Beauty carved in centuries: Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Have you ever been into a Gorge ? ( or Klamm in Deutsch)

I’ve been spelunking 2,500 feet underground inside the caves in the Philippines and hiking through waterfalls but I have no idea what is a Gorge! I had to google it first when I was looking for something to see in GaPa. Personally, this is my very first encounter with this unique nature wonder . Luckily, this summer we were able to see the flaming mountains in Mittenwald and explored around again the Zugspitze area in GaPa or also known as Garmisch-Partenkirchen . GaPa is another beautiful Bavarian city that is well-known magnet for Ski enthusiasts and winter sports because of the Zugspitze (the highest peak in Germany 2,962 m). It’s only approx. 2.5 hours drive from Ingolstadt, Bavaria thru A9 and A95 and only an hour trip if you’ll be coming from Munich!

You know you are in Garmisch-Partenkirchen when you see these girls

Our summer this year were mostly into nature, mostly wandering in beautiful valleys and playing tourists! We grabbed the opportunity to do short trips because its Sommerferien here in South Germany ( Bavaria), my daughter had almost 3 weeks vacation ! Me and my husband divided our vacation days to stay with her while the Kindergarten is closed and in between the weeks, we both had vacation days from work. We’ve been trekking mountains, admiring glaciers and exploring the giant Alpine water reservoirs with my Little traveller , cruised into historical rivers and visited the oldest Monastery , following torquoise -blue lakes, soaking into the mighty waterfalls, and not but not the least–hiked through glorious Gorges- the Partnachklamm!

Visiting this gorge should be on your bucket list if you’re around Munich or southern Germany. The 5 Euros entrance fee is totally worth it. I’ll share with you some pictures I’ve took from our hike but I think photos don’t do justice when you see it personally. Now I understand why it is being visited by roughly 200,000 people every year!

Carved beauty through centuries : A glorious 702 meters beauty hidden in the hollows of the Reintal Valley and Zugspitze

First I did my research because I cannot really write about things I don’t know. So if you’re willing to learn something from Geography, here it is.

What is a GORGE exactly?

A gorge is a narrow steep valley formed millions dinosaur years ago and usually a powerful river flows and cut through the rocks and forms deep incisions. They’re like gaps in between mountain rocks! A walk inside a Gorge will leave you speechless and you will really cramped your neck looking up high and ogling through the narrow slits and limestone rocks! If you look closely at the rock textures, you would be amazed from the amount of beautiful changes it went through to be in its state now. They even found numerous fossils on the rocks so imagine the living things that thrived all through those centuries in this place. But just imagine the amount of water that gushed through these rocks!

View from the parking area of the Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Partnachklamm is the most famous Gorge in Bavaria. It lies in the Reintal Valley in GaPa and strategically located near the Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen . This stadium is quite famous for Winter Olympics 1936 and this is where they held the Winter Olympics long time ago (yes, during the Nazi regime ) ! You can even see where Hitler stood to watch the games. The gorge is 702 metres long and, in places, over 80 metres deep. It was designated a natural monument in 1912.

I need to mention it here because this is actually the place where we managed to park. Going to the Partnachklamm from the Ski Stadium is reachable only by walking ( ON FOOT!) around 2 km for half an hour doable hiking. We actually enjoyed the scenery going to the Gorge, it was quite peaceful, and the sound of the waters is really relaxing. If you feel lazy or challenged, then you can also take the horse -drawn carriage for 5 Euros per person. We took this option on our way back to the car because it was raining and it would be a challenge for my parents-in-law to walk again and my daughter is already whining because she is tired.

It’s really a beautiful experience for all of us. So imagine my wonder when I’ve seen these massive walls of rocks with the massive thundering sound of water gush. It was deafening, intimidating, and overwhelmingly beautiful. I am appalled that beautiful things are always hidden and you really need to exert an effort to find them.

One thing, the water’s color is crazy beautiful! For almost an hour, all I can hear is its thundering gush. The showers and foaming vapors in rage and the color changes from clear to icy bluish then greenish and torquoise are really unforgettable! I have read that when rocks weathered down through times, the minerals from the rocks are dissolved and small pieces are released into the water causing color changes. Iron, manganese, and calcium carbonate from limestone rocks can cause the water to change colors.It is a long natural metamorphosis. I have observed this as well when we were in Kaprun in the Hochgebirgsstauseen and watching the Salzsach river in Salzburg.

