Virginia and Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke
Excuse the giant Virginia head at the top of this blog, but I decided I was being underrepresented in the photos in this blog and thought everyone should be reminded of just whose perspective you are sharing: Mine, me, me, me. Okay, enough about me let’s get on with it.
When we decided to come to Munich for the end of our European follies, I thought it would be good, maybe even mandatory, to do two day trips:
One to Dachau to remind ourselves that the horrors of all of the current wars throughout our world have terrible predecessors in the not very distant past. And, perhaps, to make us reflect in a different way on what it is we can do to try to make the world a place in which descent into such barbarism isn’t tolerated.
The second, the polar opposite to the first, to Neuschwanstein because, after all, we come from the country that gave the world Disneyland and Disneyworld and all of the other Disney accretions and King Ludwig II’s fairy tale castle was Disney’s inspiration for HIS first fairy tale castle (and, yes, I did capitalize “his” because Disney is a god).
We determined that we should begin with the lighter of the two options and joined a GreyLine bus tour that covered not only Neuschwanstein but also Linderhof Castle and Oberammergau (not to be confused with OberZ’Mutt, which will always remain one of our favorite Swiss villages).
This is touring in the style of the masses. I am happy to report that our guide did not carry an umbrella with a sunflower duct taped to the top but we knew where she was all the same. We were 46 in our group and it turned out to be a perfectly fine way to see the castles. As far as we were concerned, they should have left out Oberammergau and given us more time in Linderhof but a small complaint.
A larger and more pungent concern with traveling with the masses in a confined space turned out to be flatulence. WHOA!!!! I don’t even want to imagine what some of these folks had been eating but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was dozens of pickled eggs. I think the photo below best describes the situation:
To say it was disgusting would be an insult to disgusting. I don’t know why Michael is smiling . . . or perhaps I do. . . hmmmm. But enough of this digression.
Linderhof: Fountain erupts . . . enter castle for tour . . . put on sunglasses to counter the glow from all of the gilding . . . be gobsmacked by how much ornamentation could be packed into such a relatively small space . . . but be delighted with it in spite of its excesses . . . marvel at the chandeliers . . . leave castle at rear for obligatory photo of water cascade and Poisidon fountain . . . walk back to front for fountain erupting . . . make way to WC’s for erupting fountains of our own devise and then back to bus. Very efficient.
Oberammergau: Forget the typical Bavarian houses, ignore the traditional wood carving souvenir shops, pass on the knock off wood carving souvenir shops; we want food. Two ham and cheese sandwiches on fresh rolls: Five euros. Three single-scoop cups of the best gelato we’ve had on this trip: Three euros thirty. We aren’t in Switzerland anymore! Back to the bus.
Neuschwanstein: I was here in 1971. At that time, I was a fit and, if I do say so myself, fabulous 22-year old goddess (once again, I exaggerate for effect) and I rode my bicycle up the steep, winding road to the castle. Yesterday, while cherishing my 46-year old memories, I paid my one euro eighty and took the shuttle bus (along with some garlic breathing folks . . . this trip is going to be one of olfactory impressions).
Unlike in 1971, however, this time I could afford to go inside the castle and it was worth the price of admission. None of the gold and mirrors of Linderhof, which was Ludwig II’s little Versailles; Neuschwanstein was built as a tribute to Richard Wagner and you could fairly hear the Valkyries screaming from the painted walls. I loved it.
Two hour drive back to town during which farting was replaced by snoring. We will travel on our own from here on out but this was an easy way to pack in a lot of territory.
Linderhof garden snippet
My favorite sign
Kris doing a granny impression
Spaten Brewery as we enter Munich