We finally had a great summer again. Well, at least here in Bavaria. And I actually picked the perfect time for my vacation at home. So I decided to make the best out of it and enjoy the somewhat cooler days (when the temperature dropped to the mid 70’s) and drive again to the mountains and go on a hike.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, bavarian small town with international flair
This time I drove to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. This town is known for it’s great skiing slopes in winter, but there is a lot to do and see in summer, too. This tour begins with a disappointment. The plan was to make a quick stop in the town center and buy a Bretzel for the hike. But there was no bakery to be found. Which is very unusual for a Bavarian small town. Apparently the exclusive shops and boutiques made the rent too high for a small bakery to survive here. At least we were able to take some nice pictures.
Restaurant Almhütte with a big parking lot for hikers
A short drive brings us to a restaurant called Almhütte. Not really easy to be found, especially since our old car doesn’t have a GPS. Finally we found it. The parking lot is one of the starting points of a popular hiking path called „Kramerplateauweg“. It is a rather even path on a plateau above the town and gives you not only great views of Garmisch, but also of Germany’s highest peak: the „Zugspitze“. You don’t need much experience to walk this path and so it can be done as an easy Sunday afternoon stroll. Close to the restaurant we come across a small pond with these beautiful water lilies.
My guide book tells me to start the ascent to the restaurant St. Martin auf dem Grasberg at the first crossing. But we didn’t want to start with lunch and decide to take the tour in the opposite direction.
A walk for everybody: The Kramerplateau
The next sight was this church that was being billed after WWII to commemorate the soldiers that have died during war. High above town with the impressive mountain scenery as a back drop.
The plateau is actually a alpine heathland with pine trees and heather. As the day moves towards noon, the temperature rises to the 80’s and we would love to walk in the shade, but this path is very sunny. It was a wise decision to opt for an easy hike on such a hot day.
The next stop on our hike was the lake „Pflegersee“. This artificial lake was originally being used as a fish pond for the aristocrats residing in the close by Werdenfels Castle. These days you find a public beach and a restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the lake on it’s shores. The restaurant looks very tempting, but we have other plans. So we keep on walking.
Our path starts to ascent towards a mountain called the grassy mountain. It still is not too steep and every once in a while we stop to enjoy the scenery.
St.Martin on the Grasberg (grassy mountain)
About an hour later we reach the cabin where we want to have lunch. A typical Bavarian house with a nice terrace and absolutely breath taking views.
Above to the left you can see the view towards Alp- and Zugspitze which you can enjoy from the terrace. Unfortunately the Zugspitze is covered with clouds today. But the view is still amazing. And since we’ve been walking for 2,5 hours it is time to enjoy lunch. I opt for a salad made of sausage and cheese. A typical Bavarian dish and it is just delicious.
Since it is still rather early I decide to climb a bit further up the mountain towards the „Königsstand“. My guide book tells me that there is a sort of a skywalk with a even more spectacular view. The path is narrow and very steep, but it leads through a shady forest.
The view becomes even more breath taking after every turn. The whole town of Garmisch-Partenkichen at your feet. I can’t find a word that describes this view.
A few steps before I reach this recess the path becomes a bit of an adventure. From the cabin where I started up to this point I had to climb another 650 feet. So I did already burn off some of those calories from my lunch.
On my way back I find some Gentian next to the path.
What a cute surprise
Behind the next turn I come across a very rare sight. A young chamois got lost and descended to an elevation where you usually wouldn’t see them. And most certainly not that close. This guy jumped on my path not even 15 feet away.
It’s hard to tell who is more curious. Luckily enough it waits long enough to be taken on photograph before fleeing out of my sight. Isn’t it nice? This is a very special moment, since they usually are seen in high elevations and in very rocky terrain.
And then one last glimpse of the town and the surrounding scenery.
Back at the cabin, I feel like having something sweet. In my guide they mention that this cabin has a specialty that is not to be missed. So I order a serving of their Blueberry Pancake. The waitress looks a bit confused, since she knows that I just had lunch about 1 hour ago. I expect to get pancakes like I know them from the states, actually more of a desert serving. Along with the pancakes I order a glass of fresh buttermilk.
When my order finally finds its way to my table I am dumbstruck. The pancake has a tremendous size and could easily feed 2. On top the glass contains 16oz of fresh buttermilk. Usually they serve half of it in one glass.
But the guys from my guide book were right. This is by far the best blueberry pancake I ever had. A thick pancake filled with tons of fresh blue- and raspberries with warm cream. I must be in heaven. I just have to enjoy every bite of it. Delicious is an understatement.
After feeding myself with such an amount of calories, I am happy that we still have an hour to walk before we get to our car to drive home. The descent is rather steep at some points and we are happy that we decided to walk it the opposite way.
So we had chosen the perfect tour for a hot summer day. And this chamois sighting and this pancake……….
What else can you ask for?