The Top of Germany and Austria

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21, 2010 Saturday: Zugspitze (zug-spitz-ah), Alpine Luge, and Mittenwald

We had breakfast this morning trying to decide if it was going to be clear enough to climb to the top of Germany.  The Zugspitze is the highest point (2964 meters) in Germany but it is half in Austria.  We drove in weekend traffic (really heavy on two lane roads winding through the Alps) to Ehrwald where we rode the Zugspitzebahn (tram) up near the top.  At the top there was a restaurant on the Austrian side and several beer gardens on the German side.  We walked from Austria to Germany at the top.  Larry, Derek and Erin climbed, literally, to the top.  There was a sign before they started to climb that said Achtung!  Extreme Alpine Danger.  There were rungs, ladders and cables with people trying to go both ways.  I stayed behind and took video and pictures of them climbing and when they were at the top beside the big golden cross.  When they returned we had a bratwurst and they had a beer, well earned, for lunch.  Then we returned on the tram to the parking lot and went in search of the Alpine Luge.

The luge was in Lemoos-Biberwier and was called Marienbergbahn.  Larry, Derek and Erin got tickets for three times down the mountain and I took pictures again.  They rode a chairlift up the mountain and there were thirty-six turns in the track.  Derek went down first because he had a bright blue shirt on and I would know when to take pictures.

Next we drove to Mittenwald a town famous for its painted buildings.  In the zentrum the streets were lined with cafes and buildings with all kinds of paintings:  some religious, some historical, some cultural and even the church tower was painted.  They even painted on shutters and other embellishments.  There was a huge carved violin because Mittenwald is famous for violin-making and teaching  the craft.  Down the middle of the main street was a little ditch with flowing water and little foot bridges that went across in various places.  There were water features and fountains all over the place.

We decided to eat at the Gasthof Alpen Rose that served Augustiner Brau Munchen beer.  It was a street café with blue and white checked table clothes.  We sat at one end of long table outside.  We ordered our drinks, they got beer, I got wine.  Larry got spatzle with cheese and onions, Derek got roast pork, dumpling and sauerkraut, Erin got cheese dumplings and I got spinach dumplings again.  These were even better than the ones I had last night and I had to have help eating them, so did Erin.  While we were sitting there, two men and a little boy sat down beside and they were very loud.  But it wasn't long until they started to talk to us and ask us where we are from.  When we told them Ohio, one of them said Columbus, Ohio.  His name was Oswald (not Lee Harvey) Stadtler.  That was how he introduced himself.  He told us he had been to Columbus three times for the Arnold Classic as a competitor.  He was a competitive weightlifter.  He was a real character and started saying that he could tell I was a good mama.  He said things like: "I’m loving you so much" and “You break my heart.”  When he found out I was flying back to London alone, he said he would meet me there.  All in jest.  When we ran out of drink he would pour some of his in mine and in theirs and make another toast.  When he asked us our names and Larry said his he said, “Larry, not Hagman.”  Unfortunately we had an hour drive back to Reutte and we had to leave, but not before a picture of Oswald and me and two good-bye kisses on the hand.

We got back to Reutte just as the moon was rising over the mountain.  We stopped at the Shell Station again and got beers and a Radler for me.  We sat on the balcony and blogged until bedtime.      
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