Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Zugspitze, top of Germany

I’ve forgot how many times I’ve visited Garmish - Partenkirchen or Oberammergau but I couldn’t get a chance to visit Zugspitze before. My first visit this area goes back to my youth. We went to Oberemmargau related with  my Father’s job in my teen years, our stay there was an amazing experience for me. Especially in those days, 1975, those areas were not so popular as they are today. So unbelievable clean air, clear sky, whisper of the pine trees, voice of tintinabula from far valleys, lovely small  wooden village houses, good food, friendly people, long walks, unbelievable sun-rise and sun-set views....I wish we could have our digicams several decades ago, too. I have just a few photos from those days, it is so sad, indeed.
Glad that we went to Oberrammegau twice in the summer and  before Christmas, last year. I sighed once again when looking at the awesome Zugspitze peaks.
As of first week of May, my husband said that we were going to Germany in a few weeks of time. It was his surprise for me, we were going to Zugspitze peaks at our 33th anniversary! I hope you all understand my happiness!
I’ll just share small details about our other stops sat Meersburg and Bregenz and surroundings. I must indicate that Meersburg is one of our favorite place, we like to visit it frequently. As I always say so, we like to see different season’s of our favorite places.
Now, let me try to tell about Zugspitze!  

The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany and called top of Germany!  Also called Zugspitz in the area, Zugspitze is part of Wettersteingebirge, a small but important group of limestone mountains on the Austro-German border, immediately South of the ski resort of Garmish-Partenkirchen.
We were checking weather forecast several times a day because it wasn’t so good for the day we were planning to go there...
                                                                 But, when  we reached to Eibsee we found  an almost-cloudless,  sky with amazing views all around with clear view . For the day we visited was not too cold although snow still on the ground in late spring time, and it was our luck that it heavily snowed just a few days before we arrived there. 
There are a lot of routes on the mountain, there are some roads that are really fine, especially from Hamersbach. The easiest route leads through the Reintal but the nicest one is the way through the Höllental.  But the Zugspitze is the Germany's highest mountain and the way up through the Höllental is beautiful until 50 meters under the summit.
There are a lot of exciting different areas at the top where you can look around, see different views, climb a little and rest at the restaurant to have something eat & drink with a wonderful panoramic view.
The whole experience was amazing helped along by the fantastic weather. I would  definitely recommend waiting for a clear day before journeying up.

We arrived to Eibsee and we took cable car  from Eibsee up to the Zugspitze summit, it is faster than the train and you will see much more, but it is crowded.

By the way, the Zugspitze also marks the border between Germany and Austria. Cable cars from both countries meet at the top of this awesome mountain.  As far as I know both countries paid special attention to build these mentioned cable car systems to their Zugspitze station, circa 30s.                                           
If you’re lucky you catch a window side to take photos, otherwise no way to move in that crowded cabin!   
So, here our fantastic journey starts, we go to top pf Germany in a few minutes!

I was lucky to find a place at window side that I got chance to take photos, I must admit that I've used my shorty lady advantage to move easily to window side:))
Eibsee stays behind of us, we climb to high peaks!
It was fantastic feeling when we reached to snowy parts,
We are almost arrived!
And, Zugspitze Summit, top of Germany.

We were so lucky that it was snowed there prior our visit in May, 2016,  it was lovely to see peaks under the  white blanket that was a super chance for us at the end of May, the weather was windy, sky was so clear to see wonderful view.  
If you're a mountain and peaks lover like me you'll understand my feelings, what I've felt when I reached to top and saw this amazing view.
One of my favorite places to be in Europe is a top the Alpine and Tyrol mountains, all those highest points  in Germany and Austria gives me totally a different feeling,  it is a loneliness, it is a freedom, in another word,  marvel at the thought that you are above everything  else in the entire world. I’ve had that strange feeling when we were at the GrossGlockner last year, I’ll share its amazing photos as well.  When at the peak, facing south, a different feeling surrounded me  all those snow-capped peaks as the mighty Alps stretch seemingly forever to the right and left, there was nothing other than awesome mountains. 
Today, whether you decide to ascend Zugspitze whether  from the Austrian or German side, you can straddle the border between two different countries while enjoying an breath taking, incredible view. At the summit there are two separate terraces for  Bavarian and Tirolian sections they are connected by a narrow walk which was the border station.  PhotoStop with auto shutter release  there to capture uplifting moments  on the Zugspitze. Just pose and press the button to use the PhotoStop with auto shutter release on the summit terrace to perpetuate this awesome moment with the summit cross in the background. You can then acquire the image either as a postcard in ShopAlpin on the ground floor of the summit building, or send it here free as an e-card to beloved ones.

