Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Goodbye Love(story), Hello Happiness!

Monday Morning, said good-bye to Josef and took the train south. The view through the train windows not as beautiful as the trip north most of the time until you get past Munich. When I got to Garmisch-Partenkirchen--wow. Scenic, classic, shrouded in fog. It was snowing beautifully as I walked a mile or two to the Edelweis American Lodge. Entered the main lobby where there was a great fireplace surrounded by couches and other typical resort trimmings. Arcade, heated pool with a fountain, steak restaurant; not bad!
But the rooms were booked and expensive. The cheap place I had been told about no longer existed. I walked around the town with an increasingly heavy backpack for a total of about 5 hours. It got colder, it got dark, I grew tired. I found rooms for over $100/night. Found a small one for $70/night, figured I could at least afford that for some rest but I walked on. Finally, an older lady pointed me to a house that takes lodgers. The rooms were small, the price was right. My four-day stay total was less than one day at the most expensive hotel I found, and included breakfast mornings. Shower was down the hall--just right! Quite cold and tired turned into happy and grateful. My thoughts again turned to the slopes.
Day 6, Tuesday. Rented/bought snowboard equipment through the Americans. Went up on the mountains with the Germans. And Italians, and Swedish--it seemed like everyone was there. IT WAS HEAVEN. Fresh, deep snow everywhere, still on the trees. Bliss on a blade. Smiled, laughed, came downhill over and over. Took pictures and made movie clips. Ate Gummy Bears and Pizza for power. Went to my room satisfied. I can die happy now. If I don’t, tomorrow will be a travel day so my legs can rest.
Tuesday. Feb 21, 2005 Wondered briefly how Josef was coming along. Ever so briefly. The train doesn’t run east and west in Southern Germany so I bought an all day bus pass for about $10 and rode out to Neuschwanstein. Again the country side was like postcards. If the bus windows weren’t so dirty… At any rate, the fog again hung low, snow flurries flitted and fluttered. The Castles of the Kings, they call the area. The famous castle that Disney copied for their logo is the more pristine castle here. It is clean and restored and cost a hand full of Euros to walk through. You can’t take your camera so I stayed outside and had a Bratwurst. Mmmm, meaty! It tastes all that much better in this kind of weather.
Horse drawn carriages were available for the more complete experience. For the hiker, like me, it meant stepping more carefully and avoiding being downwind. But seriously, it all did have a bit of a magical effect. Even huge touring groups of Asians and Americans couldn’t break the spell. The nearby lake was frozen over and covered with snow, it seemed the King could arrive at any moment, or some Knights ride through to report a conquest. There might even be a glass slipper…but the search for something else would begin on Thursday. The plan formed as I drifted off to sleep on the bus-ride home…
pics: 1st: A view out the window traveling south on the train
2nd: Germans in black as usual, the younger generation a bit taller, checking the train schedule as I often did.
3rd: Typical house and painting in Garmisch
4th: Never too cold for a kid to want ice-cream. Typical, even though this one is American.

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