soooo… we took the tram up to karwendel (see the last photo on the previous post to get perspective on the magnitude of the tram ride). i was positive that i would die on that tram ride. i was so sure a cable would snap, we’d plunge to our deaths, and the headline would be “minnesotan dies in freak tram accident on side of mountain in mittenwald.”
but we made it to the top uneventfully, and hiked some of the trails. the photo above is the highest i was able to go (due to fear of falling). the building to the right is where the tram arrives/departs, and of course there’s a tavern next to it for the badly needed bier. the looking glass structure on the left is a visitor center, and it is the best place to look down the mountain to mittenwald.
and when i turned around at that spot on the ridge, i was looking at austria. the view was stunning. 10 feet from where i was standing, there was a sign indicating the germany/austria border, so i stepped into austria for a few minutes.
the last thing we did on the mountain was watch 3 hikers make their descent.
no way. no f-ing way.
once back on the ground (thank god!) we crossed over the river isar, which is a milky bluish/green which i think is due to minerals in the bavarian alps. the color was surreal, but very common in the area.
the landscape was dotted with these little hay sheds. i’m not entirely sure of their purpose, maybe they use the hay in the winter to feed their herds of sheep and goats? and there’s that scary mountain with the tram again.
speaking of sheep, i fell in love with their chorus of cow bells. if you see me in person, i will probably force you to listen to the video i took on my phone. and then you’ll understand. (also, i bought a cow bell to take home so i can pretend i’m standing in this exact spot.)
we dined in downtown mittenwald in the evenings. it was very quaint and historic, but there were signs of modernity here and there (the only place with wifi was the town hotel, and it wasn’t free). the wood path in the cobblestone covers a little stream that flows through the town. there are areas where it isn’t covered, so one needs to make sure they are watching their step after a few biers.
but what we did most was hike and hike.
climbing this mountain (eckbauer, 4058 feet / 1237 meters) was such a thrill… there was a bier stop halfway up, then switchbacks and ass-kicking vertical climbs (my calves were so sore & tight!) and lastly, there was a bench where we could sit and soak it all in before we made our descent back into garmisch. we stopped for a bier about halfway down, at a gasthof in wamburg. and then we stopped for another bier in the olympic stadium (winter, 1936) in partenkirchen. and then we took the train back to mittenwald, and i had a bier at the apartment. it was a good bier day.