Germany – Garmisch-Partenkirchen

It’s true that proper German beer won’t give you a hangover! After two epic days at Oktoberfest, Andrew was all good to get behind the wheel of a rental car to embark on our first European road-trip!SEA Bavarian Journey

Bavarian Journey Leg 1: Munich to Fussen.

A road trip in Germany generally means driving on the infamous autobahn; multi-lane highways with no speed limit. And yep, they’re as fun as they sound. The rule is to stick to the right and only use the inside lanes for overtaking. You’d be surprised how quickly a BMW will come roaring up behind you in the rear-view mirror. Yikes!

Our first stop was the ski resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It lies near the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak at 2962m. In 1936 it held the Winter Olympics, the ski jump ominously hugging a steep slope.


Olympic Ski Jump

Today it’s a modern reconstruction, but the alpine view is timeless.Frame 2

The town is actually two towns blended into one. The buildings are decorated with painted frescoes and windowsills; the latter a cheap alternative to fancy additions. From across the street, you wouldn’t notice.Frame 1

Outside town is Partnach Gorge (German: Partnachklamm), a deep gorge in the Reintal valley cut by a mountain stream. We parked at one of the hiking car parks out of town and set off on a long stroll through the countryside.DSC04896Frame 3

Once inside, a narrow ledge hugs one of the vertical rock walls and leads deeper and deeper inside. At one point, the walls close in and a trickling waterfall makes a dry passage all but impossible.DSC04847

But out the other side, the stream opens up to a nice view.Frame 4DSC04888

Back on the road, we stopped by Ettal Abbey (German: Kloster Ettal), a Benedictine monastery in the village of Ettal.

Kloster Ettal

Kloster Ettal

It was founded in 1330 and there are still monks living here today! The church interior is impressive, with its frescoed dome and small statues all around.Frame 5

After a fire in 1744, the abbey and church was rebuilt in the Baroque style.Frame 6

Over the years, the abbey has been a boarding school, while the monastery now runs a brewery, cheese store, bookstore and hotel amongst other ventures.
Some busy monks here it seems!DSC04918

But then again, in a picturesque little village high in the Bavarian mountains…

Why not?DSC04955

Visited 25th September 2014.


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