Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bavaria

We just got back, a week or so ago, from Germany.  The Bavarian Alps, to be specific.  Originally, only Mike and I planned to go and meet Eric, but there were some changes and in the end we took Claire as well.  We've taken a number of amazing vacations with Eric now, enough that I think its become a kind of tradition (UK or bust this summer?), and this one was no exception.  He booked us a great place in Garmisch, a little town about an hour south of Munich.  There was quite a bit of skiing to be done, and a fair amount of exploring the area.  Some of the highlights were one of King Ludwig II's castles, Schloss Neuschwanstein...





...A day in Munich, which actually has a fun story behind it.  Mike just happens to play basketball with an opera singer, who lives in our city, who just happened to be preforming in the opera Carmen, in Munich, while we were there.  He hooked us up with some awesome tickets, and so we added 'see an opera' to our lists of firsts accomplished on this vacation.  Eric was really nice to spend the day with Claire so Mike and I were able to get away alone.  It was a lot of fun.  Not sure what I took pictures of here, except that the last one is the Rathaus, which is the Town Hall...




...And going to the "Top of Germany", the Zugspitze, Germany's highest point.  I've seen lots of mountains before.  I've been to the Andes and the Rockies.  I don't remember ever seeing mountains like the Bavarian Alps.  We luckily chose an awesome day.  It started out cloudy and hazy, but it cleared up nicely.  Mike, Claire, and Eric skied/snowboarded, and I took hundreds of pictures.  Then I put my feet up, ate some German bread and pastries, and read a book in front of the windows.  









Once in a while, I waved to the skiers.  


Eric took a bunch of awesome pictures of us all, and it wasn't easy.  He had to do quite a bit of maneuvering to try to get this guy in orange out of the shot.  He kept trying to sneak in.  




The way to the top was by way of a series of cable cars.   It was a bit windy on our trip up, and the car swayed in the breeze the entire way.  It was a beautiful ride, especially once we were above the clouds.  It was cloudy and gloomy at the bottom, such a huge difference from what we enjoyed all day.



Other than that, we spent some time in Garmisch-Partenkirche, the city our resort was in.  The city was hosting some kind of World Ski Event, so it was rocking with lots of people, live music, and street food.  We made it downtown a few times to enjoy it, and did some dancing right at our cabin.  Why not?




And, we made sure to follow one of the more important cultural traditions in Bavaria, beer and ice cream every night.  Not bad.


*Edited to add this great video Eric took as he, Claire and Mike took a run.  You can hear lots of wind.  Mike and Claire have plans to record a song to play over the video, but is hasn't happened yet.  I'll update if they get around to it, but the video is just too cool not to share right away.

 video