In our August issue we left off with our fleeing the rain
storm in Austria. As we made our mad dash back toward Germany,
the rain would become sporadic. It would lighten up and then came back
in full force. Once into Germany, we changed our cards back to the
German phone system. Try as we might, we could not get them to work.
So, it was that we now could no longer talk on our phones.
The closer we got to Garmisch, the more obvious it became
that we were either going in the direction of the rain, or it was raining in
both countries at the same time. Since we didn't have a place reserved in
Garmisch till the next day, we decided to look for a place in route to spend
the fourth night. The rain slackened; we happened by a for rent sign
out in the middle of nowhere. When I checked, they had a large German
Shepard dog who barked a lot, and stunk up the house. The price was
too high and there was only one room. We drove on.
The rain came in full force, another for rent sign. I
got out and the first thing I managed to do was to step into a small river
gullying its way down the driveway. Once again, the rooms were too
expensive. I suppose they figured we were in a fix and they could just
charge us whatever they wanted. On we went.
The rain was still coming down when we passed another for rent
sign. I started to pass on. But, I just had a good feeling about
this one. We went to the next road to the left and turned around.
I couldn't tell if it was the difference in our languages or if they were
hesitant to rent to us. However, we worked it out and got breakfast to
boot. Now, this was two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, and
balcony with breakfast for only 50.00 euro, and everything was brand-new.
Try to beat that.
We unloaded the truck; and since my work is so hampered
without a camera, we decided to take a trip into Garmisch and see if we
could buy another. The drive reminded me of some of the areas
in Arkansas. It was along the ever rising and raging waters of a
sizable mountain stream. Coming to an unexpected sign that indicated Garmisch was 30 km across a bridge to the right, we took it.
In smaller letters, the bottom of the sign said that it was
a private road and a bike path. Once we crossed the bridge and rounded
the corner, we spotted the toll house and a man collecting money.
So, do you suppose it was by accident that the toll house was out of sight
of the main road? It is much easier to get people to pay to use your
road once they are already committed to the task. So, it was; for a
few Euros we could drive this narrow, winding, cliffhanging, road 30km into
Garmisch. Wow, what a privilege. With each bridge we crossed, I became
more and more concerned the next one would be washed out. Or, worse
yet, that it would wash out just as we were crossing. I made very
careful observations of landmarks at each major turn and intersection so we
would know our way back.
We were welcomed into to Garmisch with more rain,
flashing blue lights, and red fire trucks. Large trucks with pallets
of filled sandbags were being strategically placed along the banks of a
raging stream. I assumed they were anticipating the flooding of the
streets and were taking precautionary actions.
After purchasing a new camera at the post exchange, we were
ready to eat and return to our apartment for the evening. Passing a
guesthouse, Dolores wanted to turn around and have dinner there. I
wanted to go on further down the road. So, it was; we turned around.
After all who was driving? Me!!
At first, neither of us remembered eating there
before. However, after ordering and being told, "No, you can't have
your order your way!", we remembered we had once before resolved to never
again eat at Familie Erhardt's Alpengasthof Zum Schweizerbartl for the
same reason. If you would like to have your order your way, this is
definitely not the place to get it.
So, we ordered a schnitzel. "THEIR WAY", and it was
reasonably good. But, I couldn't understand why I had to pay for it if
they fix it their way. The cost for two of us, Nolan is not big on
eating, was 25.00 euro (without salad or bread) plus tip, not much tip; I
had that my way. We do not recommend Familie Erhardt's Alpegasthof Zum
It was getting closer and closer to dark. We started
out of Garmisch. I was doing fairly well at recalling all the correct
turns. Then I saw the next to last turn I'd have to make before
getting onto the toll road. Oh no! It was one way. Anyone who
has driven for a day, knows that nothing looks the same when you have to
take a different street back due to one way routes. This is, of
course, because they are not.
Would I be able to find that last turn? The rain was
getting heaver; the water was running in
each side of the truck and sweeping in sheets across in front of us.
After missing the turn the first time, we came back and headed for the toll
road. I didn't say anything to Dolores, but I was concerned that the
road or bridges may not have survived the onslaught of water. Or worse
still, the weight of our truck might be the straw that breaks the camel's
Arriving at the
toll station, we noticed a fellow sitting in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
I pulled up to him and rolled down my window. I asked if the road was
open. He shrugged his shoulders and said I'd have to just try,
to find out. As I backed up, I was at a bit of a loss as to just what
his function was that he didn't know the status of the road. It
appeared that he was some sort of an official who was not about to:
1.. Get out and get wet
2. Check to insure the
safety of said toll road.
