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Old 01-02-2014, 11:20 PM   #601
buzz1121
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Holy White Winter Pkondz!!

Seriously, I think my Southern skin just suffered frost bite from merely reading the words -37 degrees below zero!!!

I can not process that kind of cold. It's going to be 23 degrees here tomorrow night with 18 degrees projected for Monday, and we think that is terribly cold.

I have to say that there needs to a different word for that type of cold. I mean the word cold just is way too light for the kind of temperature hell you are speaking of. And yes, I get the oddity of using hell to describe cold, but extreme cold does burn......
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:14 AM   #602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzz1121 View Post
Holy White Winter Pkondz!!

Seriously, I think my Southern skin just suffered frost bite from merely reading the words -37 degrees below zero!!!

I can not process that kind of cold. It's going to be 23 degrees here tomorrow night with 18 degrees projected for Monday, and we think that is terribly cold.

I have to say that there needs to a different word for that type of cold. I mean the word cold just is way too light for the kind of temperature hell you are speaking of. And yes, I get the oddity of using hell to describe cold, but extreme cold does burn......
Oh, how I wish it was 18F out. That's T-shirt weather!
Seriously, if it got to 18F and it was sunny with no wind... I would definitely consider taking off my coat.
On the other hand, if it was 18F and it was September, I'd be freezing cold.

I think the most common terms we use when it gets that cold is "Freezing cold" or "Bitterly cold" or "Extreme cold".

And if you read Dante's Inferno, you'll see that the lowest level of hell is in fact frozen.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:52 AM   #603
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Everybody ready for an update???

Well I just realized that I've lost it.

I do all the work on the DISboards, so I can see how the formatting and pictures are turning out, then copy it into a Word document to save it.

I just realized that when I was working on shoutouts, that I copied over it.

It's gone! All gone!




Back to the drawing board...
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP


Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:09 PM   #604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Everybody ready for an update???

Well I just realized that I've lost it.

I do all the work on the DISboards, so I can see how the formatting and pictures are turning out, then copy it into a Word document to save it.

I just realized that when I was working on shoutouts, that I copied over it.

It's gone! All gone!




Back to the drawing board...
I hate it when that happens. It's happened to me. Once when I was trying to breakdown your chapter. I forgot some the sarcasms I had come up with, so I had to come up with new ones.

We'll be around.

Speaking of new chapters, I guess I should get started on one myself.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:43 PM   #605
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Everybody ready for an update???

Well I just realized that I've lost it.

I do all the work on the DISboards, so I can see how the formatting and pictures are turning out, then copy it into a Word document to save it.

I just realized that when I was working on shoutouts, that I copied over it.

It's gone! All gone!




Back to the drawing board...
Oh no!!!!!!! I know THAT feeling. Sorry.

And always ready for an update of this gem, so go recharge - just not outside.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:35 PM   #606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
Everybody ready for an update???

Well I just realized that I've lost it.

I do all the work on the DISboards, so I can see how the formatting and pictures are turning out, then copy it into a Word document to save it.

I just realized that when I was working on shoutouts, that I copied over it.

It's gone! All gone!




Back to the drawing board...
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Call Nebo, you two can commiserate, he did it plenty of times.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:24 AM   #607
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_Man View Post
I hate it when that happens. It's happened to me. Once when I was trying to breakdown your chapter. I forgot some the sarcasms I had come up with, so I had to come up with new ones.

We'll be around.

Speaking of new chapters, I guess I should get started on one myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
Oh no!!!!!!! I know THAT feeling. Sorry.

And always ready for an update of this gem, so go recharge - just not outside.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstage_Gal View Post
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Call Nebo, you two can commiserate, he did it plenty of times.
Ya know, when I'd realized what I'd done, the first thing I thought of was,
"Oh, no... I just pulled a Nebo."

And it was brilliant brilliant I tell ya.
Oh, the prose, the scansion.
Wonderfully descriptive text.
Beautifully illustrated characters.
You would have laughed, cried, then laughed some more.

But alas, I remember it not.
So whatever drivel I come up with will just have to do.

But... Oh, the Pulitzer was within my grasp!
And I'm pretty sure a Nobel, too.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP


Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #608
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Oh my gosh, your pictures of Bavaria are breathtaking. So many memories.

The lines for the castle blew my mind. We just drove up, parked and walked up the path to the castle. No lines at all back in our day. And Garmisch looked so odd, it always seemed busy when we visited...or at least there were people out in the street...along with some cows one of the times we visited.

