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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Why Oberstaufen Was A Excellent Base For Our European Journey

We’ve been extraordinarily fortunate in our travels as a result of we’ve got discovered good bases — locations from the place you’ll be able to discover treasures across the space that on the identical time offer you nice relaxation and recreation. Often, it’s the availability of properties in our timeshare firms that dictate the situation of our bases. Fortunately, they’re specialists at the place these must be.

After we wanted a location in Germany to chop down the lengthy practice journey between Innsbruck, Austria, and Paris, we have been introduced with just one choice: the small city of Oberstaufen within the Bavarian state of southern Germany. I bear in mind wishing, “Oh why can’t or not it’s Munich or Berlin, as an alternative?” However let me inform you how extraordinarily fortunate that alternative turned out to be for an unplanned week of journey in Europe. 

Excellent Relaxation And Recreation

Oberstaufen is thought for being an space for well being and wellness. The place we stayed, a Mondi-Vacation Lodge, is a part of a incessantly awarded European resort and spa chain. Our “chalet” was a one-bedroom unit that felt very very similar to dwelling; so we even shopped on the native grocer to typically prepare dinner sizzling meals.

Infrared sauna on the Mondi-Vacation Lodge
Picture Credit score: Carol Colborn

Wellness Heart

The Wellness Heart was enormous. We beloved our health routines, spa therapies (with our alternative of dry, infrared sauna, steam, or dampfbad — German for “steam tub”), and swims and soaks on the heated swimming pools and tubs. We might have performed desk tennis, billiards, and bowling if we had extra time. And we beloved the unique Italian restaurant onsite for nourishment of each physique and soul, because it ignored the beautiful valley beneath.

Various Recreation Choices

This city is a haven for hikers and bikers in summer time and skiers and tobogganers in winter. Solely 2,595 ft in common elevation, the distinctive topography options undulating hills that create bowls of lush greenery dotted with clusters of properties. There are good golf programs and tennis services, too. And the mountains and lakes of the Allgau area of Germany current many extra choices close by.

The Downtown Space

Greater than 7,000 residents and seasonal vacationers are served by a small walkable downtown space. You will discover specialty outlets, museums, and spas. There’s a neighborhood swim and spa aquarium. However what I beloved most was the beautiful yellow and white St. Peter and Paul Church round that are small eating places the place folks would collect and stare upon their beloved church.

Properly Linked To The Relaxation Of Europe

Fortunately, the city is linked to the remainder of Europe through a good-sized bus depot in addition to a small and practical practice station. From this glorious base, we took journeys to a few off-the-beaten-path cities in Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Germany. There have been three different locations we might have added: Zurich, lower than 3 hours away; Munich, 2 hours; and the magical Neuschwanstein Fortress, lower than an hour. We must always have stayed for two weeks.

Oberstaufen City Cemetery
(Picture Credit score: Carol Colborn)

Professional Tip: One of many loveliest spots from which to view the idyllic city is on the charming city cemetery.

Assembly Distinctive Folks

An sudden purpose led us to a extra full exploration of the realm. You see, once we returned from a day journey, we missed the bus going again to our resort. We obtained stranded for over an hour, and have been confused and hungry. A involved German couple volunteered to learn each German poster to seek out us different routes however to no avail. Nonetheless, it will likely be arduous to overlook their kindness.

The next day, we took the bus to Steibis, the village the place the golf programs are situated, up one other hill throughout from the Oberstaufen downtown space. Locals additionally informed us to make it some extent to go have a look at the upscale Golf and Wellness Resort Lodge Ludwig Royal. Wow! Its façade is excellent with numerous and artsy home windows, every one a novel murals.

As we have been admiring the European RVs parked on the Wonmobile (RV) Park beside the resort, guess whom we noticed on the condominium constructing throughout the road, loading their Jaguar with their baggage? It was the identical sort couple on the bus depot! It turned out they owned a unit there. They invited us in for drinks.

Amid my husband’s damaged German, the German husband’s damaged English, and each girls’ incapacity to converse besides by means of fingers, we had a jolly afternoon. Earlier than they left for dwelling, they invited us to go to them at their different residence in Uberlingen, Germany, simply 2 hours away by practice.

Professional Tip: Steibis is surrounded by mountains and is simply 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the beautiful Grosser Alpsee Lake, the biggest pure lake within the Allgau area.