So, it was that
we eased forward of our own accord. Water was propelling fist size
rocks across the road in front of us as the wind swept sheets of rain
in the same direction. Gullies were running along side and again in
front and across the road. Dolores admonished me to not go any
further. So, giving in to her fear released me from that male
stupidity of having to do something ridiculous in spite of my fear. In
other words, I was only too glad to oblige her, hoping that I had not
already went too far for a light rear-end pickup without four-wheel drive.
In just the time
that it had taken us to decide not to traverse the toll road and turn
around, the water had risen to hub deep and we soon saw part of the reason.
Flashing blue lights marked the spot of red fire trucks and huge water hoses
dumping water from household basements onto the street in front of us.
Arriving at the
main road we turned right heading for highway 11. Again, flashing blue
lights revealed yellow clad firemen directing traffic. Pulling up at
my turn, I was told the road was closed and we would have to turn around.
How were we going to get back to where we had already deposited our
suitcases and all of our things?
Thank God for
Dolores and autobahns. My trusty navigator dutifully pulled out the
map and we were on our way to find the autobahn. After entering the
autobahn, I asked Dolores to set up
the camera. She said she didn't feel like it. A new toy! And, she
didn't feel like playing with it? Humm...Just what else could be
weighing on her mind?
It was obvious
that my trusted sidekick was getting more and more concerned that we might
not be able to get back to our belongings in our reserved apartment.
She became more and more concerned that the river across the highway from
our apartment might flood and prevent us from returning. The rain just
entering the autobahn, I pulled over at a roadside park and prepared our new
camera for charging. Once set up, I plugged it into the converter we
keep in the truck; but, still it was not ready for use until the battery was
fully charged. Sorry to say, we have no pictures of the flooding of
Garmisch. It was getting closer and closer to dark; we were having
doubts about being able to once again find our apartment. All of a
sudden, there it was. I had passed it. I
once again we turned around at the same road to the left as before.
We arrived back
at our apartment where after the novelty of the loft bedroom wore off, Nolan
promptly announced he was not going to sleep by himself. So, it was
that we played musical beds. It was obvious by the way the landlord
had kept asking if the child was going to sleep upstairs that he didn't feel
the bed would hold my 214 pounds. And being the obliging fellow I am,
I was not about to go against his wishes. So off came the mattress
onto the floor, out went the lights and on came the snoring.
Compare where we stayed at about $60.00 per night with what
it costs to stay in Edelweiss. We didn't have a drove of folks to
weave in and out of. Nor did we have folks sleeping in a room next to
us. Nor were we bothered with loud and obnoxious drunks during the
GS10 and Below/NF1-3
GS11 and Higher/SES
NF4 and Above
Deluxe Junior Suite
Deluxe Loft Suite
Prices are for single or double
occupancy. Children under 17 stay free on available bed
For more than two adults, add $10 per additional adult
Baby cribs are $3 per night and roll-away beds are $6
No pets are permitted in the Edelweiss Lodge facilities.
Prices are subject to change.
Room rates are dependant upon pay grade or if a retiree,
the rank at which you retireed.
July 12, 2005
I awoke at 05:50 to rain drops riveting the roof of our
upstairs apartment. Looking outside, Dolores said, "There must be a
creek nearby, because it is barely raining." Walking outside I was met
with the horror of raging water up to the windows of our truck...just
kidding. Hee, hee, hee,....
I opened the door to the balcony and moved one of the
dinning chairs out on to it. Returning to the kitchen, I poured myself
a cup of coffee and sat down to watch the fog or clouds move back and forth
in front of the mountains. I took several shots to show you how fast
they moved in and out. The call of a crow off in the distance was being answered by his
mate, likely attesting to the washing away of their nest.
At around 0700 there was a ring at the door. We were
so busy, that it didn't register at first. Dolores had Nolan's feet up
in her lap trying to tie his shoes. She and I were in a fairly heated
argument about when I was going to pay the bill. His head and torso
were sprawled out in the middle of the walking area, the floor. When I
opened the door, there was a basket containing our breakfast. Walking
sideways toting the basket, I felt something just under my foot; then came
the scream. I almost simultaneously lifted my foot, knowing that I knew I
had stepped on Nolan's broken finger.
