Rheinland-Pfalz to the Bavarian Alps. Doesn’t it look like the same distance as Bristol to London? Well funnily enough, it’s not just a 2 hour jaunt. I hadn’t really thought about that before we set off on our latest travel with kids adventure.
No one really sat me down and told me that the drive would be 6.5 hours. There. And then 6.5 hours back. And that we essentially, were going for one day. When you drive 13 hours over a long weekend, that doesn’t leave much time for play!
It was one of those snowball conversations. Where one person suggests it and then the next thing you know, the car’s fully loaded and the snack bag is filled to the brim. But just lasts 3 hours. Of the 6.5 hour journey.
I was the moaner. The children did incredibly well thanks to the iPad and a load of sweets.
That said, it was more than worth it. Way more than worth it. If you have never been, the Bavarian Alps, just south of Munich, are an amazing sight to behold. Consisting of several limestone mountain ranges, the highest peak is the Zugspitze in the Wetterstein range, 2,962 m above sea level.
We didn’t climb that mountain because it was super expensive and we were a party of 13! Instead, our appointed organiser of the weekend, led us to the Alpspitze which was a hop, skip and a jump from our hotel. And only a few hundred metres shorter.
We took the cable car to the AlpspiX Viewing Platform; 2 curved metal walkways reaching out 42 feet over a cliff making the shape of an X. It was truly terrifying.
With a group of 7 children, ranging from 2-7 years old, we hiked 5 miles down to the next cable car station. It was so much fun and took a good 3 hours because we were on go-slow, stopping every 10 minutes or so because the kids found something to play with. A maze, a load of rocks, a cross high up on a hill. You name it, we saw it and they touched it!
It was a great day and afterwards we rewarded ourselves with a couple of hours in the pool to soothe the pain of our aching legs away!
The next day we headed to Partnachklamm or Partnach Gorge in English. Designated a German national monument in 1912, it is a very deep gorge that has been created by a mountain stream, the Partnach, near the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the home of the 1936 Winter Olympics.
Genuinely, I don’t think I’d have ever gone there had it not been for one of our friends organizing the activities each day. But having seen it, I was so glad we did. More walking for the children went down like a lead balloon with my two initially, but once we made it to the gorge, after a 25 minute walk from the Olympic Stadium, they seemed to really enjoy it. The walk, or shuffle was along a narrow track cut into the gorge itself. In most places it opened out onto the water, but was enclosed and cave-like in a fair few spots.
The water was so blue, because it came directly from the nearby glacier and we had the best autumn weather which made everything look even more spectacular.
And then we walked back again. 4 miles in total. And it was super cool to see the ski runs and the Olympic Stadium which was pretty concrete and basic, but at over 80 years old still very impressive.
If you ever get the chance to travel with kids, or even better, without, to The Bavarian Alps or the Garmisch/Munich area, definitely take it. We’ve lived in Germany for 6 years (as of today!) and it was the first time we’d ever been to these amazing sights (I was pregnant the last time we visited and preferred to sit on my bum and people watch!)
We loved it so much and definitely want to return again soon.