On the 2nd August we left the beautiful mountains of Cortina D’Ampezzo and the camping ground by the river for Tirol and stopped for coffee at a very typical Alpine place full of hikers. We went on towards the Brenner pass and into Austria and then Germany. We had another wonderful drive over the mountains and through the pass on the secondary roads avoiding the Autostrada and Autobahn which had long trails of large trucks. The drive across the mountains into Austria and then onto Garmisch-Partenkirchen took about 4hours with a coffee stop
and about 20minutes for lunch. The secondary roads offer a much more scenic route and we even saw a crazy bungy jumper dangling from one of the enormous bridges over
a very deep valley.
After speaking Italian for 2months I had to say a few German words to myself to get into the swing again before starting German at the service station in Austria although they speak a very different Austrian dialect and speak in a much more sing songey way (a bit like the Swedish cook on the Muppets show).
We drove into Grainau (a couple of kilometres from Garmisch) and into the lovely camping ground looking up at the Zugspitze and Alpspitze peaks. A few years ago we had taken the cable car up the zugspite and I vowed never to do it again – lovely view but not if you suffer from vertigo.
Maurice blends in much more here than in Italy where no one seems to be pale and white haired! The Italians always took him for either English or American!
He was walking back to the camper the day after we arrived and a woman was calling out “Walter” “Walter” and she became louder and nearer to Maurice so he turned
around and she saw that it wasn’t “Walter” and was most embarrassed. At least she didn’t put her arms around him like I did to Maurice’s cousin’s husband Barney years ago at their kitchen sink! Very embarrassing.
I can’t believe that it is a year since we were in Germany visiting our friends in the north. How time flies when you are having fun.
We had a nice English neighbour next to us who had climbed both the Zugspitze and the Alpspitze and was getting in some practice for further climbs with much younger friends. He
said he didn’t know how he would go as he was exhausted after a few days. He kindly gave me a novel which he had finished and didn’t want to drag around for the rest of his holiday.
The day after we arrived we drove to Partenkirchen (the continuation of Garmisch) where my mother lived about 70years ago. We visited the Werdenfels museum there where we had donated a few years ago a box of embossed photos taken by a local photographer in Garmisch around the wartime and who gave them to my mother as a momento. I kept a few of them but we thought it would be a nice idea to give them to the museum. Most of the town remains the same after all these years but the horses and cows in the street have been replaced by cars.
We then drove out to the Eibsee and where the cable cars and cogwheel trains go up to the Zugspitze.
We had a drink and snack by the lake which was crystal clear and there were some swimmers braving the cold water. The Eibsee is over 32metres deep.

On Sunday the 4th August we drove to near the Olympic stadium and made our way through the “Partnachklamm”
a natural gorge through the mountain with water gushing through it down to the valley below. It was
quite a hike up the mountain after we emerged from the gorge and we paused at a quaint house to have
a drink. We then made our way back down the mountain and back to the van. There was an alpine festival
going on in the stadium with mainly things for children to do – climbling things and a rather high flying fox.
We treated ourselves to a meal at the “Schmolzer Wirt” a very nice restaurant and bar on a stream just opposite the caravan park. We had another storm in the afternoon but it was a clear night.
We drove the next day to Schloss Elmau and the beautiful meadows and hills around there. We went for a long
walk and found the spot where we scattered my mother’s ashes about 12years ago.
The Schloss burnt down a few years ago but it looks as though it has been fully restored since and there is more work going on there.
We drove back into the centre of Garmisch and got a “hotspot” for our computer and phones so that we can put any sim card in it in any country and use it for connection to our computer and tablet. The only problem is that it does depend on what area of the country you are in eg mountains are particularly bad for reception and they don’t seem to have many towers so that connections are not good in many places.
We left Garmisch the next morning for the north west.

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