I think my first feelings were of fear, then anger, then
sorrow then and guilt. I grabbed Nolan up, held his finger, hugged him,
then I cried, which stopped his crying. He then tried to console
me that it didn't hurt anymore. I think that I had just barely caught
it and my full weight was never exerted on it. At any rate, you can
imagine how I felt. I was going to take him the the hospital; but, he
convinced me that it was not hurting and he didn't want to go.
That did tend to put a damper on breakfast. But, it
wasn't long before Dolores was cutting the brochen and both of us were
shelling the medium boiled eggs the landlords had prepared for us.
Now, please do understand that apartments with kitchens sometimes are not
offered with breakfast. But, if you want, you can always ask.
When I was paying the landlords, another renter
who spoke English, told me that the toll road we turned around from, had
indeed flooded. He had heard it on the German news. However,
that could have been the results of the report we rendered the fellow in the
four-wheel drive vehicle. By noon we were in Garmisch looking at the upstairs
apartment of our future landlady. She then showed us a separate cabin.
This was not as plush as the upstairs apartment; but, it was off to itself
and had plenty of room for Nolan to run around. Besides, we would not
have to worry that our activities would disturb anyone else.
The weather had cleared and it didn't take us long to unload
our things. Of course, of major concern was where I was going to set up
the laptop so as to download all the pictures we love sharing with you
folks. Then, we had to find a receptacle to recharge the cameras.
Yep; I said cameras. As I had hoped, when the first camera dried out,
it started to working again. Now, if we could just get the phones to work. We
stopped at a phone store to no avail. In order for them to get the phones to
work, they would have to sell us new chips. I, alone, had over 30.00
euro on mine. So, buying new ones was not an option just yet.
Dolores wanted to go to the Garmisch campsite and wash
clothes. So, it was that Dolores and Nolan took the Dakota to the
campgrounds, and I rode Tweety. After arriving at the campgrounds, I
decided to change what I was wearing. I put on a pair of pants with
pockets which were made of a slippery material. Nolan wanted to
go to the playground just up the trail. I rode Tweety. When
Dolores was finished we returned to the truck. Starting to unlock the
door for her, I realized I had lost my keys. "Oh, my gosh!
I've got to find those keys", I exclaimed. I had Nolan to go with me. We
retraced our steps; I found them on the ground where it had been
a tight squeeze between the play stations and a fence.
Returning to the cabin, Dolores cooked steak and made salad
for dinner. We then headed for the old check point going over into
Austria. In this area, there is a particular place where Nolan likes to skip
rocks across the river. The first year we did this, I put a huge dog
leash around his waist. Needless to say, we didn't have the leash on
this trip. So, I laid a large limb on the ground and told him if he
crossed it we would go home.
After several minutes of rock throwing, I told Nolan, "One
more rock and we have to go." As soon as he threw that rock, he
immediately jumped over the limb, looked up at me and laughed. I was
experiencing problems with the new camera. The pictures were too
large; and I'd have
to resize them and then delete. Finally, this stopped working.
After we returned, I consulted the owner's manual and found out how to set
the size. Once I figured this out, I loaded the photo program into the
laptop and started downloading pictures. Finally at 2240, I was able
to turn out the light and drift into sleep.
July 13, 2005
Got up at 0645:
Max Speed 30 mph
Distance: 13 miles
I decided to go for
a trike ride. Dolores said breakfast would be about 0900 or 0930.
I filed that away in EMAS "easy memory accessible spot". I guess you
could miss one of Dolores' breakfasts and get over it. But, who knows
for sure? It is way too much fun eating it to ever consider missing
So, it was out of
the parking lot, right, and then a left, then a right, onto the main road into Garmisch. Once the route was down, it was no time into the middle of
town, up this street, cutting across to this sidewalk, zipping through the
crosswalk then back out into the street again. Boy was this fun.
It was so much fun that I rode it several more times during our stay in the
most beautiful place in all of Europe.
But today, it soon
became obvious that I was going to have to have some bike work done.
Often as not, when I'd hit a bump, my bike computer would turn off. It
would stay off till I hit another bump. This had started manifesting
itself prior to this trip. However, the bike mechanic who looked at it
contributed the problem to corroded connections.
I remembered that
had parked in front a relatively large bike shop on the main street as
Dolores consulted a city map . So, off I went to find the shop.
