Author: Heather Mackinnon Date of Trip: September 2012
Military deployments are the pitts.I am very proud of my husband and what he does but it definitely has down sides. It can be lonely and the days seem to drag on and on. The one benefit is the R&R in the middle of a one year deployment. After much research we decided on going to Germany for our R&R. We would fly into Munich and make our way by train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Edelweiss Resort. The Edelweiss is a beautiful military only resort at the base of the Zugspitze. The lobby is adorned with a ceiling high stone fireplace and splattered with German antiques. It has multiple restaurants,stores, a tour desk and much more.
After reuniting with my Marine we started our two week vacation at the resort restaurant, Pullman Place. I had my first Jagerschnitzel and the first of many many apple strudels. Now, I have always been an “apple” loving girl but having a legit apple strudel in Germany takes the cake…or strudel,as it were. It became our challenge to find the best apple strudel in Germany. A challenge I took without hesitation.
On a resort bicycle tour to Partnach Gorge we rode through cow pastures and past heustadels as the cows mooed away and their metal bells jingled around. It was a beautiful day and the gorge was mysterious,dark,wet and all around a great hike. As we were leaving the gorge we noticed a small cafe attached to a gift shop. The first thing on their menu was the infamous apple strudel. Bliss,pure bliss on a fork! Sugarless cream atop flaky apple and cinnamon. This strudel beat out the restaurants measly attempt without even trying.
Another week passed that was filled with mini-adventures that took us throughout Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle,Hitlers Eagles Nest and an awe-inspiring three country tour. This tour was made not only by the phenomenal Norwegian tour guide who’s pronunciation of “heustadel” was worth the price of the tour but by a seemingly time-binding itinerary. We traveled through Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein in a 10 hour day, but it never felt rushed and I grasped so much culture and knowledge from all the different countries. In Austria, we stopped at a little cafe outside of Innsbruck. After feasting on knodel and potato stew I followed it by the target of my challenge. I never thought I could ever have said it but, this was just kind of gross. I didn’t even finish it. The cream, the soggy pastry and the limp apples added up to a very disappointing apple strudel. My day was not ruined by this though. My trip thus far had been a fairy tale. Being with my husband in the middle of such a long and hard deployment was absolutely perfect. I felt like we were on our own planet where nothing could go wrong.
A few days after that, that veil of serenity started to fade away and reality started to set in. Our R&R holiday was coming to an end. We went back to the cafe/gift shop where we found our most perfect strudel a week earlier. We split our dessert. It was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it seemed a little more bitter this time around. Our little challenge took us all around on the search for a tasty sweet but what happened was that we had an amazing trip that will always be remembered. We took our last bite and knew that the next day we would go in different directions. He, back to the sandy desert and me back to a bustling city to live our own lives for another 6 months. But, I knew that this trip,the memories and our tasty challenge would get us through the next months and on to our next adventure.