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German and Austrian Countryside - A Photo Gallery

Updated on November 5, 2011

This next series of photos was taken on our bus ride from Germany to Austria. We left Munich early in the morning, boarded our bus, and hit the road. The countryside along the way was scattered with charming little solitary castles and churches tucked away in the hills. We spotted a new one about every 10 minutes or so.

This was our first glimpse of the Alps from the German side. All these photos were taken from the inside of a moving bus, so I'm glad I got a few good shots of the mountains along the way to Austria.

I love how you can see the mist rolling off the mountainside in this photo. This was a pretty common sight along our trip to Austria, but I never got used to seeing how gorgeous it was.

Innsbruck, Austria

We arrived in Innsbruck and spilled off the bus, we were so excited. I couldn't help humming "...the hills are alive, with the sound of music..." all day long (we may or may not have recorded a group of us singing this song... I'll admit to nothing).

Our first order of business for the day in Innsbruck was to visit St. James Cathedral. If you look past the hanging soccer balls stretched across the street in this photo, you can see one of the two towers of the cathedral.

I could not stop snapping photos of the architecture while we were here, I remember worrying that I would end up seeing Europe through the lens of my camera! And that, is no way to see Europe.

Cathedral of St. James

This photo was taken right outside The Cathedral of St. James. Our tour guide told us all kinds of neat information on the church. For instance, we found out the church was rebuilt in 1717-1724. Amazing.

This is one of the photos I took while we were inside the Cathedral. I thought it was absolutely beautiful inside. I loved all the intricate detail work in every inch of the place.

We left the Cathedral of St. James and wandered around Innsbruck for the rest of the day. After a little bit of souvenir shopping, we rounded a corner and came out onto the street and got this view. It was the first photo I got to take of the Alps from a still position (and not from a moving bus!).

We left Innsbruck, and loaded back up onto our bus, bound for Italy! These are some more photos I took via bus. I couldn't believe how green the mountains were.

In these next few shots, we were driving more into the mountains, so I was able to get some closer (if not slightly blurrier/more reflective) photos. With scenery like this, I didn't mind the long hours on the bus one bit.

Seeing all this beautiful, green mountain scenery reminded me of Oregon. I was born there, and go back frequently to see family. This however, seemed like Oregon on steroids.

This is another example of the castles scattered across the countryside, and tucked in the low lying hills at the base of the Alps. Our tour guide told us some of the castles could be purchased for around €100, if the buyer agreed to restore the castle and keep it true to its historic roots. The castle would also have to be open to the public.

I'm not sure the castle restoration story was true, but it was a fun idea, and my friends and I promptly decided to open up Bed and Breakfasts in one of these castles in the future. A historic castle must have been somewhat like a B&B...right?

Another story our tour guide told us along our bus ride to Italy, was why the church steeples in that area are pointed. He said that a long time ago the people in that area believed that devils flew through the mountain passes at night, so to protect themselves, they built pointy steeples onto their churches, so as the devils flew over, they would scratch their bellies on the steeples. Now, is his story true? I have no idea. I thought the story was great, nonetheless.

Seeing all these amazing castles and churches makes me wonder if people live in at all anymore, or if they are used in any other capacity. It would be a shame if they were left to fall into disrepair, they are so beautiful, and really add a special something to the drive through the Alps.

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    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 4 years ago from Northern California

      I appreciate your hub for several reasons. I grew up in Oregon but have Swiss/ German ancestry. You are to be commended for obtaining such outstanding snapshots while on a bus trip! Photography is one of my hobbies too.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      GYAH!! The Austrian countryside left such a strong impact on me that even when I think of it for a prolonged amount of time (e.g. 30+ seconds) TEARS WELL UP IN MY EYES! Your photos brought back so many good memories. Thanks for sharing them!

    • sam-eg profile image

      sam-eg 6 years ago from Happy Land

      Hi It was really nice showing both Germany and Austria from all aspects, I ‘ve always thought of Germany more as an industrial country thanks for the those pics .

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 6 years ago from Kansas City - United States

      Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Wow! Thanks for the armchair voyage. Enjoyed the pics of Germany and Austria. Beautiful!