When I arrived, I found they were closed on Wednesdays. Darting across the
street, I headed for some of the backstreets. Seeing a lady stopped in
a van, I asked where I might find a bike shop. She had no idea.
Wandering up the street about a half a block, I just happened upon a bike
shop. So much for the myth that locals know their way around.
The sign indicated
it would open at 0800. It was 07:40; and I had twenty minutes to kill.
I took off on another ride. This was something I never got tired of
all the time we were in Garmisch. I returned at 08:02 and the shop was
still not open. An older fellow sitting on a bench with a cup of
coffee next door told me the owner would be in shortly. I was not
about to miss Dolores breakfast. It would take me about 15 or 20
minutes to get back to the cabin. I resolved to come back to the bike
shop only after I had demolished Dolores' breakfast.
Dolores fixed beacon, eggs, English muffin toast, coffee,
and orange juice for breakfast. Boy, was it good. I told her
that I was planning on returning to the bike shop. She and Nolan
were going to the post exchange. So, since our phones still did not
work, we agreed upon a time to meet at
the PX, and I was off to the bike shop.
Again, it was a thrill, hitting the sidewalks, then pedaling
breakneck speed in the traffic, back upon the sidewalk and then across the
street and then came the backstreets to Paul's bike shop. Paul spoke
no English. So, I looked at the pretty young girl standing near by
(his daughter) and asked if she spoke English. She indicated she did
and we were in business.
I explained how the computer would go off and on when
hitting bumps. Paul tested it and said it was good. I told him
that I had just had the battery changed so doubted it was that. After
a few more tries we decided to just replace the computer and the sending and
receiving units. So, if you are in Garmisch and need bike repairs, I
can vouch for Paul. I'm home and have had several miles placed on the
computer, and it still functions well.
Arriving at the PX, we discussed going to
Neuschwanstein Castle, King Ludwig's world famous castle in Bavaria. I was not too particularly enthused, but what Dolores wants,
Dolores usually gets. Arriving in the area of the castle, we had to
find a place to park. The first place was too expensive, so we went
on. You would think the closer you got the more expensive it would be.
However, we found a parking spot near a guesthouse where a car was just
pulling out. I think the fee was about two euros.
Unloading the trike, I tried to get Dolores to ride it, but
she would not hear of it. By the time we got to the base of the, huge,
hill to start our climb, Dolores had chickened out. She was afraid it
would hurt her knee too much. She wanted me to pump Nolan up it and
take pictures and come back down. I, of course, took affront to that.
I had not wanted to go in the first place, and now she was dumping on me.
We finally bought enough ice creams and made enough promises
about buying game boy games that Nolan was placated. As Nolan was
eating an ice cream and Dolores was across the street shopping, I saw a lady
sitting down who looked sick. I asked the young gentleman with her if
there was anything I could do to help. They were on vacation from the
Czech Republic and had parked their car several miles away near the lift they had
taken that morning. The mother had not been feeling well but did not
want to hold up the family and had been walking all day. When Dad arrived, I offered to take him to get his car, and
Dolores and Nolan took out a camping chair and awaited my return. (the
back seat was crammed full)
Once back at the cabin, Nolan and I played with his golf
clubs and ball. By 22:20, we had completed dinner, downloaded
the pictures to the computer, and were in bed.
14 July 2005
Got up at 06:00
Rode around lake
Lake: 5 miles.
By 08:26 Dolores had dispatched me to the bakery just up the
street to get brochens. When I returned, I was rewarded with one of her
great and grand breakfasts. Then it was off and running to fulfill
Nolan's request. We went to check out Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.
Nolan had been pestering us to go to Edelweiss ever since it was built.
So, when we arrived just whom do you suppose we ran into? One of my
colleagues and her friend had rented a room for a couple of nights.
We checked it out; it was impressive. However, I'd
rather stay in the places we rent on the economy. We have being going
to Garmisch off and on for over 30 years and have never found it cheaper to
stay in AFRC than on the economy. As you can see by the comparison
above, we paid less than an E-1--E5 by staying on the economy.
Driving toward the Austrian border, after leaving Edelweiss,
Dolores decided she wanted to go to the lake so I could ride around it.
