2015/09/05

Explore: Höllentalklamm, Germany

Has there ever been a moment in your life in which you thought "This can't be."? And you thought so because you were overwhelmed by the unbelievable beauty in front of your eyes, a beauty you've never seen before, never known of, never thought possible?
If so, then congratulations. If not, wait for it. It's gonna be worth every drop of sweat you might lose. Because I'm talking about nature. German nature in particular.

Since "Fernweh" - the longing to leave your place and discover the world - is a permanent feeling in my chest, I tend to look at pictures of foreign countries pretty often. I follow tons of photographers, travellers, explorers on instagram, i search tags like "landscape", "naturelovers" and "travelling" nearly on a daily basis. To me, it always seemed like real beauty only was to be found in afar. Nowhere near me.
Oh boy, I was wrong. During a week I discovered some places in Bavaria I would have never thought would exist. Whoops, starting to repeat myself, I should make my point now.
 
 
 
Höllentalklamm, Germany. If you love to be alone in the wilderness, don't attempt to go there on a Saturday like we did due to the rest of our plans for the week. If you love to study people, definitely choose Saturday because you will meet all kinds of them. Including the ones "hiking" up there in ballet pumps and a sequin top, with only one bottle of water.

Going all the way up to the Höllental from which several routes, to the Zugspitze for instance,  detour, took us around three hours, including a big break to eat some bits. Overnight stays will be possible from the beginning of 2016 onwards because they just rebuilt the Höllentalangerhütte. Be careful though, staying there isn't the cheapest!
Exporing Höllentalklamm is possible in one day though.
 
 
You should start in the morning, when the sun isn't up high yet and your skin isn't burning. If you're not staying anywhere near and not taking the train, you'll be glad to be an earlybird. From 8am on, traffic in and around Garmisch-Partenkirchen is jamming quite a lot. Same applies to 4pm. There are several parking areas along the way, you will find a slot closest to the hiking path if you're on time. We weren't - and had to find a spot somewhere in Grainau. Luckily, the owner of the property was a very friendly local who didn't mind us parking along his fence. He even gave us a cucumber for the hike since he had plenty.
Let me just say, the cucumber was delicious.
 
Definitely take a rainjacket with you, as passing by Höllentalklamm is a wet affair. And good hiking shoes obviously. It takes you about one and a half hours to reach Höllentaleingangshütte.
To enter Höllentalklamm, adults pay 4 euros, children, students pay half the price. Pass the turnstile and you're in and looking forward to half an hour of walking along narrow paths, on wet stone, with the ice blue stream beneath you. Partially, the air is so cold you can see your own breath. Once you've made it out, you've got one more hour to go if you want to reach the Höllental, it's worth it, too.
 
 
I never expected to see as many different vegetations and landscapes within these few hours. Basically every stage of our hike we found new beauty to admire. The 4 euros we paid for this experience seemed like nothing to us. I didn't count how often I thought "This can't be", just take me by my word - it was probably every time I peeked around me.
And also in the second I looked up and a little waterfall poured over me. Before hiking through the Höllental, I honestly believed a nature like this could only be found in New Zealand, Canada, or maybe in a national park in the United States. Not in my home country, Germany. It was a welcome enlightenment and I'm looking forward to many more.

P.S.: I took my best to do nature justice, but I still don't think a picture can. You should go and see for yourself. (More pictures on flickr.)



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