We've now covered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of my five days off. This brings us to Friday. Ryan and I had an easy going day. We both slept in, which was much needed. But after awhile we decided to go explore toward Oberamergau, which is where the Passion play is performed ever 10 years.
We passed through Oberau, then came to Ettal. Ettal is a tiny little town with a GIANT church where they have a monastery. The monastery is known for making two things, cheese and beer. We parked at the building where they make the cheese and also have a little café. Inside the woman was very nice and encouraged me to speak as much as I could in German. I liked that. We asked about the cakes they had in a spinning case. We didn't want to try the cheese because is smelled nasty in there and I didn't want to eat the stuff that made it smell that way. She explained each cake, but emphasized that we wouldn't find a better cheese cake anywhere (you know because it is a cheese place). So we got a slice of cheese cake and a slice of apple cake to share. The cheese cake really was fabulous. Cheese cake over here is very different from at home and the NY style we're all used to. Here is is lighter and fluffy, not as dense. It isn't so rich that you can hardly finish a piece it is, well I can just think to describe it as light. And this one had a distinct lemonyness to it that was really good.
After we finished our cake, which did not take long at all, we headed over to the monastery to walk around. It is a very pleasant place to go for a stroll. The inside and the outside of the church are incredible. I decided that if I ever got married inside I think this church would be at the top of my list. I think I liked it so much because there was a ton of natural light, which lit the whole thing up. As much as I appreciate ever church I've visited in Europe so far and found each uniquely magnificent I just loved how happy and alive I felt standing in this one with the sun light shining in at me at 360 degrees.
From the monastery we headed on to Oberammergau, which was less village like that some towns I've been to and I expected it to be from what I've heard in regard to the passion play. It was a nice little town though. We stopped at the church here, which was nice. I had read in a tour book or on the internet that this church was a must see in the area, yet it didn't mention the one we'd just been at in Ettal. Sometimes I don't know how these authors on traveling decide what to write about or if they've even really discovered the area for themselves.
On the way back to Garmisch we stopped in Oberau at the Birkenstock outlet. I am so excited to tell you all I am finally the extremely proud owner of my first pair of Birkenstocks. I've wanted some for a long time now, but never bit the bullet and paid the price. But when I got home I looked up on the computer how much I would have paid in the States for these fabulous shoes and I saved myself $50 getting them over here. Not to mention they are made in Germany, so I find it appropriate I got them over here. I show everyone I meet my new shoes as if I was five years old and Ryan even wants to go back and get himself a pair now.
Even though we didn't go to far from home today it was a nice excursion on a beautiful afternoon and we had the opportunity to see things we had not yet discovered. And I got new shoes. :)