Loved the hotel you stayed in, talking down the name for our future trip.

I would love to know how you planned this trip. We just did it back when we lived in Germany, never seemed to have problems, but obviously it needs to be approached like a Disney vacation...did you just get on a computer, or use a specific site or a travel agent? I want to know the best way for me to proceed

Looking forward to your future reports! Love reading this TR, I am looking forwards to our trip although it is a few years away (DS just got accepted to college, adding up those tuition costs!). I think it might be a graduation present, one last trip as a family.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:37 PM   #609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ougrad86 View Post
Oh my gosh, your pictures of Bavaria are breathtaking. So many memories.

The lines for the castle blew my mind. We just drove up, parked and walked up the path to the castle. No lines at all back in our day.
Hey! Glad you're still with us!

Those lines and just the shear amount of people was nuts!
I too remember just showing up and walking up...

Yeah, those days are gone, baby, gone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ougrad86 View Post
And Garmisch looked so odd, it always seemed busy when we visited...or at least there were people out in the street...along with some cows one of the times we visited.
It figures that the one day we decide to visit, the whole town shuts down...

Maybe they knew we were coming?

"OMG! It's those Canadians! Hide the children! Lock the doors! Release the cows!!!"


Quote:
Originally Posted by ougrad86 View Post
Loved the hotel you stayed in, talking down the name for our future trip.
We really liked it.
I did mention, though, that there's no air conditioning.
We were fine, but if it got really hot...

Then again, I checked the average temps for Garmisch in July/August and it's only 61 and 60 with average highs of 71 and 70.
But... the records are 93 for both months.

I can't say enough about our hosts and their ever present smiles.
The beds were comfortable, the rooms were clean.
And I'm not sure, but did I ever mention the breakfast?
The area was very quiet (except for one night when our neighbors had their window open and were engaged in some... 'strenuous' activities )


Quote:
Originally Posted by ougrad86 View Post
I would love to know how you planned this trip. We just did it back when we lived in Germany, never seemed to have problems, but obviously it needs to be approached like a Disney vacation...did you just get on a computer, or use a specific site or a travel agent? I want to know the best way for me to proceed
I did a few different things.

1. I went to our local library and took out every book I could find on the places we were going to visit.
Pretty quickly you find which books you like better.
2. I scoured the internet using terms like "fun things to do in ____" or "best things to see in _____"
3. I wasn't going to, but I did see a travel agent.
She got us a better deal on airfare and, by then, I was sick and tired of research, so I got her to find our Venice hotel.
(More on that later of course.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ougrad86 View Post
Looking forward to your future reports! Love reading this TR, I am looking forwards to our trip although it is a few years away (DS just got accepted to college, adding up those tuition costs!). I think it might be a graduation present, one last trip as a family.
I think you can't go wrong with a trip to Europe!
Or anywhere... It's big world out there.

Glad you're enjoying the TR... I'll hopefully have a new (and re-written ) chapter up within a day or two.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP


Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
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Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:44 PM   #610
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Release the cows!!!"

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Old 01-05-2014, 02:06 PM   #611
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I'm here, don't remember if I've commented or not, I really have been enjoying this report! Your pictures are amazing! I would love to go on a trip where someone else did all the planning and made all the arrangements - just show up and off we go! You have done a fantastic job so far!
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:26 PM   #612
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Happy New Year! I'm late as usual but all caught up now. So sorry you are starting the year out with car repairs - that stinks.
I keep thinking I'll have lots of time to be on the DIS and stay caught up on my TR, and I do, but I just seem to get so distracted lately - SQUIRREL!
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:05 PM   #613
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I came on the DIS tonight with the best of intentions.
I really, really did.

I was gonna respond to some TRs (I'm looking at you Tammie),
then work on the next chapter.

I'm beat.
It's just not gonna happen, tonight.
So it'll be a little longer before the next chapter comes out

Sorry guys....


Quote:
Originally Posted by nowellsl View Post
I'm here, don't remember if I've commented or not, I really have been enjoying this report! Your pictures are amazing! I would love to go on a trip where someone else did all the planning and made all the arrangements - just show up and off we go! You have done a fantastic job so far!
Oh, dear.
How do I say this...

You have posted before...

You've posted ten times now on this TR, actually.

But I'll take the atta-boys any time!

