Europe, Journal, Munich

South African In: Munich


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South African In: Munich

Not so long ago I traveled to Bavaria, Germany, with family and friends. We landed in Munich and took a train to Oberammergau; the prettiest village I’ve ever been to. The reason we went was to watch the famous “Passion Play”, which is performed there only every ten years.

The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634 and is the result of a vow made by the inhabitants of the village that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague (then sweeping the region), they would perform a passion play every ten years. I was amazed to read that Henry Ford attended the Passion Play in 1930! Home of the cuckoo clock, wood carving is an ancient art practiced in Oberammergau (there’s even a couple of schools in the town) and a typical Oberammergau souvenir is either a wooden crucifix, a wooden cuckoo clock or a Bavarian clock. This clock goes in the opposite sense of conventional clocks in that they have the inscription “In Bayern gehen die Uhren anders” (In Bavaria the clocks run differently). This quaint alpine town surrounded by lush forests, pretty green meadows and stunning mountain ranges, certainly has a lot of history! It’s renowned for its traditional Bavarian art and culture… many of its buildings feature ‘Lüftlmalerei’ or frescoes, depicting traditional Bavarian fairy tales and religious scenes. One of the days we were there, we traveled up the Zugspitze Mountain…. the highest mountain in Germany! It lies south of the town of Garmisch, and the border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit (making it half German, half Austrian). Wow. There’s something magical about traveling up a cable car into the Bavarian Alps. Once I arrived, I saw snow for the first time! I was breathless at the sight. I inhaled in the freshest air in the world and gazed at the matchless 360° panorama across a total of 400 peaks in 4 different countries. What an adventure sitting in the chilly alpine atmosphere with a cappuccino gazing out at the panoramic views all the way to the white powdered Dolomite mountains of Italy and the Swiss Alps.

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