Moving on from Mainz (and stopping as soon as we arrived in Bayern for our first authentic Brezen of the trip!) it wasn’t all that long before we were searching for mountain peaks on the horizon. I always get a flood of memories as soon as they come into view, from one of our very first visits when Mr R managed to block the entire car park accidentally (the police were called, and we had to make a very quick getaway before they got there!!), to first trips to the Partnach Klamm (and not quite believing its raw ethereal beauty!), to alpine visits where Mr R had to rescue my Mum from a Ravine – to our most recent trip last year when our youngest learned to ski at the grand old age of 3 (which is positively old if you are a true local!)…
We decided to return again this year as we know it so well, plus if truth be told we left booking anything at all quite late, so by doing an in-depth search of somewhere we happen to know very well, we actually managed to find something… Which is how we also managed to book something way beyond our typical ski accommodation standards, justifying the price by telling ourselves it was part of Mr R’s big birthday celebrations that are coming up shortly.
A stay at The Alpine Apartment as it turns out is a truly lovely birthday present, set on the very edge of the Kur Park (a beautiful place for a wander – home also to the largest Insect House I have EVER seen…), it’s peaceful and has the added bonus of the most magnificent mountain backdrop. It also happens to be quite luxurious, incredibly spotless and made a wonderful base for the week. It’s also a few minutes walk from the centre of Garmisch (last time we stayed in Partenkirchen), which was handy for eating out, and stocking up on many old favourites.
We could also walk to the ski lift quite easily (it’s a leisurely 20-minute walk), and the Four Year Old and I would spend lazy mornings enjoying breakfast and a spot of German children’s TV appreciation (as the only member of the family yet to have German lessons of any sort, the power of learning another language through watching TV is not to be underestimated – he told his brother “du bist horse” out of nowhere one morning, and also told me that he had seen “eine kleine mausie” (a little mouse) after an hour or so. If only I had watched more TV when we lived there!) leaving the rest of them to get the first lift up and enjoy a few runs on their own, before packing up our gear and meandering our way through Garmisch’s charming streets. In order to keep these walks interesting and free of any moaning from either of us, I would point out little interesting things along the way – shop fronts, cakes in windows, cats on balconies, and one morning a Wolpertinger in a shop window. This mythical mountain creature is made up of various animal parts and features highly in alpine folklore. This particular “beast” had been stuffed, and given pride of place with a hefty price tag (for some drunken tourist no doubt), and having reached moan level 3/4 I stopped outside and let him stop for a while to examine it… It was around the same height as him, and in order to stare deep into this weird creature’s orange eyes, he pressed his nose against the glass to get a closer look. As he turned to me to ask what on earth it was he was looking at, my own eyes suddenly met the glowers of two elderly shop Frauen who were looking at the small mushroom imprint his nose had left on their glistening shop window. It wasn’t there on the way back…
Once we were up in the mountains, we did have to invest in a couple of private lessons for the four-year-old as he (conveniently) decided that he had forgotten how to stop after building up as much speed as possible. We all know how children don’t like to listen to their parents, so we placed him in the capable hands of a private instructor who worked her magic with a little gummi bear blackmail. For me private lessons are the only way to go if they are under the age of 5 at least as there’s too much standing around waiting for others when they are tiny, and sadly I witnessed a couple of tiny kid s who had basically given up being left to their own devices whilst the group instructors carried on with the rest of their charges some distance away. Not good…
The older two are obviously now pretty good, and can well keep up with their dad. It’s so nice for them to have this common obsession together, but it’s also really nice for me to have some time to myself whilst they are all busy throwing themselves down mountains. I even managed to catch up with a good friend from Munich who joined me for the day. We celebrated in the oldest Konditerei with cocktails and puddings for lunch (puddings in Bayern are very common on a Friday!)…
Whilst we were back, we not only caught up with favourite people (we didn’t go to Munich this visit, over the summer hopefully!), we managed to indulge in a favourite food things too, from puddings for lunch to Kasespaetzle (Alpine Mac n Cheese), Kaiserschmarnn in sunny town squares (where we met some raucous Fasching revellers), and of course plenty of Fasching Krapfen (doughnuts)…
We witnessed Karneval festivities up north in Mainz (and later Aachen) where it tends to be about big street parties, floats and brass bands, in the South it tends to be about the more traditional side of things, with wooden masks handed down through countless generations and evening meals in restaurants where you were never quite sure what was going to walk through the door…
Reminding me of our dinner with Krampus, we had to reassure the four-year old that the grizzly bear that had just appeared was really just a man in a costume, but it was quite convincing all the same. All the festivities and the costumes are as equally loud as the other as it’s all about scaring away Winter, and making way for Spring. In days gone by, when life was much harder, and the snow much deeper it must have seemed like a really really good idea. Nowadays its about preserving culture and celebrating heritage, even the smallest family members get involved…
With skiing, mountains, food and friend appetites sated, before we knew it our time in the Alpine Apartment had come to an end, and it was time to head back North to our final stop – Aachen…
Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels says
Thank you Tanja! :)
Kara Guppy says
it amazed me how much Spanish Sebby picked up in hospital thanks to Spanish TV, so definitely works. Looks like a stunning place to stay, would love to take the kids skiing
It DEFINITELY works! Thanks Kara, it definitely tires them out! :D
Mellissa Williams says
The festivities look like such a lot of fun! This looks like a wonderful holiday and experience for the whole family.
Thanks so much Mellissa! :)
Rebecca Smith says
What an amazing trip! I love the look of that food – it is making my mouth water
Thanks Rebecca! :)
Natasha Mairs says
Looks like such a great place to visit. The food looks yummy and that bug hotel is the best I have ever seen
Amazing isn’t it? I want one for my Garden! Thanks Natasha!
Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog says
We’ve heard amazing things about Fasching Krapfens and I bet they are a delight! We’d love to stay somewhere like this and going skiing.
Thanks Bella! :)
Hollie Burgess says
Sounds like an epic adventure, |’m not surprised you went again, it really does sound incredible.
Thank you Hollie! :)
Laura | Tales of a Natural Spoonie says
This sounds like it was a wonderful trip. Loved that your little one started to learn German by watching TV, I may have to try that.
Thank you! It works, honestly! :)
Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too says
So lovely to return to an area that holds so many memories for you. It sounds like you had a wonderful time – and little man did so well to pick up bits from watching TV
Thanks so much Sarah! :)
Kacie Morgan says
I’ve never been to an alpine resort. I’m not really one for skiing but I would love the food in the lodges – it looks so inviting.
I don’t care for skiing much either, but I love being in the mountains (plus the food!!) :D
Rhian Westbury says
Sounds like such a great trip, the sight of those mountains are amazing. Plus educational for your little one in learning German, maybe I should do that! x
The Australian princess of Denmark apparently learned Danish by watching TV mostly, if it worked for her… :D x
I don’t even know where to start! The police bit made me laugh, the snow scene made me want to jump right in, the gorgeous accommodation made me want to book a flight and even the bug hotel made me want to be a ladybird!
Fantastic experience for you all x
Thanks so much Claire. I agree, it’s quite an insect house! :D x
Sarupa Shah says
I am not surprised you returned this year – looks amazing -and so much to do too – what a great break!
Thank you Sarupa. We were lucky to be able to go! :)
Kristine Nicole Alessandra says
That sure sounded like a great vacation you had with the family. I love the place where you stayed. It is beautiful!
It was such a lovely place to go back to at the end of every day!
Treasure Every Moment says
Aww it looks so beautiful! I love that the ski lift was close by and the food looks delicious :)
Thanks so much! :)