|A snowy family picture from the top of Germany|
On a clear day visitors to the top of the mountain can see Italy, Austria, and Switzerland (and of course Germany). We weren't hopeful that we would have this view since the weather was cloudy and overcast as we walked to the train station. The temperatures were so warm that the lower ski slopes were grassy and once frozen ponds were now slushy pools of water. We shared the train with skiers, snowboarders, and visitors like us who were going up the mountain for the (hopeful) views and the experience. The train ride took a little over an hour and carried us through the rolling foothills of the mountains. Even after we passed through Eibsee and began our steep ascent up the mountain, snow remained scarce. There were traces of it in the forest and it could be seen on the higher craggy peaks but overall the views were far from the winter wonderland we had envisioned. Don't get me wrong; the scenery was beautiful. The view of the icy cold Lake Eibsee was particularly stunning with its clear aquamarine water surrounded by snow studded peaks. Now this is what I had envisioned Bavaria looking like.
|A view of Lake Eibsee|
Despite the snow, or maybe because of it, we loved our time on top of the Zugspitze. It was cold and windy (which actually closed the cable car that continued on to the very top of the mountain). To escape the blowing snow we hunkered down in the Glacier Garden Restaurant where we drank gluhwein and dined on what I think has been the best meal we've eaten on this vacation. Torn between ordering off of the German menu or the poorly translated English menu which provided us with little insight into what would arrive at the table, we randomly picked two dishes off of the list of choices. (I recognized the word cheese so I figured the dishes couldn't be all that bad). Our first dish was a giant potato pancake smothered in melted Gruyere which was accompanied by pear slices that had been infused with fresh rosemary. The second plate was grilled duck breast served with brie and bacon on a giant popover. Oh my! Both dishes were so good, that despite our claims that we weren't all that hungry, were quickly eaten with great gusto. Not feeling adventurous, after nibbling on a piece of bacon, Sidney drank Fanta and ate a giant pretzel.
|A chapel on top of the glacier before the storm rolled in|
|A view from the top as the storm approaches|