Alps, alps and more alps? Day 3

It’s rental car time! Instead of renting from the train station, we chose the Europcar office just a few minutes walk north of the train station, which saved up nearly 100 euros! Instead of dragging our luggage we left our luggage in the room and after breakfast we walked up to get the car, which is a good sized Opal Astra. Nice four door hatchback. After an easy drive back to the hotel it was time to head south.

Initial driving impression was a little bit of stress getting through Munich, but not much traffic on a Sunday morning. More training of the eye to look for the traffic lights in unfamiliar locations and paying attention to the fact that they only appear to use white paint on the road so it takes an extra second to determine lane placement.

However, soon enough we were out of the city and zooming south on the Autobahn.

As we approached Garmisch we kept our options open. We were originally heading up the Zugspitze but heavy cloud cover over the mountains shifted us to plan B. After checking into the lovely Hotel Edelweiss, we decided to do most of our Monday activities instead to give us another shot at good Zugspitze weather.

Ettal Monastery, Linderhof Palace and Oberammergau are a short 30 minute drive away pretty much along the same beautifully scenic road. We breezed through the tiny village of Ettal and passed the turn off for Linderhof to enjoy lunch in Oberammergau.

Adorable little town known for the Passion Play held every ten years, also nearly deserted on this particularly cold Sunday afternoon! It’s April in Germany so the weather can vary dramatically day to day and even hour to hour, and it’s cold. Of course, if you look below you’ll see where in the Alps!

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We found a cute little restaurant where we enjoyed an absolutely delicious cream of white asparagus soup.

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Did I say delicious? Amazingly wonderful soup. Followed by a classic tarte flambé (I raved about these in France so just had to order it as soon as I saw it on the menu) and of course we had to pair this with a light German white wine. Yummy!

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Onward to Linderhof! While the actual palace isn’t large it’s wonderfully elaborate. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed inside to age the decor which was turned into a museum practically days after King Ludwig’s death. The rooms appear as if he had just stepped out. It’s Rococo fantasy adorned with paintings of French royalty (which the mad king apparently adored, and the more you see his palaces the more evident it is he was a whackado).

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The grounds must be magical during the summer yet despite the winter’s landscape we enjoyed wandering the vast park, which is open free to visitors. You only pay to tour the various buildings.

Our last stop of the day was heading back through Ettal to visit the monastery. The church is quite impressive and worth a short stop. From the photos you get the impression that it’s off in some remote park, but in fact it’s right on the main road through the tiny village.

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Back at our hotel we enjoyed the spacious room with alpine views before heading into town for dinner. We were only a short 10 minute walk to the downtown Garmisch walking district.

These towns would be so perfect if it were warmer! Lovely outdoor beer gardens and patios to enjoy the day. However this has been our coldest day yet! Low 40 for the highs and cold air pouring off the snow and glacier covered Alps. Our hotel room also has a lovely balcony overlooking the rear garden and rushing river. Alas, it was not to be, but we made do with what we had (and little crowds).

The forecast for tomorrow calls for clear skies and low 60s. Fingers crossed for Zugspitze.

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