Meeting New People and Seeing New Places
These tips are based on my last 8 weeks of traveling in Europe/Africa:
1. Buy/pre-order as many museum/attraction tickets online as you can.
2. Ask the taxi fare before taking off in a taxi, especially if it’s late at night or coming from an airport.
3. Charge your camera batteries every night.
4. If you have a Eurail pass and need to make reservation make them in Europe. It’s a lot less expensive.
5. If you’re climbing a few hundred steps up a tower, monument, etc. go only a clear, sunny day.
6. Learn at least Hello, Thank you, and Goodbye in the foreign language of the countries you are visiting.
7. Turn your cell phones off inside churches, museums, etc. If it rings and you must take the call, do it outside!
8. If there’s a running commentary (live or recorded), be polite and be quiet.
9. Dress appropriately and be respectful in churches.
10. If you’re traveling with children, don’t let them disrupt others around you. If they cry or throw a tantrum, take them outside.
11. If you have a complaint, do it reasonably without yelling and cursing.
12. Regarding pictures:
a. If there are signs saying “No pictures”, don’t take pictures! There’s a reason for the signs. Do you really, really need that picture of Mona Lisa to prove you’ve seen it?
b. Learn how to use your camera before the trip. If there are signs saying “No flash”, make sure you know how to use the camera without it.
c. If you see a couple or family with one person taking pictures of the other(s), offer to take a picture of both/all of them. Maybe they’ll reciprocate.
13. Check local holidays. Since many museums and stores will be closed, you’ll need to have other plans for the day. (Most stores throughout much of Europe are closed on Sunday.)
14. Don’t try to do too much. Leave some open time to just explore.
15. You’re on vacation so relax and have a good time!
photos around GAP - 9 -
These do not really count as tips, but then again, what is better than a good photo to tell a story? GAP was and is in some sense of the word a truly wonderful place, but through indiscrimate development they are in real danger of inadvertently killing the goose that laid the golden egg. How many car dealerships does GAP need? How many grocery stores? GAP is and should be foremost a mountainous retreat, not a commercial center. Locals who own land, benefit by selling their farms for lots of money for development. Tourists who choke the streets of GAP make unnecessary purchases. The only ones who lose are those that come to the mountains for the mountains.
Hike around the Eibsee
Drive or bike south of Garmisch to Grainau and follow the signs to the Eibsee. This clear, cold lake lies at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain. A well-maintained path circumnavigates the lake and makes for an easy hour-long hike. In the warm months, people flock to the Eibsee to sun on the rocky beach and brave the water which warms up from ice cold to just plain cold. There is a hotel, restaurant with deck, and a paddleboat rental at the lake.
Expect to pay a couple euro for parking at the lake or take the Eibsee bus from the Marienplatz in Garmisch.
Most resturants will seve food at lunchtime until 1430 or sometimes 1500 and then offer a smaller snack menu until early evening. The same applies to the bars in the hills. Don't worry! You won't go hungry. The afternoon menus centre on cold plates wirh cheese, ham and pork with some local bread usually available. A mixed plate of meat & cheese should also be on offer.Hot dishes tend to be limited to Goulaschsuppe or an Eintopf (Potato & Vegetable soup with frankfurter type sausage) or Strammer Max which is the local name for Ham & fried eggs on a piece of bread. Some places will seve Bratwurst and fried potatoes or potato salad. The cold plates usually comprise of a plate covered in meat or cheese with 2 or 3 slices of the local brown bread and go down well with a few beers. Most places will sell Apfel Kuchen but it's better with coffee than beer so I stick to the savoury stuff. Schweinbraten and horseradish. The horseradish is hot and strong.
Have a beer
One of the things I really like about Bavaria and Garmisch in particular is the beer! Ther's plenty of choice and it's rare to get a bad one. And it's not all lager. Try a dunkel or dark beer like a Konig Ludwig or a Josefi Bock in a Mittenwalder supplied bar. The Mittenwald Brewery also makes a dark Christmas beer. Best of all in Wintertime the Ettaler brewery have a beer called Curator. Well worth finding! Weissbier or wheat beer is worth trying. It's a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it! As for the hell beers, you can actually taste the difference unlike the Eurofizz we get in England. My favourite is Paulaner but with Lowenbrau, Hacker Pschorr, JW Augustiner, Ettaler and Mittenwalder I'm sure you'll find something you like and it's great fun finding out which you like the best.
In the town itself there aren't as many places to sit outside as you might expect. There are a few tables set up but in the main most places don't have the room.
I have to say that most ordinary bars are quiet and they usually close around 1130 to midnight. There are music bars that are busier and they stay open later.
My favourite bars are up in the hills. Most of them have terraces and when the sun's out what could be better especially if you've spent a couple of hours building up a thirst. The views of the mountains make a splendid backdrop. Most of the mountain bars close in the early evening so do them during the day and the bars in town at night.