Sledding down the German Alps

Sledding down the German Alps

Hi guys! 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 at the food of the German Alps. We were lucky and had the road nearly to ourselves and got through quite fine. 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).

Outside Café Krönner in Garmisch

Café Krönner is a lovely place that reminds me on old-fashioned coffee houses in Vienna or Prague.

Inside Café Krönner in Garmisch

We both ordered something for breakfast. Nadi went for WeisswĂŒrste (German white sausages) with sweet mustard and a Brezel,

White saussages in a pot

and a hot chocolate that you create by yourself by dropping three Pralinen (chocolate truffles) into hot milk:

A praline and hot milk

Pralines in hot milk make fantastic hot chocolate

I myself ordered just a regular breakfast, nothing special…

Regular breakfast at Café Krönner

😀 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:

Café Krönner cakes

Café Krönner pralines and chocolate truffles

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 into the German Alps.

View from the Hausberg

We practised to look as cool as the Snowboarders we saw…

Two super cool girls in a gondola

… but who are we fooling? In the end we are only two little girls with sleds…

To girls with sleds in the Alps

🙂 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…

Dragging the sleds on the first meters

On the piste

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:

Nadi sledding # 1

Nadi sledding # 2

Nadi enjoying the snow

This is the perspective you have on the sled:

Perspective from the sled

Wrong way!

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…

Dangerqous parts of the piste

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.

Enjoying the view from Hausberg

Man, was I happy that we’ve survived the first part of the piste.

Happy survivor

So, that’s what lies behind us:

Piste behind us

And that’s what’s still to come:

Piste in front of us

Let’s do this!

Sleding down the Alps

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.

Sledding down the German Alps!

Nadi arriving in the valley

What a ride! After this, we truly deserved our GlĂŒhwein (mulled wine) from this little ski hut.

Ski hut at the Hausberg

Sitting in front of the ski hut

Enjoying mulled wine

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.

More information about:

Café Krönner (only in German)

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Edelweiss Lodge and Resort

fannetastic food

FĂŒssen, AllgĂ€u – a romantic place for a weekend getaway

FĂŒssen, AllgĂ€u – a romantic place for a weekend getaway

Hi guys! Are you looking for a lovely place for a weekend getaway? Two hours away from Stuttgart you find FĂŒssen, a cute Bavarian town in an area called AllgĂ€u. And that’s where I have spent my last weekend together with my girl friends.

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fuessen3

FĂŒssen is nestled between snowy mountain peaks and appealing landscapes. The old town center is approximately 700 years old and offers narrow streets, little shops and traditional restaurants. My favourite place to relax and have a coffee is the StadtcafĂ© WĂŒrkert in the Reichenstrasse.

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stadtcafe_fuessen2

They have a huge variety of cakes and all of them taste equally delicious.

stadtcafe_cakes

When you order coffee or tea, you’ll find out that they use differently painted cups – very cute! 🙂

stadtcafe_cups

I recommend sitting upstairs because the room is designed in the style of an Vienna coffee-house.

stadtcafe_upstairs

Before we left, I couldn’t resist and bought some christmas cookies.

stadtcafe_cookies

Another very special place in FĂŒssen is the pharmacy. The facade of the building is elaborately painted…

pharmacy1

… and the inside looks like out of medieval times.

pharmacy2

So don’t worry if you’ve forgotten some drugs when visiting FĂŒssen, it only gives you a great opportunity to step inside and have a look 😉

We roamed the streets a little more…

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…and came past a Weltladen where they sell fair trade goods from different countries. They had everything, tea, coffee, chocolate, toys, music, clothes, bags, vases, jewellery… I got myself a green necklace.

