than the last. Plus! There was the softest most adorable Lassie-dog on it! The “Lassie-dog” was named Duke.

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Contrary to my initial thought, the dog was named after the monarchical station, rather than the university. At least that’s what I gathered from his owner’s blank stares in reaction to my Blue Devils reference. My awkwardness strikes again.

The ride was short but, naturally, I managed a few breathtaking photography feats for you guys.
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Not even the Hogwarts express could work with those angles.

Not even the Hogwarts Express could work with those angles.

Also, awww… look how cute we are.

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And here is my happy Kenny about to step on solid ground.

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The train station turned out to be quite the charming little stop.

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The gift shop was pretty standard. Although we did find giant gloves for Kenny’s giant hands! The best part is that he has not even lost one yet; its been months! Additionally, there was an outdoor café. Clearly, it’s a popular place.

The view was incredible. The lack of guard rails provided equal parts excitement and terror.

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Also, there are some truly remarkable snowboarders out there, check this out.

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Those zigs and zags were intense.

Next, we visited the highest chapel in Germany: Maria Heimsuchung.

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Apparently this chapel, known as the “Chapel of Visitation” was consecrated by the Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI: very impressive. The inside was modest, yet beautiful.

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The quaint little chapel was well suited for the serenity of the mountainside.

We only had a few minutes before the train was to arrive so we took it all in, one last time.

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Kenny and I were both exhausted when we got on the train. We had such an amazing day. Here I am with a happy, tired Kenny.

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Now, here is a happy, crazy Kenny.

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Haha. Cheers!

Zenith of Zugspitze

I can’t lie to you guys, the fact that Kenny was able to wake up before 8am in a good mood almost impresses me more than the mountaintop scenery, and that is really saying something because -let me tell you- this stuff is GOOD. I can’t be sure whether it was the complimentary breakfast buffet or the excitement of the day that got him out of bed without x10 “snoozes,” but it truly was a moment of shock and awe.  After our traditional European (aka weird) breakfast and coffee we packed up our things, checked out, and put our stuff in the car. Luckily the mountain scaling business takes place right across the street from our hotel. After a little bit of awkward conversation we purchased our tickets for the train and the sky-lift and boarded the train. It was around this point in time when Kenny began to show signs of mild anxiety, however, he was not to the point of admitting it… yet.

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The train ride up the mountain was very scenic, which was fortunate because I could have moved faster than that thing. The outskirts of Garmisch have not yet reached the 21st century, to say the least. Goats, cows, horses and pretty much every barnyard friend you can imagine were were roaming the fields. Also, there were dozens of very primitive little wooden sheds with gigantic spikes jutting out of them (unfortunately we neglected to get a decent picture). These were either for storing hay or killing people… I can’t be sure.

Anywho! Finally the train managed to crawl it’s way to our next stop: the sky-lift station. PS Maddie, every time I say “sky-lift” I think of “Skyward Sword”?

Kenny, at this point, was visibly nervous. I think his biggest issue was the size of the thing… or lack thereof. After all, he is an extra large human being and this rather small “vehicle” will be scaling the mountain at an exceedingly sharp incline suspended over jagged rocks and ice…

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There was probably less than a foot of room above his head. Here is Kenny just lovin’ life…

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I, on the other hand, loved it! It was incredible, with every gradual movement more wonderment was revealed. This is Lake Eibsee mirroring the treetops from the surrounding mountains. It was really cool to the see different angles reflected as we ascended. DSCN0368

One of the lift cars in action.DSCN0377

Every time we went over one of these things it shook the car like crazy and Kenny was sure we were goin’ down. DSCN0370

There is no way to capture the magnitude of this angle we were traveling but that didn’t stop me from taking 15 pictures of it… Here are the best ones.DSCN0382

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At last we completed our ascent!DSCN0394

Next, we walked in the building and into tourist-land! Overpriced everything with a side of uselessness:) Except for the café section… coffee is never useless. Nevertheless we bypassed it, climbed three flights of stairs, and (finally) opened the doors to the most mind-blowing spectacle I ever did see.

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Fun fact: the “Summit Cross”marks the highest peak in Germany. It has been taken down twice, once on account of multiple lightening strikes and once after an American soldier shot it at the end of WWII! Third times the charm, I guess.

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We took a couple of lovely solo shots and waited for more people to arrive…DSCN0418DSCN0419

A nice German fellow helped us out with this one…

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We felt like we were on top of the world. We could stand in one spot and turn 360 degrees and we were able to see 4 different countries. No foolin’! Mountain peaks from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy were all visible! This particular mountain in the Bavarian Alps officially belongs to Germany but the border between Germany and Austria divides the mountain. Fun fact #2: apparently there used to even be a border checkpoint at the summit… although I cannot imagine how that would work.

Before I end this I just want you guys to know, because I know how you worry, I did get to drink coffee on top of the world…IMG_0467

Next post follows our journey down the mountain! Cheers!

Oh, just scalin’ some mountains…

Hey guys! Aren’t these breaks fun?!

Kenny and I have been a couple of boring turtles these past few weeks. So we decided the time was ripe for an adventure. About two weeks ago (mind you, this was at about 4AM after I had waited in the car for an hour at his away-game pick-up point) my darling husband announced a fabulous idea for a weekend getaway! First we will head to the Zugspitze mountain, the highest peak in Germany! Following, and on the way home, we will see Schloss Neuschwanstein, the castle Disney modeled Cinderella’s castle after! Needless to say, we got home, booked our hotel, and packed that instant. The next morning we got up bright and early (10AM) and began our (my) drive to the city of Garmisch – home of the tallest mountain in Germany! It really was a gorgeous day for a drive…

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Kenny wants it known to all that he -not me- took this photograph.

The drive was really excellent. As everyone knows, highways in Germany have large sections without speed limits. Let me just say: I was flying and Kenny was extremely jealous. I was going about 109 mph for probably 30 minutes straight and it was AWESOME.

Also, as Garmisch is located just near the border of Germany and Austria. I got to drive a manual car through the mountains of Austria like a badass. Meanwhile Kenny was holding his breath and white-knuckling the door handle… Some of those sharp turns had no guardrails. I mean, this is a mountain people,  c’mon! Anyway, we made it in one piece and arrived in the adorable town of Garmisch.

The town was set in a valley of the Nördliche Kalkalpen Mountain range… which in English we just call the Northern Limestone Alps (not as cool sounding.) We checked into our hotel, ascertained a map, and walked around the wee little town.

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DSCN0350We walked in the direction of food because I was famished and had been whining for the past half hour about it. We sat down to dinner just as the sun was setting behind the mountains. It was beautiful.

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We enjoyed the view with a couple of German beers and some tasty homemade pumpkin soup at a little corner restaurant. This is one of the many fantastic things about Germany: there are no Applebees or Ruby Tuesday’s types anywhere. Ma and Pa places are all around and everything is homemade and delicious.

After our relaxing dinner we walked around the village and popped into a couple of Christmas shops. Germany LOVES Christmas, almost as much as I do.

Anyway next we headed to the hotel and got freshened up for our big Sunday night on the village! We barhopped around to a couple of hotel bars (walking not driving, parents) and finally settled on the fabulous, “Salsalito’s.” This is where Kenny and I may or may not have gotten extremely intoxicated. Entirely not our fault – we had not seen a selection like this since the States…

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Kenny and I were going on about 7 hours of sleep between us and had to wake up bright and early to catch our train up the mountain, thus we stumbled home at a decent hour.

Next post will be a big one! Our trip up the mountain of Zugspitze. Cheers!