Whilst many of our fellow German campervanners were showering off the smokey aromas from the previous night’s barbecue, we were out on the first bus and into a misty Garmisch to search out coffee and a hot breakfast. It was strangely quiet in the centre and our chosen café mysteriously closed.
We found a welcome coffee from the one business open and wondered if we had confused the days, it was Friday surely? A long wait at the bus stop allowed us to work out that it was German Unity Day, and therefore a bank holiday.
We changed plans and found a local train service in the direction of Alpspitze, and its cable car.
It was a longer walk than anticipated from Unter Granau village across the valley but we spotted cows and barns and waved to the many daytrippers on the blue and white cogwheel train of the Zugspitzbahn whistling its way through the fields and up to the mountain tunnel.
We tucked gratefully into our picnic lunch for a late breakfast on a bench at 11am. Cheerful groups of well-dressed locals walking dogs greeted us commenting on the early hour of our meal. Later we would realise they would be eating their lunches up above the clouds.
Finally at the cable car station we joined a large crowd waiting for the next flight. The bank holiday sunshine had brought people from across the whole area, locals as well as international tourists to the mountain playgrounds.
Jammed into the car we had stomach-churning views as we sailed and swung our way up the steep side of the Alspitze.
I didn’t enjoy it at all; the car lurched over sudden peaks and seemed to hang precariously at times right up against the rock face.
It was standing room-only and uncomfortable against beery and bad breaths and jabbing Nordic pole-ends.
I was surprised by the number of very small children, toddlers some of them, being allowed to run up and down the platform by parents, presumably local and therefore fearless about the heights!
Treating ourselves to a bus all the way back to camp we got a second wind and headed back into Garmisch for an early evening spin at the local casino. We both won and then lost at roulette before walking back the couple of miles or so to the Wank and climbing up the moonlit walking path to the campsite.