Thursday, December 17, 2015

Garmisch and the Zugspitz

Since Saudi Arabia isn't very big on celebrating Christmas, our family headed to Germany for the Christmas Markets and the traditional winter wonderland that Germany is known for. We stayed at the Edelweiss Lodge in Garmisch, which is a military resort but Foreign Service members can stay there if they meet certain eligibility criteria.
RRR in Garmisch
We flew through Istanbul and arrived at Munich airport in the middle of the day. It seemed to take forever to get through the immigration line because most of the folks on our flight were Turkish or other non-EU citizens. Only after we got through that wait did we learn that one our bags didn't make the connection out of Istanbul. So we ended up killing around 5 hours at the Munich airport. We went ahead and got the key to the rental car and dropped our stuff in trunk since the car was parked at the terminal. Then we went to a Christmas market that was actually at the airport, spending our time ice skating, eating bratwurst, drinking kinderpunsch, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.
Ice Skating at the Munich Airport Christmas Market
When the delayed bag finally arrived, it was a labyrinthine ordeal to claim it. I ended up going through security three or four times, only to find myself getting routed by different staff in such a way that I wound up outside security without my bag, so I had to go back through the process again until I got it right.  We were on the road by about 7 pm. It was raining and dark. Fun.

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The Zugspitz
The next morning, we drove through Garmisch on our way to ascend the Zugspitz, the tallest mountain in Germany. Kacey and I had visited the Zugspitz before and we thought it would be a great experience for the girls.
When you live in a desert, ice rinks are fascinating

Waiting for the cable car to take us to the top of the Zugspitz
We boarded the cable car and it took us up the mountain, but it might as well have been a spaceship taking us into a world of snow and ice...


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Right about now, it felt like we were landing on another planet.
It's like the view out of a science fiction movie.
I have no idea how they got this crane up here.

Figuring out that, yes, snow is cold.


The ride down at sunset.
Mountain twilight
The moon rising over the mountians.
Overall a pretty good day and a far cry from whatever we would have been doing back home in Saudi Arabia. Tomorrow, we go sledding in the Alps!

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