After moving into Seefeld, we had a lightly scheduled day that started with laundry. Weekdays you could have your laundry done, but on a Sunday there was only a small laundromat open. So we sent the elders on to see a some small towns in Germany. While the laundry was going at the Tip Top Laundromat, we walked the road and played a round of mini-golf. There are a surprising number of mini-golf courses in the area, though none seem to rival the novelty of those found in US vacation spots. After mini-golf we wandered down the road to find lunch. On the way we passed through a small flea market and checked out the Austrian antiques. Sadly, it was not much better than a typical one at home. For lunch, we found a small smoky bar with a waitress that Tristan found cute and friendly. I was told to leave her a big tip.
After lunch and laundry we headed over to Mittenwald, Germany to meet the elders. Mittenwald is known for it’s violin makers, but is also a cute little town with many fresco painted building in the walking area. Most of the shops were closed on a rainy Sunday, but we decided it was worth coming back. We did manage to find a proper Konditorei for afternoon cake and coffee. With the rain clearing, we decided to make a late afternoon stop at the Leutascher Geisterklamm [http://www.leutascher-geisterklamm.at/]
The Geisterklamm or Spirit Gorge is a deep and narrow gorge with three man made trails. We first took the short trail into the waterfall, about 200 meters of metal and wooden trail suspended from the side of the rock wall. After a day of rain, the wood pathway was wet and water was running off the rock all around us. This clearly wasn’t a trail for those with a fear of heights. Most of the time we were 25-30 feet above a rapidly running stream (or maybe a small river.) The water here is a really nice teal color from the minerals that are carried down by the snow melt. We’re told that by the end of summer the water will be crystal clear. At the end of the trail is a small cave and bridge crossing the gorge in front of a very loud 75 foot waterfall. We didn’t hang out long because the spray was soaking us, but we did get a few good pictures.
After heading down from the waterfall trail, everyone was pumped to see more of the gorge and we headed up the 1.2 mile trail that would take us over a bridge above the waterfall. This hike started with a set of steep switchbacks. Every other corner had a sign with a section of the geological history of the gorge and the kids took turns reading them while the adults enjoyed the rest without admitting how welcome it was. Once up and over, the trail was back to man made walk ways hanging high (probably 75 feet) above the stream anchored into the rocky side of the gorge. The trail soon split and you could take a longer walk on the edge to the gorge or cross the bridge and head back down. It was getting late and we were not in for the long haul so we headed across the bridge. The photos don’t do it justice, that bridge is suspended way above the waterfall and the views impressive.