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UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

strathclyde
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UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

We are just back from our trip to see the Passion Play and thought I would pass on some info that may make later trips a bit less stressful than ours.

Firstly the Passion Play is everything you hope it will be and then some! It is a really special experience, like walking on the Great Wall of China; visiting the Forbidden City; you really have to experience it personally to appreciate it. It is long ie 2pm until 11pm on our visit, with a three hour break for dinner and a recommended visit to the Passion Play Museum. The seating is better than I had been led to believe, it has chairs with full backs with a little padding on the seat, and it wasn`t as cold as I thought it would be.

Now the actual journey to Oberammergau - we left uk at 4.15am two flights; three trains later we arrived at Oberammergau around 6.45pm so its a long tiring journey not made easy by the fact that DB BAHN may run its trains on time, but apparently it doesn`t know that the Oberammergau Passion Play is on between May and Oct this year. There is absolutely no sign posting as to what train one should get on either in Munich or at Murnau. So a little tip - once in the main station you are looking for the INNSBRUCK TRAIN it passess through Murnau but there is no mention of Murnau on any of the destination boards which is confusing, the train leaves from one of the distant platforms 28/29 so it is a walk. Take a bottle of water as there is no buffet cart and it is approx.1 hour on this train and 45 mins on the next train. On arriving at Murnau you will find it is a building site as they are rebuilding the platforms and chaos reigns! Wear flat shoes and have a case you can carry as there is no way one can walk in heels across this rubble or wheel a case. On alighting from the Innsbruck train, go down the under passage and come up on the opposite platform, walk past the only building that is there and the Murnau/Oberammergau train will be sitting just beyond it. You have ten minutes but dont stop for a breather as trying to walk on this rubble will take you the full ten minutes - and that train goes off on the dot! We witnessed one elderly lady and her daughter struggling with their case as we were, we managed just to get on and the doors closed leaving them within finger tip distance. They pushed the button everyone yelled but still they were left ont he platform.

On arriving at Oberammergau we expected to pick up a bus, however the last bus from Oberammergau into Ettal is 6.30pm Mon - Fri and around 4.30pm at the weekends. There were no taxis - apparently they are very busy and you have to book in advance, but someone had ordered a mini bus and gave us a lift or I cant imagine what we would have done. We stayed at Guesthouse ETHIKO - which was very nice, but unfortunately the owner does not speak any English so communication was difficult but we could hardly complain as we dont speak any German - a phrase book would be useful as I would love to have heard about the history of this old house.

If you have booked through Detour be aware that your first nights evening meal is in Hotel Blaue Gams - you can`t miss it, it is the highest hotel in the village, infact a ski lift would have been useful

so if you have a mobility problem I would ask if this could be changed to one of the many other eating places in Ettal.

The shuttle bus can be picked up at the wooden bus shelter after 10.30 am on days only when the Play is on. On other days use a taxi as the locals say the bus into Oberammergau is a very restricted service, unless this improves over the summer. For a taxi book around 30 minutes before you need it, ours took a good 40 minutes to arrive - again they are busy and Ettal is out of the way. A really nice place in Ettal for lunch; or a night cap is Madame Pulche it is situated on the main road opposite the gates to the Monastery and is full of interesting nick nacks to look at whilst you eat and you will be welcomed like an old friend.

We went to Mass at the Abbey on the Sunday which is not to be missed it is so beautiful.

On your return journey at Murnau make sure you are standing on the correct platform that appears to change from Platform 1 to 2 so look out for the locals, although very few speak English so perhaps the phrase for "which platform" would be useful. I asked in English on four separate occasions but got a blank look and shuffling of feet, but an American lady used her phrase book and got an instant reply - and yes the tourists were all on the wrong platform with the locals standing opposite on the correct platform, so a poster in various languages would have been helpful.

If anyone has any questions just ask. Hope you enjoyed the experience as much as we did. If you haven`t booked yet I would suggest you book into accommodation in Oberammergau rather than another village as the hassle trying to get public transport was everyones moan.

