Monday, October 11, 2010

bavarian snapshots

During our visit to Bavaria, the southeastern state of Germany whose capitol is Munich, we were treated to sweeping views of the Alps, broad farmland, and deep glacial lakes. In this predominantly Catholic area, the onion domes of churches populate the skyline, religious icons still hold place at country intersections and along stretches of road where supplicants may need a word with God, and church bells ring out through the day. Since WWII, the distinct Bavarian culture of fresco-painted walls, carved balconies loaded with hanging flowers on every sun-facing wall, well-tended fields for animals and crops, traditional country dress and so on has been continually and carefully restored right along with rebuilding a prosperous industrial hub.

Our trip included attending the last performance for another ten years of Oberammergau's famous Passion Play, riding a cable-car to the glorious top of the Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and hiking up verdant hillsides to visit King Ludwig's castles. We enjoyed lazy afternoon picnics beside deep clear green-water glacial lakes accessed by private roads, and long exploratory drives trying to find the homes where I lived over 40 years ago (before the road system expanded). It wasn't hard to recreate my middle-of-the-night ambulance route through the Black Forest from Bad Tölz to Munich where my second child was born (while my late husband was in Norway). And the downhill sweep of Bad Tölz' charming main street is still there, with its long-remembered outstanding bakery, although now the town center is reserved for pedestrians and scaffolding while old stucco and frescoes are being renewed. We found the much-restored house where I lived in Bad Tölz, but my homes in Fleck (with its German proverbs painted above the doorways) and Lenggries were harder to pinpoint after so many years.

King Ludwig's Linderhof Castle

Fresco painting in Garmisch

Typical carved and flower-covered balcony

Lakeside for an afternoon picnic

Small private chapel on farm

Would you like to have a tour of the Versailles-inspired Schloss Linderhof, my favorite of King Ludwig's three castles? And see more examples of beautiful Bavarian frescos? Or some exquisite Oberammergau wood carvings?

If so, I'll be back. :)


Catherine said...

Oh Pam,
What lovely photos. I have never been to Bavaria, it looks amazing.
Can't wait to see more.

Korie B said...

Oooh! Yes! More please!

Debby Schuh said...

We stayed in Mittenwald... have you been there? And we turned in our rental car in Garmisch and took the train from there to Munich to Salzburg. Such a gorgeous area! Let's see more pictures!

Sue said...

Just Beautiful!!!! I already want to go back :)