Experiencing the Partnachklamm with my 5 year old is also very special as she is so bewildered by the stones and walking in darkness. The trail going to the Gorge is safe for all ages, properly marked and with guide railings. The only thing that I regret was I wore the wrong shoes! My poor white shoes was a total fail! I was not prepared with the right shoes but at least I have a waterproof jacket on because we were drenched by the showers and water splashes.

If you’re around GaPa, make sure you pass by to Partnachklamm and be amazed by this natural setting. Another adventure is to experience it in Winter where the frozen water formations is something different. Seeing the icy stalactites is also something on my list.It is a great family excursion to combine with other activities you can enjoy around the Zugspitze region. If you’re ambitious and in good shape, you can continue on for another eight or nine hours to the glacier near the top of the Zugspitze!

If you are interested on doing a hike through the Gorge, you can check it in Here for more details on opening times and prices. Other interesting places to combine with this activity can be found Here.

Now I can’t forget how I celebrated my birthday this year.What a threat indeed. Partnachklamm, you are beautiful!

How about you, what family adventures you’ve been doing lately?

Interested to explore all the Gorges in Bavaria? Check out this informative article Here, also what do you think of this piece of Art?

Thank you for dropping by, and see you next time in my next Expat adventure! Tschüss!

Sweet sluggish November

Have you notice that it’s almost half of November? October spells went quickly…

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Time really flies. Forty days more to go and its Christmas, and  47 days more and the year ends. November days crawls like a sluggard, like the leaves enduring the harsh winds and struggling to cling on the branches. The trees soon will be bald, since leaves continuously falling to the ground. Times like these allows me to treasure the short days  of Autumn knowing that winter soon will knock on our doorsteps. But..at the corner of my heart, I have this feeling that November days are so lazy, its like I’m always trying to pull the days soon,getting over with the upcoming festivities and start the new year, clean & fresh.

Meanwhile,I wondered how the moon looked tonight since it’s the time of Perigee Moon, they say its the Supermoon, its gonna be on its brightest and biggest. I have high hopes since the sky is not clear over here. 

Since I live in Germany, and this is an Expat blog, around this time of the year, do you have any idea  what Germans or Bavarians do on  lazy  fall Sunday mornings?

 I have observe quietly how Germans roll the sweet November days. They are out cycling as usual, with half of their face wrapped  with thick scarves.They run,brisk walk, while listening music from their phones. They walk their dogs or run with them. Their dogs are dressed up in its winter outfit. The cute little coat that they wear. Cozy and snug as a bug they trot into the woods. I love how German mothers dressed up their babies in a snug baby sack and merino wool and let them nap in their buggies. They open their windows while the heating is on, and yes, they clean their garden yards from the fallen leaves.

You see, my neighborhood is a picture of a decent, quiet, sometimes boring, and typical Bavarian village where people don’t say Hi but only mumbled lazily , Grüß gott!

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In the woods
 

Aside from drinking Hot chocolate milk with marshmallows, and doing some serious Fall baking, I’d like to spend my Sunday ( Ruhetag) mornings by taking nostalgic walks in the woods or if it’s not raining, cycling in the dike and enjoying the landscape.This has  become my new Sunday routine.My wandertag!With all the shops being closed on Sundays, a trip to nature is the best way to relax. Enjoying the leaves has become my serious favorite.

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Me, in my hiking shoes enjoying the leaves and being a kid again
From last week, its been grey skies, gloomy and raining here. But today, finally we have a bit of sun so we head into the woods right after breakfast.From walking through the crisp dried leaves,admiring the Autumn colors along the banks of the river, and on the look out for mushrooms in the wild woods,my heart is glad. Although spring flowers are a wonderful sight against the bright sunny weather, autumn flowers which are drenched in dew are also enchanting to see.Times like this in Germany is nothing special, but for me, its different.

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Fragile white beauties in Fall
I spotted these dainty bunch of white fluffy moth- like flowers growing like a vine around the fence. It reminded me of cotton balls. So fragile, and soft. I don’t know its name but I don’t mind, they are just beautiful to see.

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Fluffy white flowers
I didn’t know that moving to Germany would introduce me to another sweet culture called ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’. It’s basically coffee and cake time. It’s a Gezelligheid enjoyed between family members, friends, and loved-ones. Normally on lazy Sunday afternoon but I noticed that Germans tends to have this any time of the day, mostly before their evening meal. I see them enjoying a warm cup of coffee with a slice of cake, looking so cozy. Bakeries here always have some selection of day cakes, sliced in decent portions, the most common is their Black forest cake, custard and with fresh fruits on top.I don’t feel guilty about indulging into some sweets since I am a confessed chocoholic as well.  The difference from Kuwait is that there are lots of Burger restaurants & fast food there that it seems quite impossible to avoid the unhealthy side of comfort foods especially if you walk into Avenues where there are unlimited choices. Aside from sweet pastries and heavy cakes, Kuwaitis favored a different version of indulgence.

