The Last Days of Summer – Oberammergau, Germany

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

Henry James

As we welcome autumn to Oberammergau – with its bounty of festivals and harvests – here’s a peek at the scenes we glimpsed during our end-of-summer strolls.

Here’s to beautiful fall foliage, and Bavaria’s winter wonderland vistas that await us just around the corner.

I hope they’ll arrive fashionably late, though.

Oberammergau scenes 3

Flowers in Bavaria 2

Flowers in Bavaria

Kofel in Oberammergau

Oberammergau scenes 2

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

58 thoughts on “The Last Days of Summer – Oberammergau, Germany

    1. Nice to hear from you, Victor – thanks for the compliment. I’m lucky that my parents call this picturesque part of the world home. As much of a wonderland as it is in winter, though, I love summer trekking here even more.

      Wish you a great weekend – on which side of the Atlantic are you now?

  1. LOVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY. It oddly reminds me of some of the kind of photography I do… except you are in Germany! How cool would it be if I could be taking pictures with you in Deutschland? I love you girl! Have a great first day of autumn! Love, Laura xoxox

    1. So nice to be in touch again, Laura! I’m flattered by your comment, especially coming from such a creative and talented photographer like you.

      One of these days, you and Bryan must hop to this side of the pond so that we can have one of those photo sessions. Did you know that Oktoberfest kicked off today? A perfect excuse for you to don a Dirndl and come visit. Hugs from us.

    1. Darlene, before you get too tempted by this beautiful Alpine scenery, I must let you in a little secret: it’s often grey and rainy here. Of course, so much rain lends itself to lush, stunning greenery like you see here.

      Thanks so much for your kind comment and for sharing the link on Twitter. Will you be spending some time outdoors this weekend too? We’re hoping to make it out on a hike in the next two days, weather permitting of course.

      1. Was out and about yesterday but it is a rainy yukky day today so a good excuse to stay in and write. Yes, the rain makes for beautiful scenery, as we know here on the westcoast of Canada.

      2. Darlene, I also appreciate that rainy days make me feel less guilty about staying indoors and working. Are you doing a follow-up to one of your books? In which part of Canada’s west coast do you live?

    1. Merci, Gerard, though I must give Mother Nature most of the credit. I must also confess that here in the mountains sunny days like this can be a bit rare. Today was the first time we’ve had the sun all day in over a week. Such scarcity does make the sunny days even more special though.

      Are the leaves starting to turn in NY yet? We made a few autumn trips to the Hudson Valley this time of year and the colors were stunning.

      1. I also love experiencing all four seasons. Sometimes I just wish winter was a tad shorter though. :)

        Do you have any favorite spots in the area that you like to go to usher in autumn?

      1. That’s wonderful. There are some cities here in California that are more dog friendly than others. It’s difficult to travel with Bailey due to the restrictions. No dogs are allowed in any restaurants in the state. Poor Baybay, but lucky Gigi!

  2. These pictures are amazing. They just draw me right in and put a smile on my face.Being the warm-bloodied creature that I am I would like to pass on winter. But winters can provide some of the best photos of nature in all her velvety white glory as well as an array of delicious soups. :)

    1. That’s kind of you to say, Lynne. “Velvety white glory” – a beautiful way to describe winter. It sounds as though we’re compatible weather-wise. I like traveling to the snow. :)

      We’ve already entered soup weather – I’m eager to whip up some pumpkin soup, something that German restaurants do extremely well.

    1. Thank you, Mekala. We’ve been lucky to have spent the summer months in such a picturesque place. You must be excited that summer’s coming back your way soon. I just read the news of your marriage, too – hearty congratulations!

  3. Such lovely photos, just as lush and green as an alpine meadow! It brings back happy memories from years ago when I went with three friends to see the Passion play. We were only 19, were driving through Austria, Checkoslovakia and Germany- the most glorious summer. In Oberammergau we stayed in the home of a sweet old lady, and just loved it. 35 years later I still have wax angels from Oberammergau on my christmas tree!

    1. Solveig, what a lovely memory you’ve shared; thank you. It’s incredible that the wax angels have survived all of these years, still able to grace your family’s Christmas tree.

