Date of Trip: October 2012
I’ve been to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GAP) in 2010 and 2011 and stayed at the US military recreational center called Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. This year, I wanted to stay on the German economy and see what the hubbub about bed & breakfasts is all about. I stayed at Gasthaus Maria located on Zoeppritzstrasse in the Garmisch portion of GAP. It’s near the Best Western hotel. I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent accommodation, the abundant (and free) breakfast, and great customer service provided by Manuela Thier and her husband. They spoke enough English to answer my questions and make recommendations that made my visit memorable. Manuela gave me a visitor pass for free bus transportation and discounts at local venues.
The gasthaus is less than five minutes from a path leading up the mountain to the Kramerplateauweg where the land levels out a bit. A little picturesque church sits by the path there and provides a nice subject for photography with GAP in the background. If you take the left pathway from the church, you’ll eventually end up near the Alm Hutte Restaurant where they serve just about the best Windbeutels (plate-sized fancy cream puffs) in Bavaria. Or, you can walk from the gasthaus for about a half hour to Riesersee, a nice little lake with a large restaurant near a hotel on one end and a path leading to a former Olympic bobsledding run (and museum).
Speaking of restaurants, I recommend the La Mamma Italian Restaurant on Zugspitzstrasse less than five minutes walk from the gasthaus. Order a Helles beer and the Pizza Regina for a tasty and filling meal. If you prefer a Bavarian meal, walk into the old town area (less than fifteen minutes walk) to zum Wildschutz Restaurant on Bankgasse for authentic cuisine and the best Apfelstruedel in Germany. A word of caution, the restaurant is so popular, they don’t need to accept credit cards so they don’t—cash only there but well worth it. On the way to zum Wildschutz, you‘ll see Bistro-Mukkefuck Cafe, a place you absolutely must go to just because of the name (be sure to take a photo—no one will believe you). The food is good and I believe it to be a hangout for ex-pats as all I heard in the dining room was British and American English.
There is a tandem paragliding hut near the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort—costs about $120 altogether. A bit nerve-wracking but something one should do at least once in a lifetime. Most of my time in GAP was spent walking and enjoying the area—didn’t cost me a dime. I did pay to go to one place, though, which I want to alert potential travelers to in order to make the experience better than I had. Partnach Gorge is on all the travel brochures. It’s an awesome and naturally wild place. There is a constant flow of folks traveling through it when it is open (can be closed due to conditions). My advice is to wear shoes that won’t slip on wet surfaces, a hat with one of those clip-on LED flashlights, and a rain jacket. Don’t take a backpack—there’s not much room on the path if you decide to turn. Visitors to the gorge should know ahead of time that the path is narrow and wet with sheer drops far into the raging waters below. A two strand metal fence separates the visitor and the drop-off. There are sections of the trail going through cave-like structures for some twenty yards or so without any lighting whatsoever. Folks keep moving and water drips on your head. Complicating it all is the fact that traffic is two-way. The sight and sound of the raging water can be unnerving.
Lots in GAP to see and do. I recommend walking (it’s free!) in order to soak up the ambiance and work up an appetite for some great food.