I wouldn't mind going on a trip that someone else....
hmmm.....

hmmmmmm......

Nope. I think I need to have at least some input.

Unless someone else is paying.... then I'm game.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGICFOR2 View Post
Happy New Year! I'm late as usual but all caught up now. So sorry you are starting the year out with car repairs - that stinks.
I keep thinking I'll have lots of time to be on the DIS and stay caught up on my TR, and I do, but I just seem to get so distracted lately - SQUIRREL!
The car repairs came out to $750... more on that possibly in a few days.
Stay tuned.
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Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice. - Allan Arbus as Dr. Sidney Freedman - RIP


Teenage Mutant Backseat Dancers - A Canadian Buffoon Adventure
Canadian Buffoon's Vacation - PTR/mini TR
Canadian Buffoon European Vacation
Just a silly little TR - run away!



1977 - offsite 1987 - offsite 1992 - offsite 2005 - POR (never going offsite again!!!) 2009 - ASMu
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:00 PM   #614
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This way to the egress!

Our third and final full day in Bavaria.
What to do? What to do?

I know! Let's go see a castle... again!

Nah.
One castle, cool.
Two castles in a row, okay.
Three castles in a row... I think someone's got an addiction that needs addressing...

So let's go for a change of scenery, shall we?

A big one.


The day started out as a lather, rinse, repeat of the day before.

Kay sleeps in.
The rest of us go down for brekkie.
I eat way too much.
I steal a croissant and Nutella for Kay.
Ruby rolls me back to our room.
We get ready, hop in the car and GO!


Today we will be scaling (figuratively speaking) the tallest mountain in Germany.
Zugspitze, at just under 10,000 ft. above sea level, towers over the surrounding area.

After just another breathtaking, heart achingly beautiful drive through alpine valleys and forests,
we arrive (30 minutes later) at the small village of Eibsee.

From here, you have several choices:
You can take a train up (and through) the mountain to a cable car that takes you to either the summit, or one of the glaciers, or;
You can take cable cars from the parking lot.

The former is more scenic, but takes considerably longer.
We opt for the latter.

(There are five glaciers in Germany... three of them are on Zugspitze)

Arriving at the parking lot, I see a sign that states: "Parking Frei".
Even I, with my limited grasp of the German language, can translate "Free Parking".

There's a ticket machine with a gentleman standing beside it, whose sole function is to take the ticket from the machine's mouth and hand it to you.

Whatever. It's free, right?

I don't remember if he told me where to park, in English, or if I just interpreted his gestures,
but we were parked in short order and heading to the lift building.


When you enter the building, you are immediately faced with a flight of stairs leading up to the second floor.
On the second level is a largish hall whose main attraction is a large scale model of the mountain and surrounding area.
Beyond the hall is the cable car loading area.

Maybe we shouldn't have slept in quite so much.
The line for the cable cars begins at the foot of the stairs!


After ten or twenty minutes, we've progressed up the stairs and are now standing in line in the main hall.

As I'm looking around, I spot a serpentine rope with a handful of people waiting to speak to someone behind a glass partition.

Hmmmm....

I tell the ladies to stay in line while I go investigate.
By the time I get into this smaller line, there's only one person in front of me.

He's talking to the lady behind the glass, but I don't know what they're saying, since they're speaking German.

When it's my turn, I ask if the woman speaks English.
"A little." She replies.


Here's a lesson on Germany, folks. If someone says they speak "a little" English...
They can speak English, way, waaaaaay, better than you can speak German.
(with the possible exception of Marita... and maybe Nebo.... and anyone else who's reading this who speaks German.... OK JUST FORGET IT!)

In any event, they're probably just being modest.
Like me.


The nice lady explains to me that there are two lifts. One to the summit and one to the ice fields, lower down.

"Do we have time to do both?" I ask.
She tells me no. (And she was right. More on that later.)

The ice fields are more fun. Skiing or sledding in the summer.
The summit is... well, the summit.

I pick the summit.

"Is this where I get tickets?"
<nods>

I pay for the tickets and rejoin the gals in line.


I am secretly pleased with myself.
If I hadn't noticed the ticket window, we would have stood in line only to be turned aside as we prepared to board the gondola.

With any luck, many of the people ahead of us will not have purchased their tickets and we'll get on quicker.

Sort of an evil fastpass.


As we wait in line, I do see the occasional person returning from the front of the line, only to head to the secret ticket window.
Some are dejected with heads down.
Others are angry.