Here in Bavaria, a simple coffee/tea and cake is enough pampering your sweet tooth!

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Baked my first ever traditional Dutch pie from scratch.
I managed to make my very first traditional Dutch Apple pie from scratch. My husband devoured it like a glutton and I am happy that despite having a hard time getting the ingredients from the local shelves of supermarkets here, I managed to bake a decent pie. One note, there’s no self-raising flour or a good vanilla essence here. All is see is the Vanillin sucker or the aroma that doesn’t really “do”as the real vanilla.

For the last 2 weeks of November, there are still few highlights to look forward. I’m excited for my daughter to have her first taste of St.Nicholas Day on the 5th of December, visit the local Christmas Market which wil start next week and start making cards for Christmas. Germans already started to hoard Adventkalendars,almost all shops have their own selection on this. I would be glad to squeeze some time for this as well as making DIY wreaths. After all, it will be our first Christmas here in Germany so I’m looking into new things.

How are you getting by through this sweet November? 

Beauty along the way | Wandertag

One of the things that I loved about Germans is their passion for walking. If you love running/ walking, then you will adore Germany. It was a bit shock to me seeing how people just loved to walk. Nordic walking is quite  popular  and Volkslauf on the weekends in the forest paths are long part of German culture. Walking is a lifestyle and Wandertags are simply delightful for families,and  something that I always look forward to do once given a chance. It makes me smile seeing ‘older’ people walking relentlessly, with their hiking sticks and trekking stuffs. They are so active, so full of life. No matter what the weather is,they are out there, walking. Just don’t walk on their cycling paths, it’s a different story!

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‘Shadow cast’

Since the time that we’ve moved here, there’s never a day that we didn’t take a walk. Minus the days that the weather is so gloomy and grey. Even if it’s just in the neighborhood to calm the cranky toddler. Aside from the usual weekend strolls we always paved to post-dinner walks. I got used to seeing that it’s  still bright at 8pm, still nice to be out. Working hours is less  stressful compared to Kuwait so I find it perfect to have  quality time with family even after work.

Another reason to be out walking is to see the beauty after it rained. Lately these are the treasures I find while roaming around.

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Finding beauty along the way. Like a tiny drop of water from a flower soon– it will disappear. This moment should be frozen. In a photo like this.

Coming from the Middle East that most people shun the sight of sun because it’s too hot to leisurely walk outside, especially from  summer months of April~October, walking is not a norm. The soles of your shoes will soon fall out!

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A Refreshing view of the buds still wet from the morning mist of rain showers. Simple life treasures to behold.

Let alone that  footpaths are not a norm nor  cycling paths. In the PH, either you walk while you drenched in sweat because of humidity or you just wanna kill time. Either way, walking is something of a personal choice.It’s something that you do because you need to do it, not because you enjoy doing it.

What I like about Wandertags is the access of finding the Beauty along the Way. Calling it rather as your subconscious exploration , or whatever. Have you noticed how your thoughts wander while you walk? There’s so much beauty of nature for me to appreciate. I am always amazed. I never get too tired to gaze upon it.

This is why I love how Johanna shares her “Monday Walk” adventures . Walking alone is rejuvenating if you crave peace & quiet but walking with company is even more exciting. Have you  tried finding inner peace while walking & roaming just like RestlessJo ‘s passion?

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Nature’s pallete–  A ray of different colors in one flower. A metamorphosis of beauty that only the patient soul can find.

I was even more motivated to follow this path knowing that it brings good to your soul. There’s something about walking and discovering beauty in all its forms in any way. Just like the way  Annette of Beauty Along The Road ‘s approach to life, savoring life’s simple pleasures.

I wouldn’t discover these  if I had not taken the guts to walk, sweat out & explore by having the right attitude. I am glad that in these exploration, I was able to freeze the moment where nature just magically display its splendor. I’m glad my iPhone is always handy to take photos of these sights.I called them iSights.

In the end, I said to myself, that I don’t really  have the right to complain about life. There’s so much goodness in it. So much beauty. Along the Way.

What’s your opinion about walking? Do you like it?

Tell me how you find it as  more than a form of exercise. I’m looking forward to hear your own stories if you have.

Thank you for reading my friends and Happy Walking!