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Upper Bavaria, Germany
Munich
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Murnau
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Hotel Blaue Gams
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Rayleigh, United...
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1. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

Your experience is of course true. However if you had looked on www.bahn.de (in English) nearly all of the information about your rail experience is there. Including platforms at Munich Hbf, where to change, and indeed what platform at Murnau.

Can you not just walk across the tracks at Murnau any longer?

And it isn't always the Innsbruck train. sometimes its the Garmisch train- see www.bahn.de.

The Innsbruck/Garmisch platforms are accessible from S bahn without coming up into the main station so less of a walk. alternatively, you can change at Pasing, where no walk is required, provided you take the right S bahn from the airport.

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Munich
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

Yes, www.bahn.de (change to the language of your choice near the top of the page) will have information on all German trains (actually all European trains), and the platforms they use. It also has information on buses, so if you had put in your information for going to Ettal you would have found it an overnight trip if the buses had quit operating in the evening. If you click on the < to the left of the train choices, it will give a detailed itinerary. Easy enough to xerox all of this information for the connections you are likely to use.

California
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3. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

Thanks for posting your experience. I think we will be renting a car for this part of the trip because of the transportation difficulties. If anyone else wants to post about their experiences in Oberammergau and the Passion Play, I would enjoy reading them. We are going at the end of July. We are staying far away in Bad Bayersoien. I would have preferred to stay in Oberammergau but they did not give us a choice of location when we purchased the package.

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4. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

For CityGirlDoxie,

Really, transportation between all these towns is very easy -- of course it's far easier if you are informed about the schedules in advance. I usually print out a 3x5 card with all the possible train/bus connections so I know what to expect.

s

claremont,ca
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5. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

Thank you for the info you provided.

My husband and I are scheduled to go to Oberammergau on Sept 25-Sept 27 to attend the play. I am thinking to visiting Ettal on the 27th before we take the train ride back to Munich. If we leave the village in the morning, will a day stay be enough for a visit? Are there tours we can take to explore Ettal for a day before returning to Munich?

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6. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

we had the same experience at Murnau but the ticket office was open and they directed us to the correct platform. one problem of our own doing was that we didnt read the notes on the timetable given by Dertour and took a train out of Munich which didnt connect at Murnau so we had an hour to wait. this was totally our fault, but should anyone else be travelling just check the small print and codes on the timetables.

we arrived in Obberamergau on a Monday around 2.00pm and there were taxis waiting. we were charged 15 euros to Ettal.

we also stayed at the same guest house and had dinner at the high altitude restaurant. we enjoyed our stay and thought it hilarious that the Abbey had a monk selling home brewed beer from what can only be described as an "off sales".

on our departure from the guest house the ladlady refused to call a taxi for us because she said she couldnt speak German? she was Romanian. she did manage to convey information on the bus which turned up at the wooden hut on time, and dropped us off at the station again in time for the train. we met an American couple on the train who told us that the taxi driver charged them a return fare from Ettal because he had to travel from Obberamergau to collect them? they had pre-arranged this in Obberamergau when they attended the play.

we also had problems locating he Dertour information office which in the literature said was next to the theatre in Obberamergau. it was, but it was in a shop to the right of the main exit and not part of the theatre information centre which was opposite the exit.

we had travelled by train from Vienna to Salzbur and then Munich, all by train and found the most difficult part was between Murnau - Obberamergau - Ettal. we can laugh about it now but it was a bit frustrating and unfortunately we had not travelled light and struggled to get through the underpass, the rubble and equipment at Murnau station

passion play was a wonderful experience and the slight hiccups with the transport didnt detract from our enjoyment.

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Upper Bavaria, Germany
Munich
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Upper Bavaria, Germany
Vienna
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Vienna Region, Austria
Oxford England
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7. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

Many thanks for your detailed information. All advise makes for a hassle free vacation. We leave in 2 weeks and will stay in apartments owned by the Passion Play director's family. For those with a car visit Ettal Cloister where they make the 'gold water', Linderhof fairytale castle, Wieskirche Cathedral, Munich's beer festival,Mittenwald, Garmish - Hitler's winter Olympic stadium, Eibsee cable car to Zugspitze to see the highest mountain in the German Alps.

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Mittenwald
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8. Re: UK to Oberammergau (Ettal) Trip - Just returned!

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