Hi friends, welcome back to my Germany and Austria series 🙂 On our first full day in Germany, Jon and I packed up our things and then walked a block to Europcar to pick up our rental car at 8:15 am. Even though I heard renting a car in Europe was a breeze, I booked an early time slot to avoid unnecessary time waiting in line like we’ve done in the US. We had the easiest experience ever and they helped us set up the navigation and explained everything we needed to know. I wish every rental car experience was that great! I thought it was funny that we got upgraded to a very comfortable, brand new Jeep Compass. Maybe we got an American car because it was the few automatic cars there. I’d definitely recommend paying a little extra for the GPS if you rent a car in Germany.
Our first stop of the day was at Lake Starnberg about twenty kilometers and twenty-five minutes south of Munich. If you don’t have a car, you can easily get here by train for a nice day trip out of the city. We found parking (make sure you have plenty of coins to pay for parking in Germany) and then walked to a coffee shop and enjoyed our coffee overlooking the lake.
Lake Starnberg is the second largest lake in Bavaria and so beautiful! It’s the perfect spot to bike, walk, swim, sail, row, or indulge at a beer garden. I was hoping for a sunny day to see the full color of the water and alps in the background, but the water was still so clear and pretty.
This is what it looks like on a perfect, clear day! (Photo credit: here )
This lake is also where mad King Ludgwig II mysteriously died. We saw his famous castle a few days later and the chapel where his funeral was held at The Residenz the prior day.
It started raining, so we headed back to the car and started our journey south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (aka GaPa), our homebase for three nights. The highlights of this area include Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany, and the beautiful Eibsee (see in Germany means lake).
It was too early to check into our hotel so we headed to Zugspitze to see if we’d find a break in the clouds to take the cable car up. The parking lot for the Zugspitze cable car is 18 euros, so you can save 10 euros if you park in the parking lot for Eibsee. It’s just below the cable car station, and only an additional minute of walking.
It wasn’t worth going up the cable car when we arrived because of all the clouds, so we decided to walk the trail around Eibsee and wait out the clouds. (I won’t leave you with any suspense, we went to the top on our third day here, so stay tuned 😊 ) The path is 4.4 miles and has a tiny bit of incline. We enjoyed peacefully walking along the lake and taking in the breathtakingly beautiful views.
Even on an overcast day the color of the water was mesmerizing! This was my favorite lake we saw in Germany and I couldn’t get enough of it! As beautiful as Eibsee is in pictures, I think it’s a place you just have to see in person to feel the magic.
Just breathtaking! I’d love to come back in the fall one day and see all the colors.
The clouds didn’t clear up so we checked into our room at Hotel Zugspitze afterwards and it was an excellent place to stay! The hotel was about a 15-minute drive from Zugspitze and our room was massive. Each night we had an included dinner that was four courses and very fancy! The restaurant received the Bib Gourmand award, which means it was recognized for good products that are beautifully displayed, a moderate bill, and cuisine with excellent value for its price. It sure was nice not having to worry about dinner for a few nights of the trip. Breakfast was also included, but we just grabbed a pretzel and headed out for our excursions. We got some funny looks from other guests, but we had places to be and sights to see!
After dinner we watched some Youtube videos about the iconic castle we were going to see the following day and hit the hay early. Stay tuned for Neuschwanstein Castle up next 🙂
Posts in my Germany & Austria series: