Nadi, my best friend since kindergarten, who moved to Sydney, Australia, ten years ago, was home for Christmas this year. Hurray! 🙂 Obviously, we were looking forward to some fun in the German Winter Wonderland. However, nature let us down. There was no snow at all around Christmas and it was one of the warmest Christmas days ever. But hey, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad… We decided to search for the Winter Wonderland and guess where we found it? In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, close to the border to Austria, in the German Alps.
It takes you around three hours on the autobahn to drive from Stuttgart to Garmisch, if there’s no traffic. We were lucky and had the road nearly to ourselves and got through quite fine. We started in Stuttgart at 7:30 in the morning and arrived in Garmisch around 10:30 am. As we haven’t had breakfast before we left, we were quite hungry and decided to eat something first, before we head for the snow.
We went to Café Krönner, which I knew from another visit to Garmisch with my friend and blogging idol Anne from fannetastic food. (I met her in Garmisch in January 2011. Because of this visit, I knew that this place is the real German Winter Wonderland and planned for my friend Nadi and me to come here if winter let us down in Stuttgart).
Café Krönner is a lovely place that reminds me on old-fashioned coffee houses in Vienna or Prague.
We both ordered something for breakfast. Nadi went for Weisswürste (German white sausages) with sweet mustard and a Brezel,
and a hot chocolate that you create by yourself by dropping three Pralinen (chocolate truffles) into hot milk:
I myself ordered just a regular breakfast, nothing special…
😀 Isn’t that an awesome breakfast for one?!! And it was delicious!
They also have a shop where you find the most mouth-watering cakes and chocolate truffles in the area:
Before we got in danger of buying the whole display, we decided to go out into the snow!
From the center of Garmisch it took us five minutes by car to go to the Hausberg, a mountain right next to the town. We rented to sleds called Zipfelbob, bought two tickets for the gondola and up we went.
We practised to look as cool as the Snowboarders we saw…
… but who are we fooling? In the end we are only two little girls with sleds…
🙂 Our sledding adventure was about to begin! On the Hausberg, there is a special piste for sledding. It is 3.5 kilometers long (sorry, you have to calculate the miles for yourselves… 😉 ) and some parts are a bit rough and steep.
It was tricky to find the piste at the beginning. From the station you have to turn right and then left and left again. Ok, to be honest, we missed it the first time and ended up in between skiers. But hey, we’re still alive 🙂
On the first meters you have to drag your sled sometimes, but then, the fun begins…
The sign saying “Rodelbahn” explains that we finally found the piste for sledding 🙂
After ten years in hot, snowless Australia, Nadi had a blast sledding:
This is the perspective you have on the sled:
See Nadi in the red circle? Well, where she’s going is wrong. When you reach this blockhouse, you have to turn sharp right… Well, I reckon everybody finds out after they’ve gone straight the first time… What awaits you behind the house, you ask? The end of the piste in form of a truck, so better be not too fast…
Sometimes, the piste is close to a steep edge. Here, they have put up this red net for the safety of the sledders… Have I already mentioned that this piste is not really suited for small children?? I mean it!
After we had fallen off several times from our sleds, we decided to take a break and enjoy the view.
Man, was I happy that we’ve survived the first part of the piste.
So, that’s what lies behind us:
And that’s what’s still to come:
Let’s do this!
The last few hundred meters, we had to share the piste with skiers. But there were not many around plus this part of the piste was very wide and well maintained.
What a ride! After this, we truly deserved our Glühwein (mulled wine) from this little ski hut.
Sledding down the German Alps is a blast. And Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a really nice village for a getaway. There is even an US army base and a hotel that was built as an Armed Forces Recreation Center 60 years ago, so a lot of Americans and English-speaking people are around.
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