Unterammergau – the Overlooked Village
Posted on December 25, 2014
The village of Unterammergau is 2.5 miles (4km) downstream from Oberammergau but is only a small farming community, not a major tourist draw at all. One afternoon we drove there; another day we went by train.
Ah, the train. It turned out that our tourist ticket was good for free bus but not train travel. After boarding in Oberammergau, we were required to get off at the next stop, Unterammergau. OK, not such a bad deal. We had wanted to take a good walk that day, so we walked the three miles or so back to our apartment. And what a nice walk it turned out to be.
The train platform was across the highway from where daughter Suzi and I had had a most memorable lunch the year before, created by a chef of considerable local repute. I thought it would be delightful to take Eva there. Unfortunately it was their day of closure.
We hit the trail instead.
First we passed a flock of chickens, the same ones we saw last year pecking around in the snow. How’s that for being free range! Rain, sun or snow you get to go outside.
From here on it’s open country, bounded by mountains on both sides, and the small Ammer river flowing down the middle. Broad earthen trails run along both sides of the stream.
On the edge of Oberammergau we pass the city yards and water treatment plant. A sign tells us that all the power needed is generated by these solar panels. Why can’t Santa Rosa, in the land of sunshine, do the same?
For those who find themselves on a slower pace in life, there and numerous benches along the way to sit and soak up the outstanding scenery.
As we pass back through Oberammergau we are reminded that it is almost 2pm and time for lunch. Because we have had so few meals out in restaurants, we decide to indulge in the local specialty – roasted ham hock. We definitely overdid it.
Let’s return now to our farm town and take a look around. It’s winter and all the folks have lain in quite a bit of cordwood to keep their massive houses toasty warm.
There is almost no commerce in this village, a bank, a small store, a couple of restaurants and of course a bakery. Everything looks prosperous.
We wander to the edge of the village and find an active sawmill. Down the street we peek into a woodworker’s shop.
At last we come to the village church. Well proportioned outside, the inside is quite amazing.
Here we end our tour, as we now head for the Algäu and gentler pastures.