>This weekend I took the creaky old Mittenwaldbahn up to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, to have a look around and hike through the Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge). This gorge has trails virtually under the cliff, so one is walking underneath a lot of small waterfalls and through tunnels hacked out of the rock. On a sunny afternoon it was so dark in those tunnels that I resorted to using my cell phone as a flashlight, so I could see the ground. It was impressive but I liked the Wolfsklamm better.
There was a set of five of these little plaques before the entrance to the gorge, and they made me think of Edward Gorey’s “Ghastlycrumb Tinies”, a morbid but amusing nursery rhyme about all the ways children can die suddenly. Here, 16 year old Peter Pfeiffer gets struck by lightning on September 6, 1876.
Out of the gorge, the trail wended upwards over hundreds of steps, to the Gasthof Graseck (which looked a lot like the hotel where “The Shining” was filmed), and further up to the Gasthof Eckbauer (unfortunately closed that day.)
The views in every direction were pretty magnificent.
From there, the Eckbauer Bahn cable car takes one back into town. It’s a two-seater, and reminds one of those ancient kiddie-rides at fairs, the ones that look like they were built at the turn of the last century. No seat belts, no glass windows, just a little sign on the sliding door, telling you not to rock the car or throw things out. It was great. A little scary, though, especially when it stopped halfway down for several minutes. At the base station (near the Garmisch ski jump), it’s another 15 minutes back to the train station. A nice day trip.