Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lermoos, Austria

Hello there--

Looking like teenagers

Today we are going to take a walk down memory lane and go to Lermoos, Austria.  Lermoos is a tiny resort town in the Tyrolean Alps.  In June 2004 I deployed for 45 days to Sembach, Germany (near Frankfurt), and the Mrs. came over for 10 days near the end.  We had a few days off, so we decided to venture south to Bavaria and stay a few days at the resort at Garmisch Partenkirchen.  We decided to forgo any reservations, and to play it by ear.  Garmisch is a large US Department of Defense resort in the Alps.  It used to be a resort for senior German officers in WWII, and the US continued to lease it after the war.
      Strange to see castles everywhere

We left Sembach in our rented BMW 318 with no air conditioning, and headed south the four or five hundred miles to Garmisch. The BMW had an overspeed horn that came on at 100mph, so we kept the windows open to stay cool and to drown out the buzzing of the horn.  The drive was amazing; every corner we cleared would elicit a "Oh my goodness, that is the most beautiful town I have ever seen!" from my bride.  And it was.
Biberwall, our first nights destination

                    We stayed here, and that is my bride in the center window, second from top

After a great meal topped off with weird German spaghetti ice dessert, we grabbed a drink then went exploring, and went to bed.  
We got up the next morning and got back in our pizza oven of a car for the 3 hour or so ride to Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that the one at Disney was modeled after.  We walked up to the castle in 90+ heat, following an asian transvestite in support hose.  Holy Petri dish, I hope he tossed those hose after that.  In true French style, we got to the top after a 45 minute walk and decided not to pay to go in.  No reason.  Just because.  
The castle.  My wife took these photos before she got "into" taking photos, and now they embarass her.  

Back in the sweat locker of a car, and off to Garmisch.  We began to notice a bunch of American senior citizens on the roads; it was June 8th, and the 60th celebration of the Normandy invasion had been two days prior.  Thousands of rowdy octogenarians were retracing their steps from Normandy through German to Bavaria.  We rolled into Garmisch at noon, and literally hundreds of drunk 80 year old paratroopers greeted us.  These fellas were rolling hard, and 101st and 82nd Airborne were raising a ruckus.  It was actually really cool to see these guys, and the bond they shared was evident.  

There were no rooms.  Traci and I jumped back in the steamy car and tried to decide what to do.  We were only a few miles from the Austrian border, and my Tiger map showed an easier way back to Sembach.  We were ready to accept defeat.  We crossed the border, and the Tirolean Valley opened up before us.  I immediately began planning to move there and raise cows.  I know little about cows.  We pulled into a quaint hotel and got a room for about $60 that included breakfast.  
The view from our tub

The next three days were a blur of almost non-stop perfection; great food, great wine, hikes, bike rides on bikes with square wheels, and just more fun than I imagined possible.  My wife claims that this is when she realized I need to be in the mountains, and decided to grant me my wish and move from Minnesota to Oregon.  I had been at war almost non-stop for three years at this point, and was getting pretty angry at the world.  Lermoos brought me back toward center a bit.
On the final day, I go up early and went for a run.  I saw an old guy on this patio eating eggs and sausage washed down with a beer.  It was 6:45AM.  All was right in the world.

So go to Austria, and make a reservation for the first night.  Then play it by ear, and "develop the situation."  

Mr French


  1. That is pretty much how I travel.... I don't like to plan things out to much. It makes for a better adventure.

  2. That was lovely. It makes me want to go there immediately. I think the photos were wonderful, btw.

  3. "This is the view from our tub."

    Hilarious, and so beautiful.