Either way, once they get their tickets, they go back up front, so my evil plan is not working out very well.
World domination is put on the backburner.


Eventually we get to the front of the line.

Our chariot draws near!



Notice how you can't really see the mountain because of the clouds?

You get two things when you go up a mountain.
Cold and incredible vistas.

Well, we did get the cold... so that's something, right?
Heck, that's fifty percent! A passing grade!


When our cable car arrived, we had to wait a bit as it vomited out a mass of humanity.

After a while, the doors on our side of the car opened and we piled in.
And piled in.
And piled in until not another person could possibly squeeze in.

And then everybody sucked in their collective stomachs or whatnot and another dozen or so crammed in.
An ant couldn't have squeezed in after that!

And then the driver got in.


I still don't know just what it was that he did.
Maybe it was some sort of sadistic hazing ritual that he had to go through.
Maybe he was just there to see if the car would burst at the seams.
(I assume he had some sort of survival plan)
He certainly couldn't reach any controls, even if he wanted to.
And besides... it's not like we could get lost on the way up.

But I digress...
Although after a few seconds of intimate familiarity with my fellow hostages,
I would've preferred an egress to a digress.


It was tough trying to take pictures, but I managed a couple as we rose.

I like this one.



The cable car sign is on the outside of the windows, so from the inside it's a mirror image.
But the reflection would make it legible again.
It wasn't skill, or creativity.
Just dumb luck. I didn't even notice it 'til later.

The clouds did part for a bit as we made our way up,
and I managed a couple more quick pics.





I can assure you that the pictures absolutely do not do justice to the wonderful views we had.

As we got closer to the top, the clouds rolled back in and there wasn't much to see.

Ten minutes after the start of our journey, we reached the top and we were allowed to exit and decompress.
No, not because of the altitude... because of the squishiness.


It is too a word.


Actually, I'd heard that there was a slight possibility of having altitude sickness,
but nobody in our party felt any adverse effects.

At the top, there's a restaurant, viewing areas and of course...
the inevitable gift shop.

We wandered into the restaurant where you have a fine view of the actual highest point.



I briefly contemplated climbing up to the cross, which marks the highest point,
but...
Notice the rickety ladder over on the left?

Well, I didn't have hiking boots on... or a helmet... or gloves...
Plus, if you fell from that ladder, you probably wouldn't necessarily die...
but you'd need medical attention for sure.

See that gentleman at the bottom of the ladder?
The one wearing the black pullover?
The one without a helmet?
The one who appears to be wearing some kind of dress shoes?
The one who's hanging on to the outside of the ladder?

There's actually a technical term that describes that form of alpine mountaineer.

The term is 'statistic'.


If you do make the trek up to the cross, and fall from there?
You will not need medical care.
You will die.
On the plus side...
You will have a very long time to think about how silly you were for not watching where you were putting your feet.


Speaking of the cross, it was first brought to the west summit in 1851 by 29 guides and bearers.
Thirty years later, it was brought back down as it was badly damaged from repeated lightning strikes.
When it was brought back up, it was placed on the east summit, since a shelter had been built on the west summit.
It stayed there for 111 years.
It was brought back down, but unfortunately, an allied soldier had used it for target practice and it couldn't be repaired.
An exact duplicate of the original was built and it was taken by train, and then by helicopter back up to the summit.
In 2009 it was regilded and placed back in its original location, on the west summit, where it remains to this day.


A change of scenery was now in order, so we strolled over to Austria.
Zugspitze lies on the Germany/Austria border.
Not that long ago, you would have to show your passport to the German border agents, walk a short distance then show it to the Austrian agents.
When you wanted to come back, you'd repeat the process.
Now, you can walk from country to country without any restrictions.

On the Austrian side, there was an outdoor seating/dining area.



So whadya think?
Does the dude in the tan jacket (bottom right) look like James Woods?
Or Woody Allan?

The building on the right was where you could order food.
(Menus in chalk, on the outside)
But I had something else in mind.

Under the blue umbrellas was a man who was grilling up bratwurst and serving them on a bun with mustard and/or ketchup.

Mmmmm... so good.



I'm sure the crisp mountain air had nothing to do with our appetites...


Around 2pm we decided that we'd seen all there was to see and we should head back down.

Except we couldn't quite figure out how.
There were people milling about in the vicinity of the cable cars... but they seemed to be divided into two groups.
Fortuitously, an announcement (in English) brayed out over the loudspeakers.
Apparently, you could (and should) make a reservation for the descent.