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weltladen1

It got dark already but you cannot visit FĂŒssen without stopping by at Giovannis Weinladen. It’s situated in Lechhalde 2, next to a lovely painted church.

fuessen_church

Giovannis’ real name is JĂŒrgen. However, as he travels to Italy frequently and nobody there can pronounce “JĂŒrgen” properly, he found himself another name – moreover, it just works better with his little wine shop, I reckon 😉

giovannis1

giovannis2

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In Giovannis Weinladen you’ll find all sorts of wine but also spirits and exquisite olive oils. The owner is very helpful and directs you to just the perfect wine for you. And there is a lot of tasting the wine as well!

giovanni

As we stayed in FĂŒssen for only one night, we didn’t do much more sightseeing. But there are so many more things to do and explore around here: The castle Neuschwanstein, the Alps, lakes, hiking trails, thermal baths and much more. As I am visiting this place at least once a year, more posts about FĂŒssen will follow in the future.

More information about:

FĂŒssen

StadtcafĂ© WĂŒrkert (only in German)

Oktoberfest 2012 – “Prosit” to a rainy day

Oktoberfest 2012 – “Prosit” to a rainy day

Munich is only a 2.5 hour drive away from Stuttgart and makes thus a great destination for a weekend-getaway! And where do you go at the end of September or the beginning of October when in Munich?? Right!  😉
The Oktoberfest is the best known German festival, I think. Some people also call it the “Beer Festival”. And that really nails it! 🙂 There are huge pavillions called beer tents (Bierzelte) where they play live musik and serve beer in huge glasses called Maß. It takes place each year for 16 days in September and Oktober in Munich on the Theresienwiese.

On Saturday, I drove from Stuttgart to Munich, which takes about 2.5 hours. I arrived in the afternoon and Cathy and I started to get dressed for an exciting evening at the Oktoberfest. We both wore Dirndl, a traditional dress from the south of Germany. Unfortunately, when we stepped outside, it was pouring with rain. But hey, Oktoberfest is only once a year so we decided to go nevertheless – maybe it will get better soon, we thought. Well, how wrong we were. When we arrived at the Theresienwiese, it was not only pouring, the wind was blowing very hard and it was freezing cold.

Oktoberfest by rain

Dirndl in the rain

We walked over the Oktoberfest, had a Burger with Schweinshaxe and got really soaked within one hour – so we decided to be wimps and call it a day.

Schweinshaxe Burger

If you wonder now, why on earth we did not go into a beer tent, where it should be warm and dry and amazing – well, if you have no reservation, you need to show up around 7 am on the weekend to get the chance to go inside at all. And as we arrived at the festival around 4 pm that was no option.

Beer tent from outside

Back home, we blow-dried our hair, Dirndl and cold feet and had several cups of hot tea. As we don’t see each other that often, we were just as happy, spending the early evening at Cathy’s place and chatting. Around 9 pm, we decided to go out for a drink. Cathy knows a very good cocktail bar called reizbar where they serve – direct quote from Cathy: “Munichs best cocktails”. That sounded good to me! 🙂

The reizbar

The reizbar turned out to be a very small bar with a very large cocktail menu. A lot of their drinks got awarded, too, so I was very excited. We started reading the first ten or so pages of the menu when the barceeper came to our table and asked whether we needed help. Well, we did and he recommended us two cocktails: “Mint-Peach-Daquiry” for Cathy and “Lustgewinn” for me.

Mint-Peach-Daiquiry and Lustgewinn

They tasted amazing so we had to get another round. By seeing how well he did with his first recommendation, our barceeper got a little lightheaded and promised we would love the next two cocktails even more, they contain flowers and cucumber. So he placed “Red Cucumber” infront of me and “Vorstadtveilchen” (which translates into “Suburb Viola”)  in front of Cathy. Surprisingly, we liked those ones as well – even though I told Cathy at the begining of our evening how unpleasent I find vegetables in my drink…

Red Cucumber with... well... cucumber!

It was still raining when we left the bar but just before we arrived at Cathy’s place, it stopped. Well, it was after 11 pm, which means, the Oktoberfest was closed now anyway. So we could fall into our beds without regret 😉

PS: In order to give you an idea, how nice it can be on the Oktoberfest when it’s not raining cats and dogs, here is a picture of the beer festival by sunshine…


More information about…

the Oktoberfest 2012

the reizbar