The Bavarian Alps | Photo by Leonid Tit
The Bavarian Alps | Photo by Leonid Tit

Germany's highlight: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

by Shereece Spain & Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

The cheerful magic of the Christmas markets made December burn bright. But, this is January, where body and brain have decided hiding under the covers and binging “Cheers” reruns until the sun returns from its four-month vacation is the only option. But, is it? For a fun-filled snow day, we head to the German Alps.

Can I “Alp” you get through winter?

When the train first pulled into Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the quaint, picturesque village didn’t look real. With its brightly colored, half-timbered buildings nestled in front of a constant backdrop of the snow-capped Alps, it seems like you’ve stepped onto a Disney set. Even if you never step foot on a ski or snowboard, the view alone is well worth the trip.


Zugspitze Mountain | Photo by foottoo

Garmisch offers two stellar places to enjoy the snow - Zugspitze Glacier Ski Resort and the Garmisch Classic ski area. Zugspitze, Germany’s highest glacier, was the first in Germany to become an official Certified Ski Resort. Their 20 kilometers of runs cater to snow bunnies and the most experienced snow rabbits. Not too far away, the Classic Ski Area boasts three different mountains (Alpspitze, Hausberg and Kreuzeck), with 40 kilometers of slopes and 17 lifts. You’ll find varying degrees of difficulty to accommodate all skill levels of skiers and snowboarders. Borderline professionals can put your skills to the test on Kandahar, the site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games and 1978 and 2011 Alpine Ski World Cups.

Despite being a Bavarian ski resort, Garmisch is quite reasonably priced. They offer all-day and half-day passes for adults, youth (16 to18-years-old) and children (6 to 15-years-old). If you want to save, check out the family passes or Deutsche Bahn train and skiing combination tickets.


View from Mount Wank | Photo by foottoo

There’s “snow” business like “snow” business

If you have zero balance and coordination, there are other activities than snow sports. Avid hikers will enjoy Mount Wank. A gondola carries you up to a nice snow-covered hike or snowshoeing around the plateau of the summit. Kiddos young and old will be giddy over sledding or toboggan runs (depending on the time of year).

When you’re ready to take a break from your thrilling runs, each location also offers several restaurant and bar options. The Kandahar may be above your skill level; however, you can enjoy the Kandahar 2 for a refreshing beer or hot coffee and a snack. No matter where you dine, the savory Bavarian food and spectacular views will not disappoint.


Restaurant Zugspitzplatt | Photo by industryandtravel

There’s “snow” place like home

On occasion, military life affords us more than just one day to get away. If you stay overnight, there are several options. One way to truly make your trip memorable is staying in one of Zugspitze Igloo Village’s snow suites. Cuddle with the family or your sweetheart under some of the coziest blankets and take a dip in bubbling hot tubs to warm up and relax.

If you think we’re done with these snow puns, not “snow” fast. “Snow” matter what, there is “snow” way out of winter. Experience love at “frost” sight with Garmisch and boldly go where “snowman” has gone before. “Ski” you later!

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