      We have never been in Oberammergau during the Passion Play, but I’d certainly be curious to see how the village transforms itself. People we’ve met here said that the men grow out their hair and beards, and that Oberammergau is just bustling with activity. Have you ever thought about returning with your family? The next one is in 7 years. :)

  4. Today is the first day of fall. After a glorious summer and into September today is rained, and rained and rained. Your gorgeous photographs brought more than just a little bit of sunshine into this gray day. I was singing sons from the Sound of Music, Tricia. XXOo Virginia

    1. It’s fun to hear that these images impacted your personal soundtrack, Virginia. Today, we’re again experiencing rain, but we’ve enjoyed three splendid sunshine-filled days up until now. Yesterday, we went hiking in the Ammergauer Alps, and I had a Sound of Music tune flashback of my own when we saw a family of mountain goats. Instantly, ‘the Lonely Goatherd’ came to mind. That’s something I used to play on the piano with my dear teacher.

      What types of delightful treats are you harvesting this fall?

      1. I’ve been wanting to go apple picking, Virginia, but just haven’t tracked down an apple farm in this area yet. I’ll have to check your culinary site for the apple pie recipe and see if I can find some gluten-free flours for my own version of it. :)

    1. Cornelia, it’s another beautiful day here in Bavaria, and we’re thrilled since we’ve just had a long week of rain. We’re contemplating going back to Linderhof or climbing the Laber. Can you recommend any of your favorite autumn rituals from when you lived in this area? Do you think you’ll be back for a visit this winter or next summer?

      1. Hi Tricia, I was in Munich about about 3 weeks ago, but it’s been about 3 years since I ventured into the beautiful countryside around Oberammergau.

  5. I’ve always loved the windows and balconies decorated so abundantly with flowers. In the Black Forest, they used to have yearly competitions between villages and towns where the most “flowerful” town won. Usually, every house and every yard was immaculate and decorated with flowers….

    1. When I was living in Heidelberg, I loved voyaging to the Black Forest for weekend day trips. I do recall seeing the ‘Villes Fleuris’ signs in France too. I wonder if they have/had similar competitions?

      Here in Oberammergau, we’re enjoying the last weeks seeing the balconies adorned with such an array of flowers. Soon they’ll give way to evergreen boughs.

      Wish you a wonderful weekend, Annette!

      1. Enjoy this glorious fall while it lasts. I, too, remember very dreary, grey months towards the end of the year. On the East coast in the US we are having an extended warm, sunny fall. Just the thing th chase winter blahs a bit further into the future :-)

  6. Thank you for the wonderful pictures from Oberammergau. I lived there in the early 1950’s as a child and have returned several times since. Attended the Passion Play in 1950, 1970, and 2000. Oberammergau has a very special place in my heart.

    1. Susan, how lovely to hear about your connection to Oberammergau! I’d be fascinated to hear your stories, and what changes you noticed during your most recent visit? My parents retired to O-gau a few summers ago, and we’ve been lucky enough to have spent a few months there. I haven’t yet attended a Passion Play, but looking forward to possibly doing so in 2020.

      Did you ever climb the Kofel, or any of the neighboring peaks? I’m guessing you might have taken the cable car to the top of the Laber? In what part of the village did you live? Last summer we really enjoyed the König-Ludwig-Feuer event, when hikers carried torches up the Kofel to commemorate King Ludwig’s birthday. It’s such a picturesque part of the world, and so I can see why it is very special to you.

      1. My dad was in the US Army and was stationed in Oberammergau (US Army Military Police School and US Army Intelligence School) from 1949 to 1952. I was in 1st through 3rd grade and attended the US Dependent School in Garmisch. A “school bus” took us down and back every day. My most recent visit was this past September—a very quick trip of only one hour. To me the village hasn’t really changed—I can still find my way around. But, of course, it has changed—more commercial, more people, more traffic, more touristy (even in non-Passion Play years). I, however, could see myself retiring there; I am jealous of your parents. (However, my husband would never leave where we now live.)
        I never did climb the Kofel and the Laber did not have a chair lift when I lived there. I do remember the torches on the mountain for the King’s birthday—it was magical.

      2. Susan, thank you for sharing your memories of Oberammergau. What an idyllic place in which to have spent part of your childhood (and to have gone to elementary school in Garmisch)! :)

        Perhaps when you next return, you can ride up to the Laber, and if your visit coincides with Unterammergau’s horse-blessing ceremony, I highly recommend it. Though we’re not always in O-gau, I know that my parents would enjoy meeting you. Please keep in touch if it looks as though you’ll be in town.

        If you’re looking for more trips down memory lane, here are some of my O-gau favorite posts:

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