Finding a place to park in the shade, we took out a camping chair and off
loaded Tweety. I had Dolores to ride Tweety to the lake. When we
arrived at the water's edge, there was a bit of a down grade to negotiate. I
hand pulled Tweety to the water. The scenery was beautiful, and the rock
beach was just the thing for Nolan who loves to skip rocks across the water.
We had a picnic lunch on the beach; then
Dolores ran me off to do my thing. The trail around the lake was, of
course, gravel. I would have thought that the terrain would have been
flat. But, just for me, the builders engineered a few hills in.
I'm sure they knew that old Lloydy boy would be coming to ride someday, and it
just could not be too easy. The day was beautiful. It was
neither too warm or too cold. It was a day made for riding, and that
was what I was in a mood to do.
Stopping to take pictures, I waited my turn while the group
ahead of me did their ooh and ahing. As they passed me, I stood gazing
upon the scenery and, in German, commented on how beautiful it was.
One of the ladies engaged me in conversation. Little did she know that
I had just about exhausted my extent of the German language. I
just shook my head, hummed, and smiled. One of the men commented that
she had met a boyfriend. I pretended I didn't understand and waited
till they left.
For sometime, I continued to play catch-up tag with the group
between pictures. Finally, I hit a hill and outdistanced them until my
picture taking no longer resulted in our meeting. The
scenery was definitely just short of breath taking in places. And I'm
speaking exclusively of the terrain. In places, I was able to see the
bottom the the lake through the glistening of sparkling torques water.
At a distance, however, the water gave the appearance of being somewhat
darker than ski blue.
By the end of the day, we had seen and taken a lot of
pictures. We had put a lot of miles on the Dakota, but only about six
on the Trike.
We got up at 0700. Again, I went up and across the street to visit
our friendly bakery for brochen. Once we had partaken of Dolores'
marvel of creation--breakfast--there was all this energy; what to do with
it? Oh, lets try biking around Garmisch. At about 0900 we agreed
to meet in the parking lot of the PX at about 1100 hrs..
Since we are baby boomers and that is the age that a lot of people are
retiring and will have time to read about biking, we decided to see just how
many folks that age and older we could catch riding bikes. I ran out
of time before I ran out of folks. Living in Germany for 23 years,
I've grown accustomed to seeing folks from infant to their 80s either in
bike trailers or on bikes. But, in the States where I've seen mostly
children on bikes, Dolores thought it might encourage adults to ride.
I love my country, the good old U.S., however, when we retire, I'm going
to miss the most wonderful biking trails in the world here in, good old
Germany. Can you just imagine what a bike trail from cost to cost
would profit the States in the form of revenue and taxes from bike tourists
in the summer months? Here in Germany, eating places, hotels, and
signs to these establishments spring up almost automatically as soon as a
stretch of bike path is completed. Much of this route could use
already laid pavement.
By 10:50 I had completed my mission of taking pictures of folks our age
and older on bikes and met Dolores and Nolan for our trip into Austria from
border near Garmisch. The route follows a rushing river of which we
took copious pictures. The spot where Dolores let me out was near a parking spot where walkers
and bikers enter into the trail. There was a barrier for autos that I
had to lift Tweety up and around in order to get onto the pathway.
Going uphill, I spotted a lone rider on a incredibly heavy laden bike, low
riders packed out to max cap in front as well as rear panniers. Had it
not been for seeing him, I would have very likely missed my turn to the left
and went well out of my way. The route was rocky and hilly; but, it
was beautiful. The setting coupled with the gorgeous sunny day, was
This mesmerizing route finally dumped me out at a paved intersection.
I proceeded the few hundred feet to the ESSO station where I could get out
of the busy intersection and called Dolores. She told me where she and
Nolan were shopping. And, so it was down shifting and power pedaling
up this huge hill. The panoramic view was, in and of itself, the
intrinsic reward for my arduous labors.
After traversing that colossal hill, it was back in the truck for a ride
on down the road to where Dolores wanted to take some pictures of the
ornately decorated houses. Then it was back to the ESSO station where
I was let out to navigate the mostly downhill route all the way back to our
cabin, stopping only once at the river to watch Nolan skip rocks across the
water. Then it was 15--20 mph all the way back to Garmisch where we
had dinner and downloaded the pictures to my laptop. Total biking
miles for this day were only about 26 miles.
When we arrived back home, we took our phones back were we bought them
only to find out that the Austrian fellow had put Dolores' chip in my bag
and mine in hers. Once this was corrected, the phones worked fine.