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An Ancient Vow


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Our trip starts in 1633. Or at least the reason for it does. In March of that year 20 people died of Bubonic Plague ("The Black Death") in the small Bavarian village of Oberammergau. The townspeople assembled in the Church and made a solemn vow to God: If they were spared, they would put on a Passion Play to tell people about the last days of Christ on earth. In July there was one death, and then there were none.

Ever since the townspeople have mounted a Passion Play every ten years, every day from May to October. It has become world famous and attracts thousands to each performance.

To be certain that we got tickets and accommodations, we planned this trip over a year in advance. It's not the sort of thing where you can say: "Full up? Well, maybe we'll catch it next time." Who knows what shape we'll be in come 2020.

But as long as we're over there ...

Seeing the play was the motivation for the trip, but it takes a lot of travelling to get from California to Bavaria and back. We shopped the offerings at Vacations To Go, and chose a trip from Gate1 Travel entitled 17 Day Passion Play 2010, Switzerland & Italy. It allowed us to visit places each of us had seen many years ago, and to add shared memories to those fading individual memories.

We flew into Zurich and transferred to Lucerne. Then a bus took us to Innsbruck (via Liechtenstein). From Innsbruck we went via the Linderhof castle to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, our base for neighboring Oberammergau. This web site covers our Alpine tour. Then after the play we headed south to Italy and our time in Italy is covered on another web site.