Old Wall in Uberlingen
“Persevering with on to the oldest part of city, they confirmed us elements of the Outdated Wall that protected the town when the Swedish invaded.”
(Picture Credit score: Carol Colborn)

Nice Day Journeys From Oberstaufen

Uberlingen, Germany

The following day we boarded the practice to Uberlingen. We’re so glad we didn’t move up the chance as a result of the town is on the northern shore of Lake Constance, recognized regionally as Bodensee. The grand lake of Europe is 63 kilometers (40 miles) lengthy, bordering 4 international locations: Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria. With a inhabitants of twenty-two,000, the town is the second largest within the Bodensee district. It has grow to be a well-liked summer time vacation spot and haven for European retirees.

After a hearty brunch of German favorites on the open deck of their pretty maisonette overlooking the lake, they walked us by means of the Metropolis Backyard, previous the recent springs, and as much as the gazebo, the place we had an incredible view of the town and the lake. Persevering with on to the oldest part of city, they confirmed us elements of the Outdated Wall that protected the town when the Swedish invaded. A lot had been spared, we realized, due to treaties.

Then we went again to get the husband’s different Jaguar. He drove us up a hill to the gorgeous Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, located amongst pretty vineyards. With greater than an hour left, he additionally took us up one other hill to Meersburg Fortress, the oldest inhabited fortress in Germany, whose building began in pre-medieval occasions (630 A.D.), round which a “medieval city” had grown. From each these vantage factors we witnessed much more stunning views of the Bodensee.

Professional Tip: Fed by the Rhine River, Bodensee Lake has two elements: Higher and Decrease Bodensee. The biking path round each is 260 kilometers (160 miles).

A red-coated automotive in St. Gallen’s Pink Sq.
(Picture Credit score: Carol Colborn)

St. Gallen, Switzerland

One other 2-hour practice trip took us to St. Gallen, Switzerland, near the German-Swiss border. Strolling from the station to the outdated city, we stumbled upon a number of blocks that have been all carpeted in crimson. It was known as the Pink Sq., not fairly the identical because the one in Moscow although. My husband photographed this retired “mannequin” beside a crimson automotive, on a crimson bench, and going up some crimson stairs.

Window balcony in St. Gallen.
Balconies adorn buildings across the total metropolis of Oberstaufen
(Picture Credit score: Carol Colborn)

On the Vacationer Data Heart within the Outdated City Heart, we have been informed that there are 111 beautiful balconies that adorn the buildings round this metropolis of over 75,000. We rapidly seemed exterior and noticed — and photographed — six of them. However their important suggestion was to spend probably the most time on the Abbey of St. Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage Website.

The Abbey’s Cathedral is downright attractive with its two tall towers, however it’s the Abbey Library that took our breath away. It was like we have been again in pre-medieval occasions, when books have been handled like gold. The ceiling is certainly one of a sort; not simply painted, however a three-dimensional murals. The cabinets are of heavy wooden and speak in confidence to reveal extra secret compartments behind. And the stunning outdated flooring needed to be protected by mushy fabric booties we have been obligated to put on. 

Professional Tip: The statue of St. Gallen stands within the Abbey Sq.. St. Gallen was from Eire, a cultural and non secular chief within the 900s credited with spreading his church’s affect into what was thought-about the “heathen” Germany of the time.

Lichtenstein museum in Vaduz, Lichtenstein.
Lichtenstein Museum in Vaduz, Lichtenstein
(Picture Credit score: Carol Colborn)

Vaduz, Lichtenstein

We have been even happier that Lichtenstein was solely two and a half hours away, first by practice to Feldkirch, Austria after which by Bus 11 to the capital, Vaduz. The town inhabitants is simply 6,000; in actual fact, the entire nation’s inhabitants is just 37,000, making it the sixth smallest nation on this planet.

Regardless of being one of many only a few capital cities on this planet with out an airport or railway station, Vaduz has a vigorous Outdated City Sq. with a walkable pedestrian space from the cathedral simply earlier than the small however attractive parliament constructing on one finish and the Rathaus (Metropolis Corridor) on the different. The entire stroll is lined with fascinating fashionable sculptures that may seize your fancy, together with my favourite, the enormous girls’ strappy high-heeled sneakers. The Vaduz Fortress appears to be like over all the nation and is dwelling to a younger prince, however we ran out of time to hike up there.

Professional Tip: We had an incredible meal at a favourite restaurant of locals, New Fortress on Aeulestrasse 22, the highway that runs parallel to the Outdated City Sq. walkway.

Oberstaufen was an ideal base for an unplanned European journey. Not solely did we’ve got restorative relaxation and rest; we additionally obtained to see pretty locations not on the standard itinerary of vacationers. However one of the best purpose is that we met folks with whom language obstacles didn’t current the tiniest hindrance to a superb friendship.

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