The funniest part of our day here was after the event when Kerstin, our friend and a mad Hanni supporter, chased her hero along with all the 16 year old girls. She came back after quite a while (we thought she followed him into the dressing rooms ;-) completely covered in mud but smiling. In the bus back to the railway station we entertained the whole bus because we talked nonsense even though we were sitting far apart from each other!
packing & what to leave at home
A comfortable knapsack is a must. It should fit your back and distribute the weight evenly between your shoulders and your waist. Of course, it should have a padded back and a belt for around your waste, as well as a strap across the chest. Do not buy too large. 20 kgs or 40 lbs. gets awfully heavy at the end of a long day. If you plan to travel light, rinse your laundry in the sink as you go, and want versatility, then think about replacing some of your traditional standbys with something different.
I am a runner, biker, hiker and skier. Therefore, I own a lot of functional clothing made from lycra, nylon and polyester, along with cotton and wool blends. I try to bring many layers, so that I can put on and take off as the weather changes. Of course, I carry lights for hot weather, but also darks, which do not show the dirt as much. Hint: grays and blues are better than black when it is hot & sunny outside. One light weight camera that is water resistant and can withstand a fall and getting knocked around in your knapsack and or pocket. Leave your expensive gear at home when skiing. Replacing a pair of jeans with a pair of hiking pants with zippered legs versus carrying an extra pair of shorts saves on weight. Lightweight, polyester/nylon t-shirts weigh a third less than cotton shirts, and pack up a lot smaller. They also dry faster when you rinse them out or when you are just cooling down after a long, hot walk in the sun. Fleeces are often more versatile than cotton sweatshirts. Sweatshirts are bulky and take forever to dry once they get wet. Fleeces come in many styles, so you can get less bulky cuts that also take up less room in your suitcase or backpack. With fleeces or jackets, I like the ones with zippered sleeves, so I do not have to carry a jacket and a vest. Unless I am sleeping in a snow cave or it is really cold, quite often a 100-weight fleece with windstopper will keep me warmer than a 300-weight fleece without it. That is because it keeps the wind off me, and if it is not going to rain, then I can eliminate an extra layer, too. Pit zips are a must regardless of what anorak you carry.
I prefer hiking socks to wool socks. They rub less, soak up and retain less moisture, and therefore cause fewer blisters.
At the end of the day, synthetics need to be rinsed out so they do not smell, so I carry a tube of fast-rinsing laundry detergent with me. It is extra weight, but saves many trips to the laundry mat or packing extra clothes for that weeklong business trip or when trekking and every ounce counts. Caution: If you are going to be in the mountains you must also reckon with an unexpected overnight stay on the mountain if and when something goes wrong and it can. So packing light is often a tradeoff with being warm and dry, so weigh your options carefully. Communal group gear can often help you carry extra items, but less overall than if every member brought everything.
I love my old sweat shirts and jean jackets, they just take up a lot of room, and I keep them for bumming around home on the weekends, or when I am driving, and am tempted to bring everything (just in case).
Pack light. Carry a credit card.
Take to Germany's Highest Peak
At 2962 m., the Zugspitze is Germany's highest peak. During the winter months, it is packed with skiiers and snowboarders from all over the world. In warmer months there is hiking and sunbathing available.
I went to the top in November to have lunch at the restaurant and take in the amazing views. It seemed like the mountain peaks stretched on forever! Beware of the icy winds on the panorama platform, even in summer. Inside, there is a video playing about the construction of the cable cars and mountain stations. Also, from the top you can cross the border into the Austrian station. We descended by cable car to the basin station on the Zugspitzeplatt to have a bier and take some sun.
There are two ways to get to the top: the cogwheel train or the cable car. The cogwheel train descends through the mountainside and doesn't afford much of a view. Unless you are afraid of heights, I would take the cable car both up and down. You will get amazing views of the Eibsee lake below.
Round-trip adult fares: 43E in summer, less in winter. Park at the lot at the bottom of the Eibsee-Seilbahn or take the Zahnradbahn from Garmisch (the station is next to the Bahnhof).
Visit the castles of "Mad" King Ludwig
We had visited all of his castles except for the Schloss Linderhof. So we decided it was time for a visit. Plus, my father-in-law has a difficult time getting around and I thought Neuschwanstein might be too much for him.
The Linderhof is beautiful and full of fanciful, fairy-tale elements. The dining room has a table that sinks into the floor, the grounds include an artificial cave where King Ludwig could enjoy Wagner's operas.
While we were there, the facade was being restored and cleaned.
We took the bus which cost us euro 28.00 for all four of us to Schwangau. We took the horsedrawn cart which cost Euro 24 to get to the castle, but you must remember that it is still quite a steep climb from where they drop you to get to the castle. So make sure that you allow for enough time before your castle visit. this is Ludwig's fairy castle from where you can see Hohenschwangau where his parents lived.