Memory Trigger

Rummuser has been writing about memory triggers from time to time. Andy, Beate and Tim’s latest Sunday walk reminded me of all the hiking I did about 30 years ago. The highlight was when I finished a business trip in Hamburg on a Friday afternoon and had to be at a conference in Graz, Austria on Tuesday.

For years Andy’s father had been giving us Alpine calendars for Christmas, so what I really wanted to do in the three days I had was to go to somewhere where I could see the Alps and take some walks. Garmisch-Partenkirchen was the perfect spot. I was a bit concerned that at that time no one spoke English, but I still remembered enough German to get by.

As luck would have it, it had rained for the previous two weeks but cleared up just before I arrived. That meant the air was crystal clear when I got there Saturday morning. (I had taken the night train from Hamburg to Munich, then a local train on to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.) I stored my bags in a locker at the train station, then headed for the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany — with views of Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland on clear days like the one I had.

Garmisch-Classic in Summer
Click on picture for higher resolution.

I did the tourist thing and climbed up to the top from the restaurant, of course. The path was slippery — the rocks had been polished by all the countless tourists using the trail — but it was safe, and fun.

On the way down I stopped at the lake (Eibsee) and walked partway around, then finished the trip to the valley and went back to the train station to get my bags then on the hotel to check in.

The next day I walked a few miles on a pleasant back road to Partnachklaam (the Partnach Gorge):

The Partnach Gorge, or Partnachklamm, is a “don’t miss” attraction on any visit to the Bavarian alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

The gorge, which acts as a natural conduit for the Partnach River, runs 700 meters or 2,305 feet between limestone walls that reach 80 meters (262 feet) high. A series of galleries and tunnels has been carved out of the rock along one side, allowing visitors to walk along the rushing river and duck behind waterfalls.

After I finished that walk I walked down the hill to catch a bus to the Alpspitzbahn — a cable car with spectacular views of the Alpspitz and other mountains.

I looked at the views from the top station of the cable car, then took a leisurely walk down through alpine meadows to another cable car that took me back down to the valley. I later calculated I must have walked about 15 miles that day, so I did manage to take a walk!

Monday morning I boarded the train to Graz and on the way saw the Austrian Alps and pastoral views of rural Austria. That was definitely one of the highlights of my life, so thanks, Rummuser, Beate, Tim and Andy, for triggering the memory. 🙂


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9 Responses to Memory Trigger

  1. Rummuser says:

    I am glad that memory triggers is of use to you too.

    That is fascinating. The longest walk that I ever took was on a pilgrimage to Sabarimalai way back in 1976.

    I attempted a post on that but my memory does not help with the details. I had escorted my late mother and my concentration was fully on ensuring that she did not slip and fall and rested enough and often to make the arduous climb bothways.
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Education.

  2. What a wonderful memory, Jean. Your recollection of details is amazing!
    Still the Lucky Few´s last blog post ..The Death of a Spouse When You Are Old

    • Jean says:

      That was a special weekend — I was so lucky to be able to do it. One scene I remember vividly was looking at the Alps when I first arrived — because of the sunshine and clear sky they were just like the pictures in the calendars we treasured over the years.

  3. Cathy in NZ says:

    interesting how something from your past – a calendar, can be remembered when you happen to be in another part of the world…and then today, you can remember almost as clear as it was on the day – the standouts, including the well polished but slippery rocks.

    I have many memories tucked away and whenever I get around to opening my memory suitcases I may start to share some of them with you all…from my punch/teddy puppets through to my Russian dolls, my travel passport with places that either don’t exist or have been renamed i.e.Rhodesia…my small china things that were my gifts to Mother on M-day, I vividly recall the store I bought them in Taumaruni (but not the name of the store)…

    My Miller Clan f/b page often brings back a whole lot of memories…

  4. tammy j says:

    how enchanting was that one video walking right beside the Partnach River.
    I made it full screen and felt as if I were right there walking by the rushing water. I could simply FEEL the coolness and freshness of the air! I loved it.
    thank you monk! I enjoyed your walking memory so much. XOXO
    tammy j´s last blog post ..moving on old bean

  5. nick says:

    That sounds like quite an amazing trek. Not surprising that you remember it all so well. It’s funny how something can trigger a memory from decades ago, a memory that had completely vanished in the meantime.
    nick´s last blog post ..On the take

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