So there I was, riding in a car from Munich to Garmisch with Hans, my German
friend acquaintance stranger I just met through an online hitchhiking site.
Don’t freak out. The online hitchhiking site is legit in Germany; my German friend, Martin, hooked me up with it. Martin has technically never used the site himself, but he definitely knew friends that had used it, and were still alive to tell their story. And good news, so am I! It all started off well enough, until a wrong turn was taken…
Thirty minutes into the journey, Hans ponders aloud why he hasn’t seen any signs for Garmisch. He points to his glove compartment and asks me to look up the directions in his almanac (uh-oh…I don’t think this is a great time to tell him I don’t understand maps). I shuffle through the miscellaneous human limbs I find (kidding) and German playboy magazines (not kidding), to find the book of maps (my nightmare). I actually do find a map with the route from Munich to Garmisch, and I point out the road to Hans, quite proud of myself for decoding the labyrinth people call “maps”.
As I’m congratulating myself, Hans slams a hand down into the book, screams obscenities, and then moves on to take out his anger on his steering wheel. As he is pounding into his steering wheel, shouting “Shiesse!! We just wasted 30 minutes. We could have almost been there by now. Why the (4 letter word) are there no signs….4 letter word, 4 letter word, 4 letter word (well, really, 20 letter word, because German words are ridiculously long)”, only three thoughts are going through my mind:
- “I knew this was going to happen one day. Oh well, at least my last views will be beautiful mountains and a playboy centerfold.”
- “Can I talk this guy off the ledge? Ooh, I should offer him the chocolate Martin gave me. I’m so glad I got to see Martin. We probably could have done something more fun than go to a concentration camp. Like try to surf in the Englischer Garten! Or visit the castle from Beauty and the Beast! That’s so wild that there is a legit fairy tale castle. Ahh, none of this is important! FOCUS, TRACEY….okay, calm Hans down…..here we go…’hey, would you like some chocolate?'”
- “Yay! I can read a map!! “
Eventually, Hans calms down and drops me off in Garmisch, where I jump out of the car, and am greeted by Jason, my Garmisch host!
I most prefer to travel off-the-beaten-path, and that is certainly how I landed in this quaint and gorgeous Bavarian town, nestled between the snow-capped Alps. As for how I discovered this small town ~100km from Munich….it was incredibly random.
My sister met Jason (shout-out to Mr. Awesome!) at an airport in El Paso three years ago, visited him in Garmisch shortly thereafter, and smitten with the natural beauty of the town, suggested I visit. A quick Google image search later, I was bought in.
I made the most of my two days in Garmisch by spending all day hiking, cycling, and softballing it up. That’s right, I wiggled my way into a softball game on the US military base (such a good lez, right?)
Although I usually blog with words, mere words truly can not do Garmisch justice. The rest of this blog will be a bit different than my normal style: instead of words supplemented with pictures, Garmisch will be a photo journal supplemented with words.