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Jul 16, 2012

Bike Riding to Partnach Gorge

So...we'd traveled up the Zugspitze, paddle boated around Lake Eibsee, and dropped the parents off back at the lodge. It was time for the "kids" to blow off some steam with a little biking adventure to Partnach Gorge! Ok, so raise your hand if you know what a gorge is. Anyone? Yeah, we really didn't know what we were getting ourselves into either. All we knew was what the guy at the Alpine Adventures stand said..."It's cold, wet, and beautiful." Got it. We rented bikes from the lodge (which were stupid cheap...I'm talking $15 per bike for a half day) and were on our way! 

 I just wanna hug these little sheds (because, you know, that's normal). They're like the cutest things...and they're EVERYWHERE! Driving into Bavaria we all took guesses on what could be inside them, because they're dotted around in every field you pass by. You can see 5 just in the one photo above. Odd, no? Being the inquisitive bunch that we are, of course we Googled "sheds in fields of Bavaria and Austria." We found nothing. So instead of dropping the issue and enjoying their anonymity, we decided to try and peek inside of a few of them (we made sure no Germans were around to see us "trespassing," so to speak). Turns out, they're just farmers sheds. Total buzz kill. Filled with things like hay, farming tools, baby pools?....the usual. But why are there a bagillion of them? We're guessing one for every household. Strange thing is, they're nowhere near anyone's home. I wouldn't want to be the family that has to trek to a shed in 2 foot of snow come winter. So, there you go. Mystery solved. Kind of.

As we made our way to the gorge, not only was the scenery unbelievably beautiful, but we happened upon a bit of Olympic history in the form of a ski jump! This jump was used in the 1936 Winter Olympics (also known as Hilter's Olympics...scary, huh?) held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. It was the first year in the history of the Olympic Games to hold alpine ski competitions. On the balcony of the Olympiahaus, pictured in the collage below, is where Hitler sat an watched the games that year, a fact that totally gives me the heebie jeebies. The ski jump has since been rebuilt (in 2007, I believe), but still provides an interesting look into Olympics past. It's still used as a ski jump for local alpine competitors, but while we were biking by...it was being used for some sort of extreme rollerblading. No lie, people on rollerblades were rolling down, catching air. I can't even imagine skiing down that thing, much less rollerblading down it! 

A gorge is deep, narrow valley (usually through a mountain) with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it...in other words, a channel, formed by a river, running through a mountain. It takes years and years and years for gorges to form by eroding away the mountain as the stream pushes through, but when they do form, they provide for an insanely cool tourist attraction. You can see from the photos that you have a very narrow walkway sheltered by dripping rocks with only wooden posts as guardrails of sorts. I wouldn't say it's claustrophobic...but it's definitely a tight squeeze when you meet a group of tourists coming back down the gorge (one way in, one way out). Truthfully though, it's cold, wet, and beautiful, just like Mr. Adventure said it would be. Completely "GORGE-OUS." Stop it, you know I had to.

In this video you will:
 A) Hear me butcher the name "Garmisch-Partenkirchen" with my awful American (and Southern, no less) accent. Sorry, Germany.
B) Be able to hear how loud the rushing water was.  Our ears were ringing when we finally made our way out.
C) Hear another one of D's profound thoughts as he walks behind me. He says, "You'd probably die just from the shear shock of it being so cold"...referring to what would happen if you fell in the water. I'd have to agree...that place was freezing.

Eventually, the rocky walls and rushing water gave way to a large open area with a nice, quiet, flowing stream and rock bed. We hung out here a bit, just enjoying the scenery, skipping rocks, and catching our breath. We're all fabulously out of shape. It was needed.

...And here's a few photos from our bike ride back to Edelweiss...

Tomorrow, we go ROYAL. I'll be recapping our visits to 'Mad' King Ludwig II's Bavarian castles and our quick, but delicious, visit to Oberammergau! Try saying that 5 times fast! It's not possible.

Happy Monday!


  1. This looks absolutely amazing! I need to come to Germany! And yeah, reading about Hitler's Olympics kinda makes me uneasy, too!

  2. Oh so lovely! We just drove through this area on our way to Munich, Austria and Neuschwanstein, but I REALLY want to spend more time in Bavaria. I'm definitely adding Edelweiss to my list of things to do!

  3. Oh my goodness! We LOVE gorges, and this one was truly "gorge-ous" ;-p The ride there was post-card perfect too... I had to laugh when you said you want to hug the sheds. I get that urge too...hugging and pinching cute things is totally normal, right? Right. Enjoying your adventures so much!

  4. This looks incredible! My inner travelbug is calling out my name.. :)

  5. Beautiful photos! Looks like such a fun day!


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  8. We just walked through this gorge last weekend and it is spectacular with the waterfalls frozen in time and snow everywhere.

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