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Review 1500: Im Himmelreich, Apartment
3bed/1bath apartment in house, Oberammergau, Germany
April 2005, One week
Our family of three spent a week at this rental apartment in the wonderful village of Oberammergau in mid-April 2005 as part of our 14-month "grand tour" of Europe. We had visited Oberammergau several times before, trips of just a few days where we stayed at a hotel in the center of the village. All of our previous visits were in the late fall. Oberammergau is a fairytale place to visit during the Christmas season. But we always talked about a longer visit to Oberammergau in warmer weather, and we were happy to have found this economical and very comfortable apartment for our stay.
The “ferienwohnung” (rental apartment) is located on the second floor of the Schuster family home, a Bavarian-style chalet house. The house is in a residential area on the edge of the village, surrounded by absolutely beautiful green meadows and mountains. The village center was an easy ten-minute walk. Sometimes we walked and sometimes we drove.
The Schusters live on the ground floor of the big house and there is another smaller rental apartment. Frau Schuster speaks and writes some English and was very helpful. She and her husband have a teenage son named Martin, who also speaks some English. The Schuster family (including grandparents and extended family) is all involved in the famous Oberammergau Passion Play, held once every ten years for almost 400 years. The house and its surroundings are very neat and well maintained, and the yard is planted with colorful flowers. In the summer the window boxes overflow flowers. There is parking along the driveway of the house.
The Schuster’s home and the two apartments both open off a central foyer. This apartment is quite large (96 square meters) and occupies most of the second floor of the house. There are beautiful views from the windows and big balcony, including a view of Oberammergau’s mountain, the distinctive peak of the Kofel. The private balcony has nice outdoor furniture.
This apartment has its own large foyer, and all the rooms open off of this foyer. There’s a large great room (living room, dining room and kitchen), three bedrooms, one bathroom with a bath and shower. There’s an extra WC, which always comes in handy. The great room and one of the bedrooms face the quiet street and both open onto the balcony. The other two bedrooms face the side and the back of the house.
The great room has a corner couch that easily seats five people and a comfortable easy chair. The dining area is also in a corner and has built-in padded benches along two sides and chairs for the other two sides. The kitchen runs the width of the room and is separated from the main living/dining area by an open-shelf wall unit. There is a television that gets CNN News in English.
Our daughter slept in the sunny bedroom on the front of the house. It had two twin beds sharing a common headboard and also its own separate sink. My husband and I slept in the other large bedroom, which also had two twin beds with a shared headboard and a smaller twin bed in a corner. The third bedroom is very small and simple with two twin beds and would be suitable for children or teenagers. We used it to store our luggage. The apartment could comfortably sleep seven people and offers enough privacy for two families or couples traveling together.
The apartment is furnished in a traditional Bavarian style — lots of wood with simple, muted colors. Everything is very, very clean and neat. The bedrooms are simple with sturdy wooden beds and cupboards, the beds topped with plump folded duvets. There are crucifixes over the beds. The apartment is extremely well equipped — there’s no microwave but there is a dishwasher. The kitchen seemed to have absolutely everything that might be needed, all in excellent condition.
There is not a clothes washing machine and there is not a Laundromat in Oberammergau, but Frau Schuster did two loads of wash for us and returned our clothes that evening, dried and folded and possibly even ironed. She asked us for 5 euro; a real deal. The apartment itself was a real deal too — 473 euro for the three of us for the week. It may be possible to rent the apartment for less than a week. She did not require a deposit.
Oberammergau is a beautiful village, known for its painted houses and woodcarvers. (There must be 20 woodcarving shops in the village; well worth exploring.) The village has two small supermarkets, several excellent bakeries, a wide variety of restaurants, and lots of shops. We especially like the restaurant at the Hotel Wolf, and there are many other very good traditional Bavarian restaurants. Our favorite dish is goulash soup. We also enjoy an Italian restaurant called La Montanara, and on this trip we discovered a Mexican restaurant too. (Since we had been away from the USA for over nine months, we were especially excited to have a good Mexican meal.) There’s a good internet café at the Hotel Alte Post, right in the center of the village.
Oberammergau is a great base to explore the Bavarian Alps. King Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle is just a few miles away, and Neuschwanstein is an easy drive. Garmisch and the Zugspitze Mountain are 30 minutes away and Innsbruck, Austria is an hour over a mountain pass. There is great skiing in the winter and great hiking in the summer. The timing of our stay in mid April wasn’t ideal for the hiking we had hoped to do but my husband and daughter did rent bikes in the village and rode a well-marked trail to the beautiful monastery at Ettal one day. From the tulips and daffodils in the front yard, we could tell that spring had been there, but the weather was very cool and we even had a dusting of snow one night. We’ll have to come back to Oberammergau for another week — either later in the spring or during the summer. We would definitely rent this apartment again.
For more information about our week in Oberammergau, see my blog at: www.slowtrav.com/blog/kaydee/archives/000814.html.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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