Thursday, June 7, 2012
A Glimpse of Germany in Bavaria
by Michael West
We meet in famed Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the host city of the 1936 Winter Olympics and the 2011 World Ski Championships, but our Bavarian experience really begins as a mountain railway delivers us almost to the door of our lovely hotel in Grainau. We are greeted by an awe-inspiring view of the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest mountain) from the balcony of our room.
We walk in deep, forest-clad valleys, around pristine lakes, by babbling mountain streams, across green, rolling, fertile countryside, through unspoiled villages of wooden-roofed, gaily-decorated traditional houses.
We take a cable-car to the top of the Zugspitze – known as the Top of Germany – for views from almost 10,000 ft - across Bavaria and Austria.
We walk in the footsteps, and hear the story, of King Ludwig ll (The Mad King) and visit two of the great fairytale palaces that form his legacy – we take a private boat on Lake Chiemsee to the colossal palace of Herrenchiemsee and we walk to the more modest, but nonetheless opulent, jewel of Linderhof.
And, at the end of the day, we stay in lovely lodgings in contrasting surroundings – at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, in a sleepy spa town and on the shore of Lake Chiemsee.
Add the music of the Oompah band, men in lederhosen, ladies in dirndls, frothing steins of the renowned Bavarian beer, all manner of wurst and luscious chocolate cake laden with cream, and our image of Bavaria springs to life!