October 12, 2010

Student Blog by Hannah Dupea: The Alps

September 25-29, 2010
     Three Ambexers spent these dates in Garmisch-Partenkirchen enjoying the quaint resort towns and hiking in the Bavarian Alps.  Bed and breakfast at “Gastehaus Lodermann” were attained at a very reasonable price (26 Euros/night per person) with the help of the tourist information office.  Aside from breakfast, most other meals consisted of purchases from Aldi: bread, sausages, veggies, fresh fruit, juice, chocolate, etc.
     The first full day was spent walking 12+ km to the Eipsee and enjoying the path around the lake (~7 km).  Some pretty little “side lakes” were found (Frillensee and Kotbach), and the beautiful fall colors of the deciduous trees contrasted nicely with the evergreens and tamaracks.  After a time of Scripture reading and singing about God’s creation, the group decided to rest their legs for the following days and took a bus back to Garmisch (3,90 Euro).
     Monday’s trek took the three travelers down the Partnachklamm Gorge and up to two mountain chalets: Bayernhaus and Garmischer Haus.  The story Heidi mirrors the mountain pasturelands, houses, and sounds of cow and goat bells seen today.  The trails on both Sunday and Monday were wide gravel or paved paths and were frequently near roads.
     The group spent its final full day in Garmisch-Partenkirchen hiking nearly up to the Wank.  After a time, the wide, well-groomed gravel path turned into a real mountain trail that switch-backed up the mountainside.  Upon the return to town, a “billiges” restaurant was found with some of the three hiker’s favorite German foods: Schnitzel and Kartofelsalat (roasted potato salad), Bratwurst (Nurnberg-style) with Sauerkraut, and Kasesspatzle (cheese spatzle).  A hot meal is good after a few days of hiking and lots of cold bread and salami.
     The trip back to Regensberg was detoured by a bus trip to Oberammergau, the center of Germany’s woodcarving industry and the home of the passion play.  A visit to a passion play museum turned into a friendly conversation in German and English (hereafter referred to as “Gerglish”) with between one Ambexer and the elderly metalworker and young woodcarver working there.  The contrast between the older and younger generations was pronounced: the younger man spoke English, knew some about U.S. geography, wore modern clothing, and interacted in a more refined way; whereas the older gentleman spoke no English, seemed to know little about the U.S., wore traditional Bavarian clothing and hat, and said good-bye with a kiss on the cheek.  Both were very friendly and had obvious pleasure and pride in their work.

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