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Sometimes it pays to think BIG. Take the little communities of Garmisch and Partenkirchen, sitting prettily in the Werdenfels Valley of Upper Bavaria. For centuries they were just that - pretty little towns where people liked to hike and ski, and join in traditional Bavarian festivities. Then in 1935 they merged, to become the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Still not of city proportions, they were large enough to successfully bid for the following year's Winter Olympic Games.

After that there was no turning back. International recognition came with those games, as did super sports facilities, hotels and spas. 1978 brought the prestigious Alpine Ski World Championships, for which trails were extended, hospitality and sports facilities modernized. Now, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is internationally acclaimed as Germany's winter-sport capital. As such it is twinned with Aspen, Colorado, and attracts outdoors enthusiasts from all over.