Monday, 18 March 2013
Last day before heading home.
We spent the day touring around Munich.
First place we headed to was Schloss Nymphenburg. Another summer palace. This one was ridiculously big (like pretty much all of them). There were lots of swans swimming in the pools. I absolutely loved it when they had their wings up and looking pretty. Schloss Nymphenburg has some large gardens, but we decided to skip walking through them because there was so much snow and all the statues were all covered up by big wooden boxes (so disappointing). The palace was beautiful with lots of details. Okay, here's some pictures. So glad they allowed pictures inside, unlike the rest of the castles we walked through...
|Schloss Nymphenburg. So big, I couldn't even get it all in the picture!|
|Beautiful swans. There were lots of swans in the decorations and details of a lot of the castles. Kind Ludwig II in particular liked swans.|
|If you look closely at this chandelier, you can see golden swans as part of the detailing.|
|The bedroom where King Ludwig II was born|
|Portraits of some of the most "beautiful" women. Although I thought half of them were quite unattractive women!|
|One of MANY sleighs and carriages that King Ludwig II had (remember, this is the same king that was building the Neuschwanstein castle!)|
|I wish you could see the detail on these carriages. It was crazy!|
We then headed over to Karlzplatz and did some shopping. Lots of nice shops. It was in this area that I bought my beautiful mechanical coo coo clock.
|The OLD Town Hall|
|The NEW Town Hall. I love how the new one looks older than the old one.|
|New Town Hall.|
We walked through Frauenkirche. Another old church.
We then walked through Viktualienmarkt. We decided to stop at one of the little shops and try some of the traditional foods of Germany... some bratwurst, sauerkraut and some kind of meat on a bun that we saw everywhere.
The weather was starting to get colder and it was just starting to snow when we went to see Peterskirche & go up it's tower. The stairs going up the tower were super narrow. Makes it really difficult to pass other people! And it's too bad that it was starting to snow, because it sure limited our view from the top.
|Narrow stairs. Good thing it wasn't busy and we didn't have to pass too many people!|
|A geocache in the stairwell going up the tower of the church|
Lastly, we went for dinner at the Hofbrauhaus. Where we had a traditional German dinner and some traditional dancers, music and other entertainment. It was a good dinner and we enjoyed our visit with an older couple sitting at our table who lives in Berlin.
Friday, 15 March 2013
We spent the day near Fussen/Schwangau, Germany, which is a 2 hr train ride from where we were staying in Munich.
Before heading out, we stopped and bought some stuff from our favorite bakery. Yum! They had the best pretzels that had some kind of filling in them. And pastries that were like donuts filled with cream. So good!
It was a fantastic day. When we arrived, we went and got tickets to tour Hohenschwangau, which was a beautiful castle that the royal family lived in in the summer. It was lovely. Sorry, no pictures were allowed during our tour (in either castle), which is too bad. I will say this about Hohenschwangau though, inside were a lot of beautiful paintings. They were large and painted directly onto the walls, which then had frames attached around them. And above each painting, there were words painted on the wall, describing the picture. One room though, had a lot of writing and apparently King Ludwig II wanted to try his hand at poetry and that's what was painted on the wall. I wish I could read German.
|One of the local buildings. Love how they look, especially with all the icicles|
|Another local restaurant. You can see Neuschwanstein in the far distance.|
|Hohenschwangau. In the courtyard area waiting to go in.|
|The back side of Hohenschwangau|
|Beautiful stained glass inside Hohenschwangau. This was in the room we were waiting in before starting our tour.|
Behind Hohenschwangau, there was a road that went winding down the hillside. We decided to go for a short walk down it and then veered off onto a small snowy pathway so that we could find a geocache. Lovely area for geocaching! The snow was so deep, but we were lucky enough that someone else had gone geocaching in the last couple of days so it wasn't too hard to make the find at any of the caches we found that day.
|The path we walked down|
After touring through Hohenschwangau, we then went for a long walk up the road to Neuschwanstein. You can pay to take a horse drawn wagon up, but we figured it might be faster to just walk, even though it was a half hour brisk walk. At the top of the road, we stopped and found another geocache. This one had a fantastic view of Neuschwanstein. The snow was super deep and I fell over and had a hard time getting up. It was funny.
|Easy find in the snow thankfully.|
|One of the best cache locations!|
Neuschwanstein is absolutely beautiful. Both inside and out. It's understandable why it was used as the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle. Unfortunately Neuschwanstein was never completed as King Ludwig II was drowned (either accidental or murder, they don't know which). So, only 1/3 is actually completed. Too bad cause it's the most amazing castle. So much detail. Lots of gold detailing and beautiful paintings. The most surprising room though was what truly is a "man cave". Just off the main bedroom is a room that was decorated and made to look like the Lewis & Clark caves, complete with stalactites and stalagmites. It was very cool. And there was a balcony type room off the "man cave" that had the most amazing view. So beautiful!
|The view of Neuschwanstein from Hohenschwangau|
|The lookout point for the castle also had this beautiful view looking the other way|
|Waiting in the courtyard before going on our tour|
|The front of the castle. Love the red brick.|
After touring the castle, we were quite disappointed to find that the path to Marienbrücke (Mary's bridge) was closed. So after some debate, we finally decided to hop the fence (or two....or three fences... that may or may not have said "Danger. No Trespassing!") and go anyways. We had seen someone on the bridge from a distance, so we knew some others had been up there that day. After all, we reasoned, we might not ever get a chance to come back and the view from Marienbrücke was supposed to be the best view of Neuschwanstein. And it was!
|You can see Marienbrücke in the distance there.|
|The view of Neuschwanstein while on the path to Marienbrücke|
|The view. You can see Hohenschwangau there in the distance (almost right in the middle of the picture). You can see Swan Lake in this photo too.|
|The view from Marienbrücke. One of the best views of the castle!|
|Looking down from Marienbrücke|
It was a great day. Great weather. All the snow made everything beautiful and it wasn't too cold out. We took the 2 hr train ride back to Munich where we got some dinner and headed back to our hotel.