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A Glimpse of Germany-Part 1

Story ID:5270
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Travel
Location:Hohenlinden Germany
Year:2009
Person:Ken and Nancy Kopp
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A Glimpse of Germany-Part 1

A Glimpse of Germany-Part 1

A Glimpse of Germany-Part 1

A Glimpse of Germany-Part 1

Many people have asked about our three week trip to Germany, what we did, what we liked and more. So, here is a glimpse of parts of Germany, Austria and even a tiny bit of France. Forgive any misspellings on the German words.

We visited Germany on organized river cruises twice, but this time Ken wanted us to do it on our own, to bypass the big cities and concentrate on the small towns and villages along the secondary roads. We invited our good friends, Mike and Mavis Power, to join us. On other trips, we’d proved to be good travel companions, and this one added one more good time together. They live in Johannesburg, South Africa so we don’t have the opportunity to spend time together very often.

Ken and I flew to Munich, arriving very early on a Wednesday morning. We picked up our rental car, a Mercedes C Class, and set out to find the hotel we’d booked online, a mere half hour outside the city in Hohenlinden. More than two hours later, we found it! Trying to get use to German road signs through travel-bleary eyes is not easy. Ken learned to make turn-arounds quite well. The Hotel Zur Linde turned out to be small but with all the amenities needed—comfortable rooms, a biergarten, dining room that served excellent food and a warm welcome from the family that runs the hotel. We found this to be the case in almost every place we stayed. A church across the street provided the music of bells off and on all day and even into the night, a rather nice addition.

The following day we drove back to Munich to pick up our friends at the airport. We zipped back to Hohenlinden quickly since we now knew the way and went directly to the biergarten to toast the beginning of one more adventure together with the local beer. The next day we spent time in the Marienplatz area of Munich, having lunch in the famed Hofbrohaus, and then went out to the Olympic Park, which is now a showroom for the BMW plant. Enjoyable, but enough of the big city for us.

We visited several different areas in southern Germany, which is the most scenic part of this large country. Ken drove the narrow, winding roads of Bavaria and we all enjoyed the beautifully painted homes and other buildings. Nearly all were white stone or stucco but had lovely painted designs over doors and windows, sometimes entire scenes painted on them. Brilliant-colored flowers cascaded over the edges of flowerboxes in all the windows and on balcony railings. The farmhouses and barns were often connected. We wondered if the barn aroma wafted its way into the house. We were all amazed at how very large the farm homes were. The countryside is so green and the crops all looked in top-notch condition, the result of abundant rains and close attention of the farmers. We visited the Bavarian Alps area where Hitler once had his hideaway, The Eagles Nest, near Berchtesgeden. We spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon at the nearby Lake Konigsee area, a resort area with myriad small hotels and gasthouses (guesthouses). One day we drove through a heavily forested national park, expecting to move on from the other side. Wrong! We hit a dead end and had to backtrack many miles. More trouble with German signs. One we learned to read quite well was Umleichtung, which means Detour.

While in the Bavarian area, we took side-trips two different days to Salzburg and Innsbruck in Austria, spending our time in the historic sections of the cities. Scenic areas and interesting shops kept us occupied. We also went to Oberammagau where the Passion Play is presented once every ten years by the people who live in the town. A pledge made to God, praying for an end to the plague so long ago, is still kept. The play is a major production and happens again in May of 2010.

Next, we moved on to the Lake Constance area in the far southern part of Germany. This very large lake is bordered by Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We found a small hotel in Oberdorf, about ten miles from the lake. We took potluck when it came to finding places to stay, usually staying two or three nights in each and doing daytrips from that base. Oberdorf found us in he good care of the Brunnen family. Papa was the chef. (Nearly all the small hotels and gasthauses have dining rooms) Mama was the hotel reception person and hostess in the dining room. One son was a waiter. They treated us royally, fed us outstanding sauerbraten, schnitzel and all that goes with it. The morning we left, all three came out to the car to say farewell. One morning, we traveled to Begrenz, Austria on Lake Constance. Mike had read about a South African priest who had been named the Abbot of an Abbey located there. Having no idea where it was, we ended up on a treasure hunt. Surely, angels were guiding us, as we found it with no problem at all. The beautiful Abbey had a school, a wine cellar restaurant, a chapel where we attended a short prayer service, but no Abbot . He had gone on a trip to Damscus, so Mike did not get to meet his countryman as hoped for. But we stayed and had lunch in the wine cellar restaurant, having a schnitzel I’ll not soon forget.

Another day we traveled to Neuschwanstein, home to Mad King Ludwig’s castles. Oh yes, he had two, very close to one another, high up on top of a mountain. The larger one is more famous as it was used for the opening of each Disney TV show for many years. We rode a shuttle bus as far up the mountain as we could but still had a ten minute walk down a steep path. I kept thinking about what the walk back was going to be like, and it was every bit as unpleasant as I feared. Mavis and I huffed and puffed all the way. Since it was an hour and a half wait, we didn’t tour the interior. Instead, we hiked back to the bus and then drove on into town where we had lunch at a Greek restaurant, where outstanding tomato soup took the chill from our bones as it was a cold, wet day.

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Photo 1: Hotel zur Linde, Hohenlinden, Germany
Photo 2: Salzburg, Austria--fountain in square
Photo 3: Typical hotel beds with soft, fluffy
duvets--perfect for the cool nights