Bend It Like A Bavarian

Regardless of whether you win a championship or finish up in last place, every season ends with a certain amount of drunken debauchery, overeating, mooning and public crying. So after all that, but before we started the suitcase-jamming for our return to North America, we needed a few days away from Crimmy. A place with some tranquility. A place with stunning vistas. A place where the debauchery could continue in a different setting. Although we had hoped to be able to take a trip similar to our Spain trip of last season, the unexpected playoff run the the Pirates took left us a bit short on time. So our generous and consistently cheerful friend Florian offered to host us in the Bavarian dream world that he calls home.


Let the road trip begin.


The village of Mittenwald, a few kilometers outside the larger ski resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was charming to say the least. The streets were lined with traditionally painted Bavarian dwellings, and the mountains closed us in on every side. Florian’s bachelor bad, which we promptly took over in our typical fashion, was right in the center of town.


The local brewery in Mittenwald welcomed us with a much more tasty offering than the pils that we had been used to drinking in Saxony. And when Dave coupled it with a traditional schnitzel (conveniently smothered in some kind of bacon) the regional brew was even more satisfying. Not pictured in this meal is, and I literally do quote, “The most delicious soup I have ever had.” And that man has eaten a lot of soup. The main shopping drag also boasted a cafe specializing in tea and chocolate. Is it me, or does it sound like they opened that shop with me in mind? How thoughtful.






Although I would probably be content to wander through a village for hours and days, the men I was accompanying wanted something more. Our original plan to hit the slopes (hoping my skiing skills would return to me in that ‘it’s like riding a bike’ sort of way) was thwarted by an avalanche warning, so we hopped on the Karwendelbahn to get up on top of an apparently avalanche ridden moutain. Perfect. Please note how unafraid Dave and Flo look, despite dangling in a clanking cable car above jagged mountains.

Please note, I am not as able to hide my fear.


Don’t tell me not to worry, I’ve seen Cliffhanger.

Scary tunnel under which you must pass in order to get to the beginning of the ski run.

Smiling like we just summited Mount Everest. In reality, we were at the Bergstation that is about 2,244 meters or about 7,362 feet.

We woke up the next day to glorious sun shining down on all the snow that had fallen the night before. So instead of waking up our slightly hungover host (you know how those young kids are, can’t pay the piper the next day) we decided to head out on our own and find the trailhead that lead to a lake above town. Luckily for us, Falcor is a trooper and could romp and tromp through the woods and snow for hours. Because the signs leading up to that lake were not all that straightfoward. You know in cartoons when the good guy turns the signs around to mislead the bad guy? In this scenario, we were the bad guy and this hike took us on a long and winding road.



Eureka! We have found the Lautersee!



The drive home to Crimmy was more painful than it needed to be, seeing as how a seven-day bender that spanned from Saxony to Bavaria had left us somewhat crippled. But we pushed on, and spent the hours in the car reviewing the season, counting our lucky stars, and planning a return trip to Mittenwald. Preferably in the summer. And minus the cable car.

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