One of the reasons for staying in the beautiful mountain village of Lermoos, Austria is its’ close proximity to the German border and the Bavarian Alps. After waking to a beautiful sunny day, my husband and I decided that it was the perfect time to drive across the border to visit storybook Bavarian villages less than an hour away. The drive towards the Bavarian Alps was wonderful…winding past grazing cattle in green pastures that backed up to rugged snow capped alpine peaks.
Mittenwald, Germany is one of the loveliest towns in the Bavarian Alps. The colorful town is filled with beautiful frescoed buildings with large overhanging eaves. There is a small restored stream that runs through the center of town passed wooden water fountains, flower and vegetable gardens.
What fun to walk down the pedestrian area that winds through the center of town. It is a lively area with plenty of shops, bakeries, outdoor cafes and restaurants.
St. Peter and St. Paul church is the dominant feature in town. Next to the church is a statue of Matthias Klotz, a master violin maker, who made Mittenwald famous for its’ stringed instruments that are handmade here.
After walking through the town, we chose the Hotel Alpenrose, for lunch.
It was a great decision as it appeared that it was very popular with the locals. A mug of locally brewed beer and a glass of wine, soup and local sausages made a perfect lunch.
After lunch in Mittenwald, we continued on to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Originally two separate towns, they were joined into one town to host the winter Olympics in 1936. The historic Partenkirchen section is especially lovely with its cobbled streets and frescoed buildings.
This is another town where you can sit outside at a cafe and enjoy wonderful views of the Bavarian Alps.
The spire of the Richard Strauss Institute was beautiful against the background of the famous Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain.
Twelve miles further north is the pretty alpine village of Oberammergau. The village is known worldwide for its’ Passion Play depicting the last days of Jesus. It has been performed by the villagers since 1635 every ten years. It is also well known for its many trompe-l’oeil painted buildings. Most of the homes and businesses are painted with religious themes…some covering the entire building. Other frescoes are of familiar fairy tales.
If not decorated with paintings, many of the buildings are decorated with overflowing flower boxes that seem to glow in the sun.
Wander down the cobblestone sidewalks and look into the windows of the colorful shops. You will soon realize that another thing the village is known for is woodcarving. It is home to the Bavarian Wood Carving School that makes sure that this traditional craft is carried on for years to come. Many of the small shops are filled with intricately carved figures, religious items and wooden toys.
Our day trip into the Bavarian Alps was wonderful. We arrived back to Lermoos, Austria just in time to see the sun setting behind the mountains.