Part II: Into the Alps

Part II: Into the Alps

An Alpen Wedding

This entire trip was instigated by Bene, my buddy who grew up in Landsberg and now lives in Augsburg. Kim and I received an unexpected wedding invitation for August 2018 in the Bavarian Alps….sounded horrible.

Bene and Julia’s wedding would take place outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen up on the ski slopes in a ‘Hütte’, or lodge, for a few nights. Garmisch-Partenkirchen sits along the Austrian border and hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics, still sporting the ski jumps and lodges. Rather than stay in town, we would stay in the dorms at the lodge with fellow wedding-goers and spend our time exploring the hiking trails and drinking fine beer.

Congratulations to Bene and Julia again for tying the knot and putting on a great wedding. It was awesome to see so many old friends again.

Kim and I met up with the Schüler family for a hike up the Partnachklamm, a slot canyon in the Bavarian Alps, before leaving Germany and heading into Austria with Marie, Peter, and Miriam. Although we stayed only briefly in Innsbruck, it’s pretty clear that’s one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Marie studied there and took us up into some of the surrounding mountains. It’s no wonder the world’s top skiers come from Austria.


Our travels through Austria focused on Leogang, site of a yearly World Cup downhill race, and then back into Bavaria to Berchtesgaden. Leogang was absolutely stunning and we can highly recommend the Hotel Asitzstubn, which is part hotel, part heaven. Unfortunately three things kept us from having a dream trip: first, the rental bikes were 27.5+ with XC tires despite being advertised as ‘enduro’, second Bikepark Leogang is actually only 4 trails, really, so the riding is quite limited unless you do multi-day treks to nearby resorts, and lastly, the weather. 90% of the trip was sweltering hot, but the moment we got on a bike it decided to rain rain rain rain.

While our visit to Leogang wasn’t ideal, heading into Berchtesgaden would be mindbending. Berchtesgaden is situated on the Bavaria/Austria border and was the crown jewel of the Nazi party during the Third Reich, erecting Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest overlooking the city. Today, it’s mainly a tourist attraction due to it’s unreal surroundings and acting as the gateway to the Berchtesgaden National Park. Konigsee, a pristine alpine lake situated between mountains, is the main attraction with visitors crossing the lake by electric tour boats and being dropped off at hiking points, including Obersee. Berchtesgaden was our favorite, it is spectacular.

Bavaria and Austria did not disappoint, we were so happy to see Bene and Julia get married and spend some time in the mountains. I promise it won’t be 10 years again before we return. Maybe next time with skis!