I awoke really early on Thursday as it was a beautiful clear day here in Oberau. I was told that the one thing that we NEED to do here was visit the Partnach Gorge. So, I left the house early by myself to scout out Garmisch, which is about 6-7 kms from where we are staying. I drove into town and walked around a bit and asked some people how to get to the gorge. I was told you need to park need the Olympic Training Facility and walk to the right of the big ski jump. Well, the ski jump can be seen from mile away as it is HUGE! There are actually 4 ski jumps at the training facility, with the biggest one being Olympic size.
So, I found a place to park and started to walk. It was supposed to be about a 20 minute walk from the parking area to the gorge and I found a fork in the road about half way there. It had signs that were a bit confusing and I took a right hand turn heading up a steep hill thinking that the gorge might be in that direction. I kept going up, and up, and up. It didn’t seem right to me, but I was getting a great workout. So, I kept walking until I saw two local women walking their dogs and asked for directions. They told me to go back down the 2 km I had just walked up and make a left instead of a right. It felt great walking up the hill and I’m glad I did that without the kids, or they would have been screaming half way up the hill!
I went back down and found my way to the gorge. I bought a family ticket for the day, knowing that I would bring everyone back later. I met two couples from Detroit that were doing the walk as well and we walked through the gorge together. It was pretty really beautiful and I knew that Drew would love taking pictures. At the end of the gorge walk there were signs that were not very clear about how to get back. The couples said they saw some signs that you couldn’t go back the way we came. So, I took another hill to walk back and about 20 minutes later when I had reached the top of the mountain (it wasn’t as big as the first one I climbed) I met another couple walking a dog and asked them if I was headed in the right direction. Again, I was mistaken and had to go back down the hill. It turns out you can walk through the gorge in both directions and that is the way to get out.
By this time is was about noon and I had been walking for almost 4 hours. I had a phone call at 3:30 that afternoon that I didn’t want to miss so I raced back to the apartment and got everyone in the car and we headed back. The weather was just amazing and we arrived at the gorge a bit after 1 pm, giving us a good 90 minutes to go through the gorge. As I expected, Drew was in heaven and stated at least a dozen times that she was moving here. I asked her about her move to Rome, Florence and Venice, how was she going to fit that all in? She has enjoyed this trip so much and taking it all in. It is fun to watch. Noah had a great time as well, taking movies with his camera and watching the natural beauty that was all around us. On the return walk back through the gorge, getting Drew out was a chore as she just wanted to stay there the rest of the day to take pictures. She took at least 600 pictures and some of them are just gorgeous.
We arrived back in time for me to make my phone call and then I had a few more calls before making dinner. Everyone relaxed for the night as both Ilise and Drew are still fighting coughs. As for me, I must have walked at least 10 miles and much of it was up a couple of mountains. I was exhausted and I slept like a baby. I love days that are full of adventure and exercise and I’m excited to see how the rest of this trip unfolds. It has truly been a trip of a lifetime and each day I enjoy it a bit more.
To a life well lived!