Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany

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Leaving Munich, we picked up a rental car that we will be using for the next 10 days or so.  We visited Dachau and then drove south to Garmish-Partenkirchen.  This town, which is the combination of two formerly separate communities, is located in the south of Germany on the doorstep to the Alps.

Garmish-Partenkirchen

Garmish-Partenkirchen is a ski town.  From the town you can see the highest peak in Germany, Zugspitze at 9,718 feet.  Also, the town was the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics, the first to feature Alpine skiing.  Still, if you want to impress your friends, just tell them that you will be wintering in Garmish.

The old part of Garmish is quintessentially Bavarian.  Our guidebook directed us to check out a restaurant in the old town called Gasthof Fraundorfer.  They are known to serve very good Bavarian food and they have live music, yodeling and the Bavarian style dance, known as Schuhplattler with hip and foot slapping.  We enjoyed the food and the entertainment.

A well known natural feature here is the Partnach gorge.  This is a deep gorge that has been cut by the Partnach River.  The gorge is about 1/2 mile long and as deep as 260 feet.  It is located a little south of the Olympic Stadium.  You must walk from the stadium to the downriver entrance to the gorge.  There is a trail that has been cut into the rock on one side of the gorge that runs about 20 feet above the riverbed.  There are a number of tunnels and curtains of streams of water falling all along the path.  There are dramatic views at every point.  In addition, if you’re willing to make the additional hike, there is a high iron footbridge the crosses the gorge affording a breathtaking view of a long section of the river.

Next stop:  Freiburg, Germany

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Innsbruck, Austria

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Maria-Theresien-Strasse

Innsbruck sits in a valley with mountains to its north and south and the Inn River running through it.  Just on the other side of those mountains is Germany to the north and Italy to the south.  With relatively accessible mountain passes in both directions and a bridge across the Inn River (thus the name “Innsbruck”), this town became a very important trade route.  Innsbruck is the capital of the Austrian Federal State of Tirol (or Tyrol).  This region was much larger but the area of South Tirol was ceded to Italy at the conclusion of World War I.

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Tahoe Ski Trip 2019

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In early February we headed to Lake Tahoe to enjoy some skiing.  Just prior to our departure a substantial storm moved through the Sierras dropping several feet of new snow.

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Once again, our friends Steve & Wende invited us to stay at their home near South Lake Tahoe, NV.  When we arrived, the first order of business was to remove enough snow from the driveway to get the car off the street. Continue reading

Columbia Falls, MT & Glacier National Park

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This is the first time in Montana for both of us.  Columbia Falls is located southwest of the west entrance to Glacier National Park.  We parked at the LaSalle RV Park.

Glacier National Park

I don’t attempt to rank national parks and other places of natural beauty since each place offers something unique and special.  But suffice it to say that Glacier National Park gave us many opportunities to feel overwhelmed with the sheer scale and beauty of what we were seeing.  This place that was carved and shaped by geological forces and glaciers occupies about one million acres in northwestern Montana.

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Burnaby, British Columbia

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Burnaby is located on the east side of the city of Vancouver.  While here we stayed at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park.  It is immediately adjacent to the Burnaby Lake Regional Park just off the Trans Canada Highway.  We visited the city of Vancouver on our car trip back in 2014.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

In North Vancouver you will find the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  This is a tourist attraction with the primary feature of a suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River.  The bridge is 460 feet in length and 230 feet above the riverbed.  The other features are Treetops Adventure which is a boardwalk and elevated footbridges among old growth forest and Cliffwalk which is a narrow walkway cantilevered from the cliff’s edge, extending out over the open canyon.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful place but it felt a little too staged for my tastes.  There are many places where you can get a comparable experience without the admission price which was about $69 USD for the two of us.  However for those who are unable or unwilling to do a little hiking, then this provides a convenient way to get the experience.

Sea to Sky Highway

On another day we did a day trip west to the end of the Trans Canada Highway at Horseshoe Bay.  From there Highway 99 turns north on what is known as the Sea to Sky Highway.  Immediately, you encounter jaw dropping beauty along the shore of the bay.  And it doesn’t stop as you continue north passing through Brittany Beach, Squamish and Whistler.  Along the way, a short walk gets you to Shannon Falls which at almost 1,100 feet is the third tallest waterfall in British Columbia.  The Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics.  It is a large ski resort with extensive facilities and village development.

Next stop:  Arlington, WA