I’ve become quite comfortable with public transportation around my small town area of Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GaPa), regardless of the language barrier. I know how to ask for an all day pass, I know where to get off if I am taking a train or another bus out of town, and I know how to get to some surrounding areas for exploration. Eventually I will invest in a bike because GaPa is a big biking town, but for now I explore by bus or by foot.
One of my recent explorations was the Partnach Gorge, or Partnachklamm.
This gorge was a quick 15-20 minute bus ride from the back gate of where I live and easy to find from where the bus drops off. This made it easy to visit after a day of work. Going this time of year meant that I was able to see the gorge covered in ice and snow, and when I say covered I mean cooovveerrredd. Basically Elsa came in and got real angry. I have never seen ice like this in my life.
I tend to overheat when I hike, and I wasn’t sure how strenuous the walk to the gorge would be, so I underdressed. This ended up being an easy, mostly flat walk and I regretted my jacket of choice pretty quick. If it looks cold in these photos, it’s because it was COLD. The gorge is somewhat in a cave as well, so little to no sunlight hits the interior. Fitting for me to find a place where my exterior finally matches my interior.
It costs 5 euro to walk through the gorge, and round trip its about a mile. Once you reach the other end however, there are endless trails to explore. My friend and I walked on one for about 45 minutes, but had to turn around because it was getting dark. I can’t wait for the summer months when the sun stays in the sky until 9. Naturally walking on the trails made my cold inside light a small fire of happiness.
The irony of my life right now is that back home in Washington I don’t care for the snow. I typically avoid hiking in the winter months because I have slight PTSD after getting lost once due to snow. I also just don’t enjoy trekking through knee high snow, so I don’t. In Germany however, there is something magical about the snow. I guess it takes moving to Bavaria for me to appreciate the white blanket of death.
Walking to and from the gorge we passed by the Olympic Ski Jump, where the Winter Olympics were held in 1936. Next to the jump is a quaint restaurant called the OlympiaHaus, and they had delicious food! We sat at a communal table sandwiched between two German parties, and it was pure magic. I love getting away from Americans as often as I can, and sitting around Germans with their coffee and cake made me swoon.
When I first moved to Germany I was intimidated and slightly anxious about living in a town where I don’t speak the language, but after living here for a month and a half I’m no longer phased. Thank goodness for that because it means I don’t mind exploring alone like I would back home. I look forward to seeing the gorge again in the warmer months, hiking the trails beyond the gorge, and gorging myself with food from OlympiaHaus again when the ice melts.
Q: What’s your favorite season for outdoor activities?