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Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

Cologne, Germany
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Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

Hi,

We will be traveling to Garmisch on May 21st-May23rd with a car.

We have pretty much decided that we will be going up the Austria side from what I have read it's cheaper and faster. Is everything the same up on top of the mountain, if you go up the Germany side or Austria side?

What is the weather like up top this time of year and what time is best to go?

While in Austria I plan on going on a luge. I have read some about this, can someone please explain to me how the ride is? The best one to visit?

Also a plan to visit Partnach Gorge is also on the list.

Is it best to take the train or drive our car there?

Is there a place I can find directions?

Thanks for all your post and any additional comment and suggestions are welcomed on what to do and places to visit..

Thanks

Rochester Hills...
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1. Re: Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

Yes, once you get to the top it is all open to you,whether you came from Austria or Germany.

Weather can be all over the place. We stayed in GAP and waited for a clear day and then went up. If it was a crummy day, it wouldn't be worth it, IMO, but going up on a nice day was well worth it and we had a fun time!

The Partnach Gorge is very cool, in fact it was a highlight of our trip. It would be easiest (I'm sure) to drive, because you can park right by the Olympic Ski Jumping Stadium (in fact this is a good way to navigate there, just follow the signs while driving to the Olympic Stadium and Ski Jump, park at the stadium and then as you are looking at the stadium/jump with the road behind you it is to your right) and then follow the people walking to the gorge. It is about a 20 minute walk (?) before you enter the gorge.

Luges are scattered around the area. There is one near the Olympic Stadium/Partnach Gorge (follow the signs which is something like "somerrondelbahn" in German). There is also one we went on near Neuschwanstein at the Tegelberg Cable Car. I BELIEVE I have heard there is one handy also to the Austrian side cable car to the top of the Zugspitze. They open and close with the weather. Sometimes even a little rain will close them. So if you see one open, just pull over and do it! (it is vacation after all).

Cologne, Germany
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2. Re: Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

Thanks for your input...

I noticed your a Michigander also. :)

Can you explain what the Luge is?

I have read they are a very fast sled ride with big wheels?

Germany
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3. Re: Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

> We have pretty much decided that we will be going up the Austria side from what I have read it's cheaper and faster.

But the German side has the more stunning views.

Faster: compared to the rather slow cogwheel train the cable cars of either side are a lot faster. Eibsee cable car needs 9 minutes.

You can also make a round trip Garmisch - Zugspitze - Ehrwald - Garmisch. Using the cable cars and public transport.

> Is everything the same up on top of the mountain, if you go up the Germany side or Austria side?

If you go from the German side you're on the highest peak of Germany. If you go from the Austrian side just on a normal mountain.

;-)

> What is the weather like up top this time of year and what time is best to go?

It makes only sense if there is nice weather.

At this altitude the weather can be throughout the year really ugly. Temperatures will be considerably lower than in the valleys.

http://www.zugspitze.de/wetter/index_en.php

There will be also lot's of snow. Winter season just ended. And after a short break for revisions this is e.g. for the Tyrolean Zugspitzbahn the first weekend of the Summer season.

> Is it best to take the train or drive our car there?

You can do this by train. But if you have a car anyway I would use it.

Something to consider:

Mittenwald and the Karwendelbahn

http://www.mittenwald.de

http://www.karwendelbahn.de

Also really nice and a lot cheaper than the Zugspitzbahn.

Rochester Hills...
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4. Re: Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

Interestingly enough, there was still quite a bit of snow at the top of the Zugspitze when we were there the first week in August last summer. I have photos of my boys in their shorts (and light jackets!) whipping snowballs at each other (and Grandpa).

I can't vouch for the cable car on the Austrian side, but the cable car on the German side was SO COOL. The last bit was literally STRAIGHT up the side of the rock face of the mountain. Quite the thrill ride. And the view looking down at the pretty lake called the Eibsee was beautiful. It's interesting on that side to see how the flat lands of Germany go practically straight up into the mountains in a matter of miles. We came down on the train and it was a TOTAL snooze. 4 of the 5 in our group slept most of the way down. We wished we had brought the cable car down instead.

If you do go up on the German side, you can make a day of it by visiting the Eibsee at the base by the cablecar station also. They use the same parking lots. There are restaurants and biergartens around the side of the lake closest to the parking lot. It is a pretty and easy walk around the lake (will take maybe 90-120 minutes of solid walking?), you can rent paddle boats to paddle around (we did), swim (brrrrrr! Think Lake Superior cold), etc. The drive back to G-P is pretty quick (maybe 10-15 minutes?).

If you have a car, absolutely take it to move around faster.

The luge was much loved by our whole group which ranged from the youngest (a 10 year old boy) to my father (75 years old). We were at the Tegelberg Luge near Fussen and at first I balked at the price per run, but thought "OK, it's vacation..." and bought tickets for all. It was SO much fun I ended up going back to the ticket booth and buying tickets by the book, which I think were 10 tickets. I never did (and never will) add up how much we spent on the luge, but it was a BLAST! You're on a very comfortable thing that is kind of a cross between a sled and a big skateboard and a go-cart. The wheels are underneath and must be smallish. Some luge runs are metal and some are concrete. Kind of like a waterslide but not as steep. In fact, you look up the hill and think "that's not that steep!" and then you just whip down. If you can get to a luge run that is not crowded, you can really let it rip as you go down. Try not to go too slow the first time (usually people use the brake too much the first time, after that you barely touch it). I figure with that good German engineering they have it engineered so that no matter how fast you go you won't fly off the track! ;) Do pay attention at the end when it tells you ACHTUNG! BRAKE! that you brake because they want you to slow down before you come to the end of the track and the Germans are SERIOUS when they say "ACHTUNG!" The Tegelberg luge had these leather strips hanging down that whipped your face as you went by and they HURT if you were going Mach 4 (which I was one time).

If you see one open and not too crowded, just pull over and go to it because with crazy hours and scattered raindrops it can be hard to actually find an open one. When you are presented with the opportunity, grab it. Remember the word "Sommerrondelbahn" (or something very close to that) and it you see a sign (even a hand painted one with an arrow) follow it.

5. Re: Garmisch & German Zugspitze or Austria side?

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