We found the reservation desk and got a spot on the 3:10pm gondola.
With an hour to kill, we headed back to the restaurant and ordered some drinks.
I think most of us had hot chocolates.



Huge... and very, very good.

Around three, we made our way back to the boarding area and entered our corral.
By 3:20, I was starting to wonder if we had somehow gotten in the wrong holding pen.
All over Germany, things are run with military precision, so when something is a few minutes off, it throws you.
Shortly after, however, our cable car arrived and we were herded into it.

The ride down wasn't all that great at first, since we were in clouds.
But eventually we broke through and were treated to a nice view of Lake Eibsee.
Kay managed to take a picture, but unfortunately, it didn't turn out too well.


Back at the parking lot, we piled back into the car and headed off to our next destination.

We didn't get quite as far as I'd hoped, though.
Actually, just to the end of the parking lot.

At the exit, there was a machine to put your ticket into which would then cause a gate to open.
I put the ticket into the machine and.... nothing.

Maybe I put it in wrong?
No... the little picture on the ticket says to put it in this way.

Albert Einstein's definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So of course I tried it again.


Still didn't work.

A car pulled up behind me so I sort of waved at it to show that I was an imbecile.

There was a button you could push for help, so I pushed it.
A voice crackled out of the loudspeaker... in German.

I asked if he spoke English.
Something German crackled out of the loudspeaker.

Now there were three cars waiting to get out... and being German, they were endlessly patient.

<ahem>


I asked again, slower and louder, if he spoke English.

We do that.
If we speak louder and slower, anyone can understand English, right?
I mean, how hard can it be?
Heck, I learned to speak English even before I went to school!

Apparently the German people have encountered this theory before
and have learnt how to deal with it.

He answered me in German... but spoke faster.

I answered more slowly.
He replied more quickly.


Eventually (in real time? Maybe a minute or two... in my mind? About 6 years.),
One of the waiting drivers walked over and informed me that I had to pay a 3 Euro fee to get out.
And I could pay it at a machine, around the corner from the main building.

I had to have walked right past it at least twice.


I sheepishly backed the car out of the line and paid my "free parking" fee.

Once more I approached the exit, with a not inconsiderable amount of trepidation and inserted the ticket into the jaws of the machine.

The gate swung open and we were released into the wild like goldfish into a toilet bowl.
We thought we were free... but we were only released into another parking lot.
Cars were converging on us from all directions, and I had no idea which way to go!
I picked a direction that felt like it might be right... and it was!
We were quickly flushed out back onto the highway, heading away from Zugspitze.



It was much later that I realized that "Parking Frei" does not translate to "Free Parking".
It means that there are still parking spots available.
Free spots... but you have to pay to use them.


You might want to jot that down, if you ever go there.


Our next port of call was a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In 1738, tears were claimed to have been seen on an old wooden statue of Jesus.
There was a rush to see the statue, so a small church was built.
In 1745 (and for the next nine years) a larger church, called Wieskirche, was constructed.

It was about an hour's drive from Zugspitze.



There have been claims that many people who've prayed here have been miraculously cured.
The interior of the church reflects its importance as a pilgrimage site.



The statue is located just behind the altar.




Now, I'm going to say that we were maybe a little over-saturated with opulence.

We drove about an hour to get here.
It was going to take an hour to get back.

I think we visited the interior for just under two minutes.


Exiting the church, we were all feeling a bit hungry.
Food was now a priority.
There was a restaurant on the grounds, so we checked it out.

We asked for (and received) English menus, but I guess we were too early for dinner and only small cold dishes were available.

We decided to try our luck elsewhere.

On the drive back to the hotel, we found a restaurant that turned out to be quite good.
I don't remember what Ruby and I had, but I do remember that Elle had Scampi and Kay managed one last meal with spaetzle.

After dinner, we drove back to the hotel and turned in for the night.
Our last full day in Germany came to a close.

But I had one more little thing on my bucket list for Germany.
And tomorrow, it was going to happen.

I was not going to be denied!!
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Last edited by pkondz; 02-26-2014 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:36 PM   #615
mmeb144


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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkondz View Post
But I had one more little thing on my bucket list for Germany.
And tomorrow, it was going to happen.

I was not going to be denied!!
This sounds like foreshadowing for another thing for the next trip to Europe...
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