GPlandscapeA few weeks ago we caught the last of the snow in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a gorgeous town in the Bavarian area of southern Germany.  We did a little skiing, but I was left wanting a summer visit to see more of the town itself and take the opportunity to take trips out to the surrounding sights.

Actually made up of two towns (Garmisch and Partenkirchen!), it only became one when they were forced to unite by Adolf Hitler in 1935, just before the Winter Olympics of 1936.  These are not as famous as the summer Olympics held in Berlin later that year, but it was the first time that Alpine skiing was included in the games (won by Franz Pfnur, men and Christl Cranz, women) and the only time that the British team won a gold medal at the ice hockey!

Partenkirchen is the older of the two market towns, dating from Roman times, whereas Garcmisch appears to have built up hundreds of years later, and you can still feel this difference today. The Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, overlooks the town, providing a dramatic backdrop.

Next time, I’d like to see the Partnach Gorge, where the Partnach river is forced through a narrow, mile-long gap between high limestone cliffs, the castles of Ludwig II, and to take the train to Innsbruck and Oberammergau.

Of course, I’d also like the opportunity to taste more the wonderful local pastries and would return to the Thron Café and Konditorei, a fabulously old fashioned spot for afternoon tea serving delicious cakes!

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