The views are equally breathtaking and increadible  on either side of the border.  When you look at the German side, you see the Zugspitzplatt Glacier. 
Recently I’ve read an article that there are several studies related with global warming. According to the article, all those metal ski lift towers absorb heat and they are wrapped in reflective material to try to save the ice and each summer, workers spread out a reflector over the glacier to try to slow its global-warming-caused shrinking.
We do every possible thing to create new technologies but we still keep ruin our wonderful world nature.
We enjoyed our time at the restaurant which has awesome view, speedy service with friendly staff, prices were reasonable. 
I would like to share another old thing related with the German side. That side  still features a golden cross that indicates the highest point in the country, but according to old sayings, its historic original was shot up by Americans soldiers who used it for target practice in the late 1940s during World War II. But today, there is a new one there. It is so hard to believe there is a mark  from WWII on the Zugspitze peak, too! World War II left its mark on the summit, too!

Crossing  between countries on top of both countries are another interesting activity, you get  stamped on your hand. There is no  German or Austrian national banners grace the summit, only regional ones for “Freistaat Bayern” and “Land Tirol”. We were  two couples there and, we all got stamped! 
There are many antennas beyond terrace.  Both countries,  Germany and Austria use  Zugspitze summit for their communication purposes, too. A square box on the Tirolean Terrace provides data for Innsbruck Airport’s air traffic control system. A tower nearby is for the Katastrophenfunk (civil defense network), harkening back to the stressful years of the Cold War.
When you go to below you reach to, in the snow, the Hochzeitskapelle,  

it is known as wedding chapel, which was consecrated in 1981 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as I learned there.
It is the oldest building of the German side there,  a lovely rustic building constructed as of 1900. 

                                                            Icecles in May, 2016 and blast on the snow peak! All people were looking so happy there, enjoying their time.
Upon the announcements, we took the Zugspitzbahn train down,  because cable-car ques are always so crowded
From the top of Germany coming back to Eibsee, was another  nice experience by an nostalgic gear train, through the long and dark  tunnel and afterwords a breathtaking view of Eibsee.
According to my observations the Germans glory in the Zugspitze top of the Germany, their nation’s highest point, their neighbors Austria doesn’t care about it that much as they do  because here are many higher mountains in Austria...I’ll keep continue to share our Austrian mountain experiences too.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"The Sound of Music", Natural film set in Salzburg

"Sound of Music" had a special place in my heart, I believe that too many people from my generation should have same feelings...Knowing each member of  von Trapp family with all details, knowing all those wonderful film songs...
I’ve visited Salzburg several times, to see all those places that I’ve seen long years ago while watching movie. 

Of course, all those places looked so familiar, I’ve visited them with great excitement. I've shared Salzburg Fortress Concerts in February. My photos show all those natural film set of the Sound of Music.
But, so sad that another member of that wonderful family lost her live, today. “Sound of Music” actress Charmian Carr passed away, who  played Liesl role in the film.
She was the eldest daughter of von Trapp at age 73, RIP!
My goodness, how time flies, it was 1965 when film released, she was performing a teen girl. I was at the first grade at primary school!!!
Let me briefly tell about the film for the new generations, “The Sound of Music”  an American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise, and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer at 1965. The film was an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music.
A tuneful, heartwarming story,  was based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of the world's best-known concert groups in the era immediately preceding World War II. Julie Andrews plays the role of Maria, the tomboyish candidate at an Austrian abbey who becomes a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain with seven children, and brings a new love of life and music into the home. When we were watching this heartwarming story also were watching amazing landscape and vastness of Austrian Alpes, too.
Most probably after reading the novel of  Heidi, by Johanna Spyri and watching the  Sounds of Music at early ages made a me nature lover, still,  my biggest joy is to go to Alpen mountains, their awesome peaks are my natural refreshment therapies. As, Julie Andres song, Hills are Alive!!!
Another important location was Mondsee in the film. 
Maria’s wedding took place at the Mondsee Cathedral.  I would like to share this wonderful Mondsee                                            
village view and against to mountains at dusk.  It is so obvious that music is universal, one melody, one song may remind us so many different memories, feelings, places...
Also an old but famous all over the world may remind us so many different wonderful memories,
let start to sing Do-Re-Mi once again....

Let's start at the very beginning
a very good place to start
when you read you begin with abc
when you sing you begin with do re mi
do re mi
the first three notes just happen to be
do re mi do re mi
do re mi fa so la te
do- a deer, a female deer
re- a drop of golden sun
mi- a name i call myself
fa- a long long way to run
so- a needle pulling thread
la- a note to follow so
te- a drink with jam and bread
that'll bring us back to do oh oh oh
do- a deer, a female deer
re- a drop of golden sun
mi- a name I call myself
fa- a long long way to run
so- a needle pulling thread
la- a note to follow so
te- a drink with jam and bread 
that'll bring us back to
do oh oh oh

Last thing, I would like to add, if you are incorrigible romantic like me, you will always remember that wonderful Gazebo so clearly, am I right? ;-)) RIP Charmian Carr, you will be always remembered by our generation....

