Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bavaria 2016

When the kiddo is away, the parents will go to BAVARIA!!

While Isabelle went to Italy, Eric and I decided to go to Bavaria!  We never had an actual honeymoon because I was a senior in college at the time and up to my eyeballs in national boards preparations.  Plus, Eric took an active position with the National Guard the month after our wedding and spent the first 6 months of our marriage living in two separate states.  No matter how obsessively I might plan things, a honeymoon didn't fit into any of that.
Eric could argue that all of our travels, both in Europe and in the U.S., would be the same as one big honeymoon, but I've never been convinced of that.  I kinda feel like it would be silly to have a real honeymoon now, it's been almost 7 years since we got married, that's like celebrating your birthday 7 months late.  7 months after your birthday isn't your birthday.  7 years after you got married isn't a honeymoon.  I don't know... I'm probably overthinking the whole thing (per usual because that's how I do life), and besides, I always imagined a honeymoon somewhere tropical.  I know that tropical exists all over Europe, but with Isabelle in Italy we really wanted to stay inside of Germany in case there was an emergency we would be notified immediately and could get home much quicker than if we left the country.  But with an entire week alone together, just the two of us, we didn't want to waste a single second of it!  And since tropical exists far away from where we live, I figured we would go to the next best place (or the best place if you ask Eric); somewhere that would be sorta kinda like a mini-honeymoon!  


The view from our hotel room. 

View #2.

View #3.

I booked a hotel room in Oberau where we were smack dab in the middle of the Bavarian Alps with easy access to Garmisch, Oberammergau, and Innsbruck, Austria!  We wanted a quiet, relaxing, romantic weekend without being rushed and without a care in the world.  And we were in the exact right place for all of that!  
We spent four days in the Bavarian Alps soaking up every cutesy and majestic thing that we possibly could.  For our very last time in the Alps we were mindful to appreciate it and really pay attention to the details of the scenery (but then try not to pay any mind to the fact that it was our very last time in Bavaria, because that made us both really really sad, and who wants to be sad when you're on a romantic mini-honeymoon?!)

As soon as our car finally made it's way to the most gorgeous part of Germany (European GPS's lie right to your face!), we went straight to Zugspitze- Germany's highest peak (2,962 meters/9,719 feet)!  It was on my bucket list to go to the literal top of Germany!  Even though I hate heights, and the mechanics of a cable car pulley system defy the parameters of my brain so I get part way up the tallest mountain in Germany and start to debate whether the mechanics of the whole cable car thingy was invented by a total lunatic.   

Deep breaths.

About to go up to the top of Zugspitze! 

Lake Eibsee at the base of Zugspitze.

We made it to the top!  Even though we had perfect weather our entire time in Bavaria, when you're on top of the world, you're eye-to-eye with clouds whether you like it or not.  But the clouds up on top of the Zugspitze covered up just how high we actually were, so I didn't mind them all that much.  We were able to enjoy the view from the cable car ("enjoy" might not be the word that I would have used since we were in a contraption invented by a lunatic, but Eric sure enjoyed it), and from the ground, and from our hotel room, and from our car, and from the trails we hiked on.  We were surrounded by the most amazing views the world has to offer everywhere we looked, so I didn't feel bad that we couldn't see much on top of the mountain.

