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A CAutionary word or two regarding Bavarian travel in the year 2000

A CAutionary word or two regarding Bavarian travel in the year 2000

Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 04:40 PM
  #1  
wes fowler
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A CAutionary word or two regarding Bavarian travel in the year 2000

I've noticed a number of postings recently from travelers contemplating a visit to Bavaria this summer. I'd like to offer some cautionary words. Oberammergau, a charming town in Bavaria with a population of slightly over 5,000 is presenting the Passion Play from late May until October. The outdoor theatre where the all day production will be held seats 4,700 people, almost equal to the town's population. There will be approximately 175 performances from May until October. Tickets, other than those that may be returned to the box office, are not available. Simple arithmatic indicates that Upper Bavaria where Oberammergau lies, along with Garmish, Partenkirchen, Schongau, Fussen and Schwangau will be inundated with well over 800,000 tourists during the summer. While the area has numerous small hotels and gasthausen, accommodations will be at a premium unless already reserved. The entire area is laced with two laned roads leading to castles, Baroque churches and monasteries. Those roads are going to be packed with tour buses and pilgrims to the Passion Play and other popular attractions. The Oberammergau playgoer today may well be standing on long, long lines at Neuschwanstein tomorrow or was in an equally long line at Linderhof yesterday. The whole area of Bavaria surrounding Oberammergau, parts of which are traversed by the Romantische Strasse and the Deutsche Alpenstrasse, is one of the loveliest parts of Europe. It promises to be far less so this summer and early fall. One might do well to consider deferring Bavarian travel until another year or looking to the area east of Munich, Chiemsee, for example.
Just some thoughts that may be of interest!
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2000, 07:01 PM
  #2  
Becky
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Thank you for the advice, wes.

I am a traveller who avoids overly-touristed areas. I had planned to visit this area in June, 2000, but I am now having second thoughts.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2000, 03:30 PM
  #3  
alan
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Thanks for the tip. I have been in Bavaria several times and always enjoy returning. I was had that problem years ago in Strassbourge, all the hotel rooms in that part of France were booked. We drove through the border to Switzerland and Germany with no luck either. We wound up sleeping in a motel parking lot in our car. Take heed of that posting above. alan
 
Old Jan 27th, 2000, 09:04 AM
  #4  
Monica
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Wes, I've made my travel plans to Germany and have reservations confirmed at the hotel you suggested in Hohenfurch for June 9, 10, and 11 (departing for Munich the 12th). Will that time of year be AS BAD as July, August, and September, the high season, or will I luck out by being there early June? I really don't want to make any changes in my plans, but then I also don't want to be stuck on the roads with thousands of other tourists!
 
Old Jan 27th, 2000, 01:40 PM
  #5  
wes fowler
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Monica,
I think that since you were able to get reservations in Hohenfurch, which is only about 20 kms from Oberammergau, suggests that the area won't be glutted with tourists in early June. The Passion Play is an all day affair running from about 9AM to 4:30PM with a break for lunch so a lot of people and their buses are going to be off the road at that time. If you're planning on following any of the itineraries I sent to you, be comforted by the fact that they're almost all two lane roads that wander all over Bavaria and shouldn't be overburdened with play traffic. The only caution I can offer is in visiting Neuschwanstein, Linderhof or Wies church, plan on arriving early before the tour buses do, valid advice any year or time of year. I would expect that playgoers on days either before or after theatregoing are going to hit those high spots. Final word: do dine in the hotel's restaurant one night. It has a superb well managed kitchen.
 
Old Jan 27th, 2000, 03:07 PM
  #6  
Monica
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Thank you Wes for easing my mind! We are definitely planning to use your itineraries and will remember to get to the castles early in the day. In fact, I think I still have some information when the performances are held during the week, so we can be flexible. And YES, we will definitely dine in the hotel at least one night. I do want to get into Schongau for dinner and walking around the town. Thanks again!
 
Old Jan 27th, 2000, 03:08 PM
  #7  
Monica
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PS Wes: When do the tour buses start to arrive?
 
Old Jan 27th, 2000, 08:01 PM
  #8  
TL
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how about visiting this area during winter time? is there anything to do and see? or will all shops be closed and all activities stopped? is it a good idea to visit Bavaria near to christmas time? how is the weather, is it safe to drive?
thanks in advance for the advices!
 
Old Jan 28th, 2000, 08:08 AM
  #9  
tay
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bavaria vs switzerland.....which is a better choice if time is limited (one week)? which area is more suitable to self drive in winter time?
 
Old Jan 28th, 2000, 09:09 AM
  #10  
Tanyia
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TL- After living in Bavaria for 3 years I couldn't resist responding. The weather is not great in the winter. It's definitely cold, but things are not shut down as much as one might expect. If you can go before Christmas, you can experience the Kristkindle Markets (Christmas Markets) Nearly every city has them. While you are shopping around you can sip Gluhwein (mulled wine) from a local mug and be truly immersed in the culture of bavaria! Go and enjoy, just bring warm clothes!
 
Old Apr 3rd, 2000, 08:40 PM
  #11  
Amy & Roger
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We already have tickets to Frankfurt for May 12-22 and I noticed that the Passion Play starts on May 22nd. Are we safe if we visit the area around Oberammergau early in our trip or will it be just as crowded? It sounds like we will need hotel reservations after all (we were going to play it by ear...) We had intended on staying the first night or two in Rothenburg then heading south along the Romantic Road towards Garmisch and Salzburg, stopping by Dachau before returning to Frankfurt. Any suggestions? We appreciate any words of advice. Amy & Roger
 
Old Apr 4th, 2000, 10:38 AM
  #12  
rita
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We will be in Germany Sept/Oct 2000 and have read the attached comments. What about reservations in Berchtesgaden area? Would they be necessary there too -- we had hoped to wing it and avoid reservations for accomodations (hoping just to stay in small pensions.) Also with a rental car by staying in smaller areas well outside of Garmish/Fussen/etc, do you still feel we should go for reservations? Looking at the last week of Sept. Thanks.
 
Old Apr 4th, 2000, 12:11 PM
  #13  
Ann
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Having traveled around Bavaria many times through the years, including once during the Passion Play (1984), I can tell you that anywhere in the autumn will be pretty well booked up, and it's only worse when the play is on. If there are only two of you looking for one room, you can probably find that, but it may take some looking, even in the Berchtesgaden area. Reason? The Germans LOVE getting out in the mountains, especially in the fall, and they believe in planning ahead. If I were you, I'd do the same and sacrifice some spontaneity for being able to stay where you want, when you want. Having said all that, yes, we're going to the play again this year and yes, we already have reservations (some we had to scramble for in March!) everywhere we want, from the Mosel to Berchtesgaden and Eisenach. Do go, but do plan for crowds, esp. this year.
 

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