by Laura B.

Click on the pics for the larger version

In October 1992, when I was doing ĎAí Level German, I went to Germany.  Our class was tagging along with local councillors and the girls from the dance school.  As with the French Exchange I mentioned in the Paris article, we stayed with families.  However, on this occasion, the people we were partnered with didnít have to come to the UK.  The town we stayed in is the twin town of the one I inhabit in the UK.  There was a street naming ceremony as part of the twin town celebrations, and the dance school performed on the last night of our visit.  The best part of the whole trip was the day we went on the Bavarian tourist trail, and saw many beautiful and important buildings. 

We left at 9.15am.  The first place we visited was Kloster Ettal, a monastery church.  Like many Roman Catholic churches, it was very ornate, inside and outside.  I bought some postcards and a brochure.  I also took lots of pictures.  Unfortunately, they didnít all develop properly. 

We passed through Oberammergau, where the Passion Play (The Crucifixion) is performed every 10 years.  This is part of pact the townspeople made with whoever had inflicted the Black Death/Plague upon them.  Their part of the promise was the performance, every 10 years, of the Passion Play.  In return, they would never be inflicted with the Black Death again.  The most recent performance was in 2000.  Many shops sold wooden carvings.  Lots of buildings had murals on their walls. 

We saw Linderhof, one of Ludwig IIís castles.  It looked very nice from the outside, as did the gold statue, pond, fountain and monument opposite it.  There wasnít time to go inside, but I did buy some postcards and a guidebook with internal pictures, and it looked pretty. 

We saw lots of snow-capped mountains (the Alps) and half-timbered houses.  Like English Tudor houses, the wooden parts of the housesí external walls are visible. 

We ate lunch at a hotel in Bayersoien, which was in the middle of nowhere.  We had watery soup & dumplings, salad and meat & cheese noodles.  We spoke with our teacher about our higher education plans.  A few of our group drank beer, which seemed to surprise the waiter! 

Next, we visited the Wieskirche, another very ornate Roman Catholic monastery church.  The Wieskirche is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Mankind Building.  This appears to mean that it is a listed building which is protected and not allowed to fall into disrepair.  The church is a pilgrimage one.  There is figure of Christ in the altar area which was made for a Good Friday procession, and is said to have wept blood. 

After this, we saw Ludwig IIís other two castles, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.  Neuschwanstein is a beautiful building, and the model for many Disney castles.  I took a few pictures of the castles, far away and close up. 

And then it was time to return.  On the journey back, most people slept.  We spotted some deer.  We arrived back in the town where we were staying about 7pm, having had a very enjoyable day!


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Alps #1
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Alps #2
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Alps and Neuschwanstein
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Alps at Sunset
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Map of Bavaria
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Decorative Window
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Ettal Clock Tower
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Ettal Dome
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Ettal in Snow
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Ettal interior
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Linderhoff #1
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Linderhoff #2
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Wieskirche #2
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Wieskirche interior
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Wieskirche tower