Saturday, February 16, 2008

Our Trip to Garmisch-Parkenkirchen - part 1

Our trip to Garmisch-Parkenkirchen was a lot of fun. After an almost 3 hour car ride and dealing with a 2 year old obsessed with elevators, we were pretty exhausted and wondering if it was a good idea to vacation to a skiers paradise with a 2 year old. We ended up having a great time.

We stayed at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort which is an Armed Forces Recreation Center and was built in 2000 to provide recreation, sports, tours and lodging for overseas American servicemembers and their families. This picture of Brian was taken outside the hotel. The 2 following pictures are taken from our room - what a beautiful view!

Above are a few pictures from driving through Garmisch - a fruit stand outside the shops in the town square, a picture of a street sign with the beautiful moutain range in the background, and a picture of a crucifix on the side of the building in the town square. Most of the buildings in Garmisch-Parkenkirchen, along with the rest of the Alpine villages, have painted facades, usually in biblical themes. The Alpine area has a very Catholic presence and you will see crucifixes all over - on sides of buildings, outside homes, on the side of the road and tucked into the forests edges. Another popular display is the Virgin Mary, with or without baby Jesus in her arms. You will see Mary statues in little cubbies built into the sides of buildings and in painted murals on sides of buildings.

Wednesday we spent the day exploring. We drove around to look for some fun spots to sled but since it has been an unusually warm winter here, there isn’t a lot of snow at the base of the mountains. We did follow
the big Zutzspite signs and found a cable car that goes up the back side of the Zutspite mountain (which we did not go on) and a lot of snow on the ground but not a sled in sight! We thought we would be able to rent a sled but we quickly found out that you either have to buy one at a store and lug it with you or borrow one from the outdoor rec building on the small military base they have here. So we spent about an hour walking around in the snow all bundled up – Luke was adorable and really enjoyed walking by himself in the snow, watching the cable car go up the mountain and playing on the tractor they had in the children's area outside of a mountain gasthof.

Later that day we explored a little town called Mittenwald. But that will be in part 2 of my many-part post! This one is going to be a doozy - reading material for days! :) I'll end this post with a couple bonus pictures...

Pictures - Luke in a rocking chair at our resort and me perched on a boulder. The first 3 days we were there we had amazing weather - sunny and clear. You could see the mountains perfectly - from ground to peak.

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