Monday, September 12, 2016

Where and what to eat in Norway, Oslo

Opera House Restaurant  
We went there with our Norwegein friends. Nice place but we were the only table there all night.
I wanted to start with fish soup as being a fish soup lover, it was creamy with mixed veggies.
                                                             My pasta salad had sea foods and some many fresh ingredients. Pastas were too much I've just ate sea foods and veggies:))

                                          My husband order typical Norwegian tastes plate was interesting, covering various tasteful specialities in a same plate! 
Afterwords he had fish, it was looking so nice, indeed.

Our last day in Norway we had another heavy program, it covered our whole day. And we wanted to make a final at Lofoten Fiskerestaurant, Oslo, takes places Michelin Guide 2016. 

We hardly find place for six people. 
We ordered  "Greenland shrimps" as starter, they were so fresh and well prepared, most of them had caviars.  
Greenlandic shrimps are not farmed, caught wild in the waters off of Greenland’s coast.  Because of the cold water Greenlandic shrimp have a very long growing period and are therefore not caught until they are between 4 and 6 years old. In that period, of course they build up a lot of flavor accordingly. Greenlandic shrimp taste fresh of salt water with a sweet touch and have a firm and juicy texture that's make it special. By the way, let me remind that, Greenland is the largest island of the world,  which is part of North America continent but it is satellite territory of Denmark, a European country. 

 I had fish soup as a closure at our last day. I love fish soup, I couldn’t resist Lofoten’s creamy soup with fresh basil and garnished with daily fish&shellfish.  

My fish, oven baked lange and grilled asparagus with artichoke cream was delicious. I must admit that I couldn't finish last piece of that amazing fish. 

I know this location from my past trip, it is one of the popular restaurant in Aker Brygge, always crowded, first choice of the most people. 
So, I came to end of our Norway travel notes, I got nice feedbacks from some fellows, thanks once again for your e-mails...I'll share our mountain advantures soon...

Where&what to eat in Norway, Kristiansand

Kristiansand has so many alternatives to have good food. Bonder i Byen , is one of them, which  was in our list, we decided to have our dinner there. 
By the way, I must indicate that some parts are under the construction in Kristiansand, we hardly noticed this place among all those separations in the construction area but we were decisive, we especially wanted to have dinner there. 

It was a little bit late but friendly staff welcomed us and took our orders, we were two couples.
Each of us enjoyed our orders, everything was done with fresh ingredients and all of them were tasty. 

Shrimp salad with bakes tomato, rhubarb and tasty mayonnaise was really good.  We all liked those home made breads, too. 

My main course, fried hake garnished rhubard and fresh potatoes and cauliflower sauce were extraordinary taste. 
Rein deer with mixed veggies were looking so good.  We were two couples, agreed that it was worth to spend time to find place, we had delicious food at a friendly, cozy atmosphere. Their menu exactly for my kind, I wish we could have more time to be able visit this place to try different tastes.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Where&what to eat in Norway, Stavanger

When you're pier area in Stavanger, there are many options to have good food including very good fish&sea foods and meat, many well known chain restaurants, too.
I would like  to indicate that when I'm traveling I always try local tastes but here in this Scandinavian country I mostly ate fish because it is so fresh, well prepared and not so expensive! 
When we're traveling local tastes takes top priority but here top priority was fish&sea foods!!! 
At lovely sunny day after a long Stavanger tour we decided to have dinner at N.B.Sorensens Dampskibsexpedition
 Its outdoor section was full with local people.  The weather was lovely and mostly local people were having drinks at the outdoor section. We welcomed to indoors. 
My fish with asparagus was tasty,  simple side dish fresh potatoes were also good.

My husband ordered steak but it was thinner than his expectations. Also our friends had steaks with disappointment.

After  our  heavy program at our second day in Stavanger,  we  decided to have dinner there which was so close to our hotel RadisonBlu-Atlantic
Kitchen & Table by Marcus Samuelsson is Clarion Hotel's new restaurant concept since 2013, he combines Manhattan flavors with Scandinavian ingredients.   
At the Kitchen&Table Restaurant, we welcomed by friendly staff. 
Our drinks service was so fast. Restaurant supervisor explained our questions related with interesting choices in their menu. 

Our friends wanted to have kimchi burger. Their french fries with parmesan  was looking super. 
My husband enjoyed his order. We all agreed that our selection was perfect for  that dinner.  Kitchen&Table Restaurant  was pretty good with its good menu, talkative and friendly supervisor.
My fish plate and side dish was delicious. 
I made closure with a dessert. It was yuzu mousse, mandarin curd, coconut meringue, roasted coconut ice cream.Its serving style was so pretty.
We really had good food. We enjoyed our dinner&time in that nice and quiet atmosphere...