So what else did we do in Germany?
Well, one night we went on a horse and buggy ride around Garmisch. Kyra - fearless Kyra! - wouldn't pet the horses. She was worried that they would bite her. The boys thought the ride was okay, but compared to their long-ago elephant ride in Thailand, it wasn't impressive. It turns out that when you're riding an elephant and it poops, the poop is much, much, much bigger than horse-and-buggy poop. Score one for elephant rides.
Both girls were exhausted, so neither of them lasted the entire ride.
But I liked it. So there's that.
We also went to the princess castle, otherwise known as Neuschwanstein. This would've been better done as a tour, because it would've taken less time to get there by tour bus. By taxi, train and bus, it took about 2 1/2 hours to get there, and by the time we arrived, all of the tours of the inside were sold out. Plus which, we only had a couple of hours to explore before the last bus out of there - didn't want to miss that! Shay took most of the photos - of this and everything, really, throughout our vacation.
Another day was spent riding the gondola up to the AlpspiX. It was a cold, cloudy, windy day, and I spent most of it reciting my mantra ("Do NOT let the kids know you are scared of heights! Do NOT let the kids know you are scared of heights! Do NOT...").
The kids pretty quickly learned that I'm scared of heights.
First of all, the gondola ride was long and high and scary. Especially at the part when we reached the top of a ridge and got flung off the other side. I may have screeched in terror just a little. And then there was the AlpspiX itself. Built one year ago, the AlpspiX is basically two long steel sidewalks that cross in the shape of an X as they jut off the mountaintop over a 3200 foot void. If you look down, you can see through the bottom. If you look down, you cannot go another step toward the edge. If you look down, you might think you are going to throw up right into the void.
If you don't look down, or if you're not a coward like me, you can walk all the way to the end, which is glass. I'm told the view from the edge of this beast is quite impressive. I wouldn't know: I only made it a few short steps before turning back.
But I blame the wind! It was gusty, and my children were running back and forth on the thing, shouting with glee. I watched the gusts of wind knock them around, and my mommy brain could actually see them being lifted up by a gust and tossed over the side. It was all I could do not to plan funerals for my whole family as I clung to the rail, repeating over and over "Do NOT let the kids know you are scared of heights!"
I was pleased when they got too cold up there.
We rode another gondola down to another part of the mountain and then hiked 30 minutes or so to a third gondola, which we rode down to safety and hot chocolate. We then spent a good portion of the evening laughing at mommy's silly little phobia.
But it was scary. And afterwards, I had my doubts that I'd ever be able to tackle the gondola up to the top of the Zugspitze.
But that's a story for another post.