Can you ever have too many photos of mountains? I doubt it.
On Monday, we checked the Bavarian Alps off our list of places to see, taking the train to Garmisch Partenkirchen, a resort town in the shadow of the tallest peak in Germany, Zugspitze. Particularly after the weather ended our hopes to go up the tallest mountain in Salzburg, I was really wanting to see some Alpine views. Originally, we thought we would just go explore the town, but after doing some more research, I discovered there was a more toddler-accessible trip we could take. So we braved the peaks and even a trail from one cable car to another. We asked a lot of them, and the children rose to the occasion and did wonderfully, even in moments of exhaustion and a little weeping.
To begin the trip, I kicked four college-age girls out of the children’s space, telling them I had two small children and asking if we could have this spot. It was so nice to have a lower table, chairs closer to the floor, and a little space next to the table for JH to do his typical up-and-down and to walk around a little, as the sleepier he gets, the more wiggly.
From the train station, we took the Zugspitzbahn, the cog railway that takes tourists to the base of a few different mountains. The countryside is so picturesque, with low barns scattered throughout the fields and cows and goats dotting the grass.
From the ground, we took a cable car to Osterfelderkopf (6,749 feet), a summit that lies right below the summit of Alpspitze (8,622 feet). The kids were very pleased about the cable car; much more pleased than the adults! When it started Edith said, “It’s like a hot air balloon!” and then a few minutes later, “It’s like we’re in a big airplane!” The view was, of course, spectacular, but the ride is not for the faint of heart.
At the top, we enjoyed the views of mountain peaks, green valleys, and paragliders while eating our lunch at the restaurant.
After lunch, we did some walking around at the summit. The kids love climbing the rocks, I loved the Alpine flowers, and EA braved the observation deck that juts off the mountainside.
From Osterfelderkopf, we took another, shorter cable car ride to Hochalm. From that station, we had about a 30-minute walk on a gravel trail to the cable car that would take us back down to the bottom of the mountain. The lady at the info desk told me it was stroller and toddler-friendly, and while we managed and enjoyed some spectacular scenery, the path was perhaps not as friendly for a *double stroller* with two 27+ pound toddlers in it. We made them walk a few times, and at this point in the day, they were both completely exhausted and did not appreciate time on their feet. Grumpiness and some crying aside, I am glad we did it, and we even kept to the ideal time table so that we could make the 4 p.m. train back to Munich!
Here is the view looking back up the mountain towards Alpspitze, where we departed on the cable car.
One of the first scenes on the hike was these cows that were wearing huge bells around their necks. You could hear the sound from far off, and it was such a quintessential (stereotypical?) Alpine view.
The ride back down the mountain was in smaller, round cars, or “baby cable cars,” as Edith called them. We made a hurried walk to the train from the car so that we could make it down to the town of Garmisch with an hour to explore and grab an ice cream cone. One day, I would like to go back and see more of the town, as it is quite lovely. I did get to see a few of the painted houses I had seen in photos.
I am so glad our mountain adventure was such a success, and that we decided to do it. There is nothing like some Alpine air and gorgeous views, and getting out of the hot city was just what I needed to make it through another week in 90 degree heat and no air conditioning!