Saturday, 3 August 2013


While in Germany we are trying explore the area, this is one of our more interesting weekend away. Usually when we travel I liked to do a bit of the research prior to know where we going. Here we learned to just jump in the car and drive, if we like something we stop if not we carry on driving and it's easy as the scenery even from the car window is spectacular.

Oberammergau small town known for the fresco painted houses and the passion play.
The Passion Play is being performed since 1634, when the villagers made promise to perform the play if the village gets spared from the plague sweeping the region. And they kept the word, the play takes place every 10 years (next one in 2020). The play is about the different scenes from Jesus life, the actors are residents (up to 2,000 residents are involved). The costumes are home made and the artificial hair is not allowed so actors grow the beards. The play last for 7-8 hours but there long meal break, starts 11-12am and finishes around 10pm.

Originally, the play was performed in the church but when word spread around and number of visitors increased it has been moved to the graveyard outside the church. In XIX century the passion play become so popular that the new venue was build in the fields behind the graveyard - today theatre that can sit 4,700 spectators.

Linderhof Palace is one of three palaces built by Ludwig II (some called him the best lowed Bavarian king while other called him mad) but his architectural legacy survived till today. This was the only one castle that was completed, while others are not finished till current date: Neuschwanstein (disney replica is based on it) and Herrenchiemsee.
Linderhof Palace was built in rococo style, there was no question that it was built as a copy of Versailles the same the shape and interiors. The walls are decorated with the portraits of the French dignitaries and kings (not bavarian). Ludwig is said to be very private, he lived in the castle for 8 years and hardly ever received the visitors, he was up at night and slept during the day and to avoid the contact with the servants the dinner table has been placed on the moveable shift, it was lower down to lay it up and then raised up. Ludwig often asked for table to be set for 4 - he was pretending to be dinning with imaginary friends Louis XV, Marie-Antoinette and Mme Pompadour. 

Zugspitze 2,962 m is the highest peak in Germany. We cheated and taken a cable car (10min of good views) and returned via train (first 20min of the railway track is inside the mountain then another 20min through the forest. On the top there is big concrete complex shared by Austria and Germany, as the peak is on boarder.

The nice unexpected attraction was sliding but unfortately sliding in the shrts is not a good idea.
At the bottom of the mountain is lake Eibsee with outdoor restaurant serving grilled mackerels and cold beer.
The good surprised awaited us in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. When we arrived in the town centre in the evening there seem to be more than we expected locals dressed in the traditional cloths. Why? Because it was opening of beer festival - there was big procession going through the town and then opening.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen for many centuries were separate towns but have been forced to merge by Hitler ahead of winter Olympics in 1936. Despite the merge they still remained their own identity with Garmisch being modern while Partenkirchen still have fresco painted houses and cobble streets. For all Poles it's know because of ski jumping, which become extremely popular since Adam Malysz emerged as a top ski jumper of the world (he is current holder of most world championships golds, 4). The Garmish-Partenkirchen is part of 4 hill competition along Obersdorf in Germany and Insbruck and Bischofshofen in Austria. The jump record is 143.5m and belongs to Simmon Amman.

That would be quick summary of one of our recent weekend. We definitely would like to return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in on New Years day to watch the competition live. On TV it doesn't look so scary but the high it's very petrifying in reality. 

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