Saturday, October 19, 2013

Germany, Switzerland, and Austria – Oh My!

Good Morning Everybody,

We’ve certainly have had a busy last few days while in Oberstaufen, Germany this week.  Although there is a lot of skiing going on in this part of the world, one of the big attractions around here, especially this time of year, is the hiking.  We met several folks who were visiting the area, on holiday or what we call vacation, just to explore the many, many hiking trails. LaDawn and I found the hills not as steep and the ones we hiked in Austria making the experience a little less exhausting but still just as beautiful.


0020_Oberstaufen-DAZ_1428The day after we arrived, we were in the car exploring those scenic hills.  A snow had just fallen a few days earlier, probably from the same storm that hit us in Austria, so you could still see snowy patches throughout the mountain valleys.  It just made the views rom these vistas so much more picturesque.0004_Oberstaufen-DAZ_1335 Temperature was just right for a good brisk walk through the hills and we captured some great photographs!

Oberstaufen itself is a small village that is about as quaint as it could be.  As you walk the town, you feel as though you are walking through a calendar of years past.  The surrounds are just beautiful too – maybe not as stunning as we felt were our vistas in Austria but beautiful in a different way.  The mountains are further in the distance and the rich green hills just seem to roll on forever.

I Think We’ll Head To Switzerland For Lunch.

The other cool thing about being in this part of Germany is that we can springboard to so many other great countries that are close by.  Austria is just down the road about 10 minutes away.  Switzerland is just about an hour away –  so we made the beautiful drive to Appenzell, Switzerland earlier this week and had a wonderful visit to this typical picture postcard Swiss Alps town. 


Again, the town, while slightly touristy, was mostly a very quaint little Alpine village. One of the highlights of the visit for me was our visit to St. Mauritius Cathedral, the most important church in the town.  Once again, when you walk through the front doors, you're blown away by the stunning design and architecture of the building. All this in a rather small community!

0040_Oberstaufen-DAZ_2089Another observation from all our travels throughout Central and Eastern Europe is the practice of people bringing their dogs with them EVERYWHERE even into restaurants.  The explanation is that these are public places where family and friends meet and dogs are indeed part of the family and thus should be included. Most were really well behaved and very obedient- just goes to show that it’s definitely a bit more laid back here than in the states.

DAZNOTE:  A quick observation about Switzerland – it’s one of the most expensive countries to visit in Europe because of the fact that it is landlocked all around.  As LaDawn and I looked over a lunch menu, it reminded us of the very high prices we experienced in Norway earlier this year. 

More interesting to me was the cemetery behind the church.  This was not your ordinary cemetery.  The difference being that each grave marker was fastidiously cared for – not just one maker but ALL of them.  It struck me as both very unusual and very beautiful at the same time.


0044_Oberstaufen-DAZ_2125We made our return trip back through the coastal road stopping along the way to feed the seagulls and to grab a few more photographs.  The mountains for lunch and the seaside for the afternoon drive back – so much variety in just a few hours.  Then it was back through the glorious rolling green landscapes as we made our return to Oberstaufen.  What a day!

A Wild Ride & A Great Walk Around The Lake

Alpine SledOn our last day we headed back again to the mountains for some more hiking along the mountain ridges.  This was topped off with a wild ride down the gravity powered Alpine Coaster – just watch the bends. Here’s a link to a YouTube video to give you an idea of what the ride was like – a little hair-raising” ;~)  Its up to you to do the braking otherwise you could be catapulted into the safety netting around the curves ;~) LaDawn note: I should have gone first as careful DAZ was not nearly as reckless as I. I kept having to brake and wait for him to get further ahead of me so as not to ram him from behind – he claims he probably saved my life!


The day culminated with an utterly beautiful walk – about 5 miles – around the lake known to the locals as GroBer Alpsee. The lake is not just popular for hiking but also for watersports.  We saw many a windsurfer riding the wind and the waves.  As I said this a very popular lake to walk around and when you see the images below, you’ll know why – once again stunning views.

0028_Oberstaufen-IMG_9908One thing about travel that is so much fun is trying the local fare.  I find I like most of the food in most of the places we visited. As expected you’re going to find a lot of sausages and schnitzel in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland but it is all good.  What is even better is a cold glass of the local beer.  I’m not a big beer drinker but I really enjoyed trying out the local brews – and there are plenty to choose from – a great taste treat. My favorite so far are the Austrian beers – Prost!

I’ve put together an album of some of my favorite images from our visit to Germany.  I’ve selected them based on not just as vacation photos but more, as a professional photographer with an eye towards color, composition, and story telling.  I hope you enjoy them.  -David


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  We’ve got to get packing and get ready to hit the trail again.  Our next stop on our journeys, Prague and the Czech Republic. How about I check (not Czech) with you in a few days and share some of our photographic experiences from Prague. 

Have a great rest of the day in whatever part of the world you might be and I’ll see ya’ soon.

Auf Wiedersehen, David

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