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.

Off we go

Off we go

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.

Fine restaurant - closed

Fine restaurant – closed

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.

Free range chickens

Free range chickens

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.

Mountains are hidden by low clouds

Mountains are hidden by low clouds

Beavers at work

Beavers at work

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?

City solar panels

City solar panels

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.

Public bench

Public bench

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.

Local restaurant with so much genuine atmosphere

Local restaurant with so much genuine atmosphere

Standard lunch

Standard lunch

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.

Ready for winter

Ready for winter

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.

Well decorated farm house

Well decorated farm house

Traditional wall painting

Traditional wall painting

Community drinking water and watering trough

Community drinking water and watering trough

The local restaurant and hotel

The local restaurant and hotel

Such a friendly welcome

Such a friendly welcome

St. Nicolas is on the way.

St. Nicolas is on the way.

We wander to the edge of the village and find an active sawmill. Down the street we peek into a woodworker’s shop.

Perhaps a furniture maker's shop

Perhaps a furniture maker’s shop

A perky posy

A perky posy

A living sculpture

A living sculpture

At last we come to the village church. Well proportioned outside, the inside is quite amazing.

The village church with its characteristic dome

The village church with its characteristic dome

Interior at dusk. So quiet and calming a refuge.

Interior at dusk. So quiet and calming a refuge.

Here we end our tour, as we now head for the Algäu and gentler pastures.

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