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”

An Autumn Afternoon at the Neuschwanstein Castle

As we inched closer to the Neuschwanstein Castle, I couldn’t help but think it looked even more fairy tale’esque thanks to the autumnal hues Mother Nature had dressed it in. Rich yellow, copper and crimson leaves framed the world-famous castle on the craggy rocks, contrasting sharply with the lime green fields below it.

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”

A Peek at Linderhof Palace

Schloss Linderhof is the smallest of three castles built by King Ludwig II in Germany’s state of Bavaria in the mid to late 1800s. Simultaneously referred to as the ‘Fairy Tale King’ and ‘Mad King Ludwig,’ eccentric Ludwig is perhaps best known for having commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle, the so-called ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Disney Castle.’ He isContinue reading “A Peek at Linderhof Palace”

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 is a peek at the scenes we glimpsed during our last summer strolls. Here’s to beautiful fall foliage,Continue reading “The Last Days of Summer – Oberammergau, Germany”

Celebrating Mariä Himmelfahrt Day in Oberammergau, Germany

As the clock edged toward nine thirty in the morning, the stream of villagers dressed in traditional German folk costume passing by our window in Oberammergau, Germany grew. Ladies in elaborate Dirndls and men in Lederhosen pedaled by on their bikes. Some navigated their bikes’ handlebars with one hand, with elaborate wildflower bouquets in theContinue reading “Celebrating Mariä Himmelfahrt Day in Oberammergau, Germany”

Angels, Busts, and Saints Dressed in Snow: A Wintry Visit to Oberammergau’s Cemetery

Perhaps it is a bit macabre, but I find cemeteries – particularly those in foreign locales – to be fascinating and fitting spots to reflect upon a place’s culture and history, and upon life itself. When my husband and I last visited Paris, we spent several hours strolling through the city’s famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, passing headstones ofContinue reading “Angels, Busts, and Saints Dressed in Snow: A Wintry Visit to Oberammergau’s Cemetery”

Dizzied by a Dazzling Array of Dirndls in Bavaria

Whenever I see Bavarians dressed in traditional German attire, I can’t help but recall a playful prank that my former American colleagues routinely played on friends and family who would come to visit them in Germany. The husband and wife would get laced up in their finest Trachten-wear (German traditional dress consisting of men’s LederhosenContinue reading “Dizzied by a Dazzling Array of Dirndls in Bavaria”