The One with Oberammergau, Germany

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We just got back from a whirlwind weekend trip to so many amazing places! I took an overwhelming 743 pictures, plus even more on my phone (and Chris's phone - I need them all!). We went to Oberammergau, stayed at the Edelweiss Army Lodge and Resort, saw THE Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles, toured the cute ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, went to the tippy top of Germany's highest mountain: Zugspitze, drove around the scenic Plansee Lake, and topped off the trip with a tour of Linderhof Palace. I'm going to break it down into several different posts, chronologically, so here we go!

We left Friday afternoon when Chris got home from work. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive to Oberammergau, but we made a side-trip to IKEA to get our VAT money back. Everything here is taxed 20% but at some places, including IKEA, we can get the 20% back if we buy and fill out VAT forms. It's complicated, but worth it. Then on we went! Fox said he had to go potty about an hour outside of Munich and luckily there was a WC rest stop just 5km ahead. This was thew view through the fence at the potty break.
 Getting closer to real civilization! I spy airplanes taking off!
We drove right through the heart of Munich. It's a huge city - third biggest in Germany behind Berlin and Hamburg. There is so much to see and do here!  We don't have a trip planned in December and I'm thinking Munich just might be where we end up going.

I'm enticed by this olive-green church.
 Getting closer to the mountains - the Alps!

Into the mountains we go!
We reached Oberammergau around dinnertime, found somewhere to park the car, and continued on foot.

First order of business was finding something to eat. We found a little bakery and got some cookies.
 If I were my dad I'd want to climb to the top of the mountain and I'd probably know the name of it and lots of stories about it.
 Oberammergau is the Shirley Temple of Bavarian villages, or so says Rick Steves. It's a wonderful town to wander through and see the half-timbered Lüftlmalerei (explained later) houses frescoed with biblical scenes and famous fairy-tale characters.

The town's best sights are its woodcarving shops filled with very expensive whittled works.
We know better than to let Fox go in such enticing stores though - even window shopping can lead to tantrums galore! Look at him coveting those cars...

Oh the enchantment of Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas stores!
We spotted a church steeple and made our way towards it.

The town church is typically Bavarian Baroque. Being in a woodcarving center, it's only logical that all the statues are made of wood, and then stuccoed and gilded to look like marble or gold.
Pretty scenery in Oberammergau.

The scenes we saw painted on the sides of houses in Bavaria are called Lüftlmalerei. The term came from the name of the house ("Zum Lüftl") owned by a man from Oberammergau who pioneered the practice in the 18th century. As the paintings became popular during the Counter-Reformation Baroque age, themes tended to involve Christian symbols, saints, and stories such as scenes from the life of Jesus to reinforce the Catholic Church's authority in the region. Some scenes also depict an important history event that took place in that house or town.

Here are many many examples of the painted Lüftlmalerei we beheld in Oberammergau:

By this point we were all famished so we headed to the hustling and bustling part of town to seek out some food.

So happy to still see colored leaves all around!

We found a pizza shop and ordered two pepperoni pizzas. Fox entertained himself, and everyone else for that matter, with a wooden whistle we got him at one of the wood shops.

While the food was baking I walked around some more. Loving this vine covered apartment building!

Dinner is served! We were in and out pretty quick, Fox and Jane were restless.
Walking back to the car, still admiring all the lovely buildings.
My favorite painted building of them all!

When we got to the Edelweiss Army Lodge and Resort it was dark, so these pictures were taken the next morning.

A view of the gorgeous mountains with nothing obstructing them.

The hotel has some Lüftlmalerei goin' on!

Not too shabby! Felt like we were in a ski lodge!
We could see ski lifts going up the mountains. We want to go!

Hotel details.

Walking down lots of hallways to get to our room. It was like a maze!

We made it! We loved our room.

One of two bathrooms and the view from the balcony.
Fox got his own bed, lucky boy.

We loved sitting outside on the deck in the AMAZING weather. It was about 70 degrees and sunny and perfect.
Everyone went to sleep at 8pm, eager for the next day's adventures of seeing the King's Castles: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau!


  1. Aw I loved seeing the pictures of Munich! I knew exactly where you were!! You MUST go there in December! Can't wait for tomorrow's post!!! :)

  2. Thanks so much for the tour! I remember that I had the most scrumptious chocolate dessert at the corner cafe in Oberammergau! Love love your photos!

  3. I just love your "tourist" posts! Filled with beautiful pictures of the scenery, your family and everything intersting to see - near and far. And all the facts and tidbits. Lovely! :)

    And a little "googleing" gave the name of the mountain too (had to check ;) ) - the Kofel!

    Can't wait to see what you have to show'n'tell of whatever you see when you visit my own country, Sweden. :)

    Have a nice day!


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