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We stumbled on the site of Hitler’s notorious 1936 Winter Olympics (literally, looking for a place to have breakfast). It’s a pretty area that has a lot to explore. On our second visit (just before Christmas), we missed most of the snow but enjoyed the opportunity to walk around, experience the Christmas markets, and appreciate the rather fine architecture. The Garmisch side is more commercial; Partenkirchen would be a nice alternative place to stay, with a beautiful pedestrian section featuring a fine row of decorated buildings.

Sites

  • **Boutiquehotel Werdenfelserei was excellent – a newer hotel designed with considerable care. The sauna area is on top and faces the ski jump – great views. Rooms are spacious and well-appointed, the restaurant is rather high end, and the breakfast is one of the best I’ve experienced, with a very broad range of options. Onsite parking. It’s mid-range priced, serious value for the money. 
  • We had a great meal at **Restaurant Husar – top three schnitzel of all time, according to Galen. It’s a fine dining experience, with top notch service. The building is beautiful.
  • **Parish Church of St. Martin is a 1940s dream – pink, mint, and incredibly feminine. It’s older than that of course, and rather striking in its design.
  • **Werdenfels Regional Museum: This fascinating little museum on Ludwigstrasse was started in 1895 and is housed in a 17th-century former merchant’s home. Among its collection are carved carnival masks, a large section on climbers of the region, and an impressive collection of antique furnishings with traditional folk art painting (bauernmalerei). It’s not a long visit but worth going out of your way to see it. 

Skiing

“Garmisch Classic”– the main area – was just barely open when we visited, and we’d like to return later in the season. The ski jump has a little restaurant at the base, where we ate on our summer tour. **Zugspitze is adjacent – not connected – and higher, with a few runs up on the glacier. Beautiful views, fairly small area, if conditions are right ski Garmisch Classic instead – Sugspitze is more of a novelty than a ski area. All that said, we enjoyed the tram ride and return trip on the classic cog railway.

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