A Valley Ablaze: The König-Ludwig-Feuer in Oberammergau, Germany

Paying homage to Bavaria’s beloved King Ludwig II with bonfires, processions, and revelry.

Slap Happy: Dancing the Schuhplattler in Bavaria

One of the joys of exploring Germany’s Bavaria region is seeing the people’s penchant for preserving tradition. In the village of Oberammergau, where we’ve spent much time visiting my parents, it’s not uncommon to spot an older gentleman wearing a loden green, woolen hat, with feather, during a grocery-shopping trip. On holidays, ladies often don vibrant Dirndls (dresses withContinue reading “Slap Happy: Dancing the Schuhplattler in Bavaria”

Tails from a German Horse-Blessing Ceremony

During the last weekend of every October, the village of Unterammergau, Germany honors St. Leonhard, the patron saint of agricultural animals. The event begins with a horse procession through the village of 1,500 people, and culminates in an open-air church service, during which more than one hundred horses are blessed. (Unterammergau is the neighboring villageContinue reading “Tails from a German Horse-Blessing Ceremony”

Mount Kofel Dressed in Snow – Oberammergau, Germany

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”   John Steinbeck The experience of awakening to the first snowfall of winter is magical, especially when Mother Nature delivers as she did today in Oberammergau, Germany. (There was nothing to shovel, but confectioners’ sugar-like dustings on the surroundingContinue reading “Mount Kofel Dressed in Snow – Oberammergau, Germany”

Conquering the Kofel, Oberammergau’s Signature Mountain

Towering over the village of Oberammergau is the Kofel, a Matterhorn-shaped mountain with an elevation of 1,342 meters (4,400 feet). The name Kofel means ‘cone-shaped mountain’ in Celtic, and so hints at the tribes and peoples that once passed through this mountainous part of Germany. The Bavarians we’ve met in this picturesque town are well-versed in theContinue reading “Conquering the Kofel, Oberammergau’s Signature Mountain”