Tuesday, September 04, 2012

We've finally met the Allgäu!

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Our wedding anniversary sort of snuck up on us this year.  We'd been planning to celebrate with a short trip of some kind, but it was less than a week before our anniversary when we finally got around to putting the plans together!   We wanted something pretty close, which eliminated some of our earlier ideas like Salzburg or Quedlinburg, and something we hadn't really done yet, which eliminated the Mosel and the Pfalz and most really close things.  In the end, we settled on the Allgäu, a nice Alpy area near the Bayern/Baden-Württemberg and Austria borders!    We booked a car and a hotel near Immenstadt (based on price, not anything in particular about the town) and headed down on a Friday after work.  The Friday of that Really Hot Weekend, actually.

Our hotel was in a tiny village outside Immenstadt called Knottenried.  When we arrived there were about 20 kids playing soccer on the local pitch right in the center of the village.  That must have been every kid in town and then some - it was that small.  Adorable!

Saturday was not well-planned.  We figured we'd first go see what's in the Kleinwalsertal, a valley in Austria which is only accessible from Germany.  We then would get lunch at a place a friend recommended in Oberstdorf, followed by a walk in the Breitachklamm, a watery slot canyon nearby, during the hottest part of the day.  Afterward we'd take the cable car up to the top of on of the highest mountains in the area, the Nebelhorn, walk around up there and check out the views, then get dinner somewhere.

The Kleinwalsertal was full of tourists with Nordic walking sticks.  We sent postcards from Austria and went out to the end of the road, but the valley probably would have been better enjoyed with some kind of planning for a particular hike or something. It was cute and scenic, but not more scenic than anything else in the area.  Mostly it was just sporting-good shops and hotels.
Kleinwalsertal Aug 12

Our timing was perfect for lunch in Oberstdorf, which was delicious.  The local cuisine - lots of heavy, cheesy food - doesn't really lend itself to the oppressively hot weather we were having, but we enjoyed it anyway.  I don't know what conditions would be necessary to make me want to turn down Käsespätzle!  We looked around town a bit.  Mostly sporting-good and Trachten shops.  Everything was spic-and-span and it looked rich.  On the way in and out we passed a big Biergarten and planned to come back here for supper.
Oberstdorf Aug 12

Onward to the Breitachklamm, which was heartily recommended by both friends and guidebooks.  It's a cool slot canyon with catwalks built in so you can easily just walk in and have a look.  It was blissfully cool in there, with cold mountain water rushing below and dripping down from the sides of the canyon.  It was extremely crowded on a Saturday, though - it's clearly a huge local attraction, especially for families.
Breitachklamm Aug 12

Back to Oberstdorf to hop on the Nebelhornbahn to go to the top of the Nebelhorn!  It took considerable fuss to find it hidden in some crazy back corner of town, deal with a broken parking machine, and wind our way to the actual Bahn, only to discover the last car goes up at 4pm - we were too late!  Bummer!  We reviewed our list of area attractions we thought sounded interesting, but all of them were a little too far away given that we wanted to come back to Oberstdorf for dinner.  We ended up taking a guidebook suggestion to visit nearby Bad Hindelang and drive up a windy mountain road above the town.  We stopped for Eis in Bad Hindelang - it didn't meet my newly elevated expert standards ( ;) ) but was nice and cold - then drove up the Jochstraße above town.  We were there at the perfect time of day, with sun pouring into the valley from the west.  It was empty, too, which was welcome after the crowding of the Breitachklamm.  It was a lovely way to finish up the afternoon!
Bad Hindelang & Jochstrasse Aug 12

Back in Oberstdorf, we got spots at the last empty table in the entire Biergarten, which was in a little hut near the end that we shared with some of the staring-problem variety of locals.  Glad to fascinate!  They had Pfifferlinge on offer so I had those on pasta, which was very nice.  While eating, we were entertained by a band with accordions and yodeling.  Woo!

Coming soon: Sunday adventures in the general vicinity of Füssen!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Anniversary! We've skied in the Oberstdorf area and always wanted to go back. Sounds like you had fun.

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