Partnach Gorge and Kochel Am See

by Colleen Morrow in


With only two days left on the trip, we switched gears from culture to light adventuring. Partnach Gorge.

We reached the gorge after a nice walk from Garmisch-Partenkirchen's Olympic Ski Stadium.  In 1936, the towns of Garmish and Partenkirchen joined forces to host the Olympics - the fourth winter games, consisting of only 17 events in 4 sports.  The gorge is 699m long and is 80m high.  They opened the gorge for tourists in 1912 after some more adventuresome tourists regularly began to use the 1886 passage that was created for woodcutters. Now, there's a passage in the rocks that you can travel through. There's always water dripping and so even on a sunshine-y day, it isn't the driest of activities so we were prepared with our rain jackets. And they definitely came in handy.

The gorge was absolutely spectacular. You could get glimpses of such vivid greenery at the top of the gorge and there were narrow waterfalls tumbling down in multiple places.  We took quite a long time to get through the passage, as we kept stopping for photos.  The water just thundered through and over and around the rocks, it was just awesome.  Once we made it past the gorge, we did a bit of hiking up to the other side of the gorge to get to the two bridges that cross the gorge so we could get a top-down view.  The hike wasn't long but the steep climbs slowed us down, but it was such a great little hike.

From there, it was back in the car to head up to Kochel Am See where we had a little down time scheduled on a lake.  After settling in, we donned our bathing suits and heading to a little beach area.  Of course, it was a rocky beach, since we were in the mountains, but the sun was shining and we had a nice bench so we settled in with our books. EDP went for a swim, putting his head under the water and everything but I felt the water was a touch cold so I just sat in it when I got too warm on the bench.  We also had some wonderful swans to entertain us. They swam back and forth a few times and then came right up onto the beach. The one wanted to have a snack where we were sitting so started hissing at us but EDP stared it down and it settled down and decided we could all be friends on the beach together.  Another one started to do some swan yoga of some kind.  I'm pretty sure I got a good picture of it.  Then, it was on to dinner where I discovered the joy of cranberry sauce and french fries. It wasn't quite cranberry sauce but a very similar berry that we don't get in Canada (that I'm aware of, anyway) so I'm just going to start using cranberry sauce on my fries.  We ended our night with more book time overlooking the lake as the sun set.  Seriously not a bad way to spend a day.