For the rest of our mini-honeymoon Eric and I didn't really have any set plans for our trip alone together, heck, we didn't even pack pajamas!  Eric and I slept in every morning, we hiked along the Partnach Gorge, as well as all sorts of trails we discovered near our hotel.  One night we ate at an authentic German restaurant and filled our belly's with awesome food & beer but then got really irritated with the waitress who spent over an hour ignoring us after she had brought us our food (it is very un-European and rude to eat your meal, drink your drink, and then ask for the bill because you're ready to leave, as if you have something better to do.  You don't.  Your waitress knows it, and she'll get you your bill when she feels like it).  We stopped at a couple of wood-carving shops along the road to see about getting a bench for our front yard, but then were discouraged when the owner at the second shop we stopped at told us all about the guy next door, and how only his particular shop sells "Art!  G*d damned art!  Each piece I make takes time!  Not the f^*king sh*t the guy next door steals from the gypsies in Poland and Hungary and then sells to tourists for pennies.  He buys that sh*t!  He doesn't make it from his own trees like I do!  I make f^*king art!  That piece of sh*t scumbag.....  Just look at my tools, they are used every day to make this art!  That piece of sh*t scumbag.... I'm telling you....  He doesn't use any tools.... This is art!  Who does he think he is...."  Aaaand 40 minutes later we finally walked out of there without a bench.
We got to walk around the 1936 Winter Olympic Stadium where a skier jumped off the ski jump thingy!  I saw him just as he went down the ski jump!  Eric missed it because he was watching where he was walking so he didn't run into anyone.  I've always told him that there are certain benefits to being awkward and clumsy, and there would be a time where he wished that he was a little awkward like me.... this was it!  This was that one scenerio where running into people because I wasn't paying attention was totally worth it, because I got to see a ski jumper jump off a big water slide looking thing and Eric didn't!!  
Another night we got Döners for supper and talked all night long about future possibilities- the kind of pillow talk where everything seems possible.  And on our very last night in Bavaria, Eric and I had a picnic in bed with a bottle of wine and whole lotta junk food that we bought on-base in Garmisch, and then we watched movies on the patio on the portable DVD player we brought from home.  

It was perfect.

Overlooking the small ski resort village, Seefeld!  You can't see it because I'm too short and didn't have anything to stand on.

Mittenwald, Germany.

The Partnach Gorge

1936 Winter Olympic Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. 

Our very first big trip after we moved here to Germany was a week long trip to Italy!  Eric had to go TDY to Vicenza, and Isabelle and I were allowed to go with him.  We made an entire vacation out of it with stops in Innsbruck, Austria, 5 days in Vicenza with day trips to Verona and Venice, and then one last stop in Munich and the Dachau Concentration Camp before heading back home again.  It was an epic way to start our European travels!  We learned a lot about how to travel, how to budget our money and our time, and left Italy with an obsession to see more.  But the most important thing that we learned was that not everything will go as planned and always keep an open mind.  On our way to Austria I misjudged our GPS and told Eric to turn at the wrong time which added 3 hours to an already long drive.  By the time we made it to our hotel in Igls, Austria, we didn't have time to see any parts of Innsbruck, instead having to stay near our hotel at the base of the Patscherkofel Mountain.  We had spectacular views of the Alps and really enjoyed taking the Patscherkofelbahn up to the top of the mountain, but we didn't get to go into Innsbruck at all, and that was a place I really wanted to see.

(I was still new to blogging at the time, so I hadn't really figured out how to blog about big trips yet.  At the time, all I wanted was to tell y'all about absolutely everything, so I had broken our trip down into way too many posts and it's pretty obnoxious.  I'd like to think I've gotten a little better at the blogging thing since then, especially better at knowing when to just cut to the chase, but If you want, you can read about our big road trip HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE.  See what I mean?)

So long story short... since we were just a short drive from Innsbruck, Eric and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to go back and see all that we had missed out on almost exactly three years before!

The Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof)!  Completed in 1500 A.D.

Annasäule (St. Anne's Column)

Maria-Theresian Strasse

Going back to Innsbruck and seeing all that we had missed out on the first time we were there was so worth it!  In a weird way, I was thankful that we weren't able to see Innsbruck the first time because we were forced to explore just the Patscherkofel area when we were there three years ago.  Otherwise, I don't think we would have paid too much attention to Patscherkofel because I was too eager to see Innsbruck.  This time, we got to spend as much time as we wanted in Innsbruck without being rushed, and with a little more travel experience under our belts.  I guess everything happens for a reason!

Eric and I had a perfect mini-honeymoon together.  And after hearing that Isabelle's trip to Italy was "the most awesomest trip ever!" made our trip even sweeter since we knew we didn't have to feel guilty for having fun without our daughter (mom-guilt is the worst).  

My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for almost 7, so we don't have it all figured out yet and can't be totally for sure about this, but for us, traveling alone together and not packing pajama's is the key to a happy marriage.  We recommend it to everyone.

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