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.
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. 🙂