Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alps and Dolomites July 10, 11, 12, 2014

                                  ALPS and DOLOMITES - tour July 10 - 21st, 2014

"I'm ready mommy, where are we going?"

Yes, packing our bags was bittersweet ... but Bailey was well cared for and happy while we were away.

We arrived in Munich on July 10th and settled into our hotel.  After meeting the other guests and having a nice dinner, it was time to rest up for the grand tour to begin in the morning.

July 11

Beginning our walking tour of Munich, Germany.  The weather cooperated...rain stopped... yay.

I love to take pictures of these local markets

Munich open air veggie market

The Glockenspiel - Town Hall in Marienplatz.

Part of the second construction phase of the New Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The top half of the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local Duke Wilhelm V (who also founded the world famous Hofbräuhaus) toRenata of Lorraine. In honour of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian knight wins every time, of course.
This is then followed by the bottom half and second story: Schäfflertanz (the coopers' dance). According to myth, 1517 was a year of plague in Munich. The coopers are said to have danced through the streets to "bring fresh vitality to fearful dispositions." The coopers remained loyal to the duke, and their dance came to symbolize perseverance and loyalty to authority through difficult times. By tradition, the dance is performed in Munich every seven years. This was described in 1700 as "an age-old custom", but the current dance was defined only in 1871. The dance can be seen during Fasching (German Carnival): the next one is in 2019.
The whole show lasts somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes long depending on which tune it plays that day. At the very end of the show, a very small golden rooster at the top of the Glockenspiel chirps quietly three times, marking the end of the spectacle.


I never pass a flower stall without taking a picture.


 Afternoon trip to OBERAMMERGAU

Home of the Passion Play.  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. The play is now performed in years ending with a zero, as well as in 1934 which was the 300th anniversary and 1984 which was the 350th anniversary (though the 1940 performance was cancelled because of the intervention of the Second World War). It involves over 2000 actors, singers, instrumentalists and technicians, all residents of the village

The village is also known as the home of a long tradition of woodcarving; the Bavarian State Woodcarving School is located there. Among the celebrated former students is the German artist Wolfram Aichele. His processional church staff depicting Christ on a donkey can be seen in the church of St Peter and St Paul. The streets of central Oberammergau are home to dozens of woodcarver shops, with pieces ranging from religious subjects, to toys, to humorous portraits.


(above) This is a better picture of the painted houses than those I was able to get from my vantage point.  But, here are my pictures.....

 next we toured the theater and got to go backstage and to the storage rooms where they keep the costumes and props.

Our hotel in Seefeld, Austria

Janine - our sweet, helpful guide - in her dirndl dress - she was our guide the entire trip.

Tomorrow we'll do part 2 and visit Zugspitz - the tallest mountain in Germany followed by a trip to Linderhof - one of King Ludwig II's extravagant castles.  


July 12 - to the ZUGSPITZ

The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m (9,718 ft) above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit.

This is a picture of a picture... our weather was not so grand... however, here are our pix

We boarded this little train and went about two-thirds up the mountain, where we got on our cable car.

Below is a shot from our cable car

Now we are at the top ... there is a cafe and outlooks ... and it was nice and warm inside.

and... on our way down

 I wish the weather had been clear at the top... but it was a great experience anyway... and beautiful.


Each day was pretty much packed full of activities.  After lunch at the Zugspitz, we are now off to Linderhof Palace.  It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.  

Picture: Linderhof Palace today

The Palace grounds are gorgeous!

We did so much walking and climbing stairs - a little 'sit down' is always good. 
 L-R... Janine (our guide), Orin, Jackie and Ricky.


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