By D’Arcy Kavanagh
The train stopped at the small, immaculate station in Oberstaufen and we piled out, hauling our bikes with us. We jumped aboard and rode a half-kilometre into the charming old part of this resort town that attracts hikers in summer and skiers in winter. The town’s charms – flowers everywhere, Alpine-style buildings – made it a dramatic change from Munich where we’d started our day.
We sat outdoors in the centrum – the town centre – for lunch and watched shoppers, walkers and cyclists drift by. The mood seemed unabashedly relaxed and we welcomed it. Munich is a great city, but sometimes it’s good to have a slower pace of life.
Then we got instructions from a local to our RCI. The route was straightforward: Head to the northwest part of town, go down a kilometer-long hill into a farming area and it’s there on the rightt, so large that it can’t be missed even with the imposing hills around it and the mountains in the distance demanding attention.
The RCI was sprawling with several Alpine-style buildings nestled against a forest. Our one-bedroom accommodation was perfect for me, my wife Lynda and my daughter Keely. Lynda and I took the bedroom which had a patio that popped out into the forest where untold numbers of birds chirped away. Keely used the pull-out bed in the couch for sleeping. Our digs were cosy and delightful.
And so the days drifted by quietly but happily as we cycled the valley north of our RCI, rode east on a road that twisted and turned through a score of villages, and, several times, took a train to Lindau, a stunning town on the shores of busy but beautiful Lake Constance. Whenever we went to Lindau, we found time to explore its winding streets, to investigate its fine shops and to indulge in a meal at a café overlooking the harbour and with the Alpsglistening on the far shores. Then we’d head out from Lindau, joining thousands of other cyclists as we rode large stretches of the shoreline, even going into Switzerland.
One day, we put aside our bikes and took an eight-hour bus tour from the RCI. Our driver/host handled his machine with great skill on the narrow roads through the hilly south of Germany as he told us about the history of one splendid valley after another. The most memorable stop was at Neuschwanstein Castle, the 19thcentury Bavarian structure built by King Ludwik II and which is the model for the Disney castle. We joined hundreds of other bug-eyed tourists as we explored this well-kept but bizarre edifice envisioned by an individual who was known, not surprisingly, as “Mad Ludwig.”
When the week was over, we were ready to go. Yet, at the same time, we were a little sad to leave. Oberstaufen is a delightful community in a beautiful setting with an RCI that’s a model of efficiency and comfort, and a neighbouring region that offers a variety of delights, from castles to a glorious European lake that demands days of exploring. With some luck, we’ll return.
Highlights: The community, close to the trains, the scenery (this photo is of the RCI resort)
Didn’t like: The hills, but they weren’t that bad (Lynda just doesn’t like to sweat!)
Organized Tours: Yes and they were fabulous and worth more than the low price
Would we go to this resort again: Yes, and surprisingly it always seems available. There is lots to see and do and even more if you had a car.