Monday, September 26, 2011

Germany part 2: Fussen (how I got us lost in Switzerland)

We left the Black Forest early in the morning, with plans to be in Fussen in 3.5 hours. We planned to stick to some of the smaller highways instead of doubling back to get on the autobahn. We planned to stay in Germany. Of course, every time I make a plan, God laughs at me. Somewhere near the boarder of Germany and Switzerland we made a wrong turn and got off the road that would have taken us where we wanted to go. Instead, we ended up in Switzerland with no idea how to get out. Eventually, we had to turn around and backtrack almost an hours worth of driving. In my defense, Germany has stupid signs.

Instead of the drive taking 3.5 hours, it took closer to 5. We arrived in Fussen around 3pm and checked into our hotel. We went out to the castles but all the English tours were sold out by this time. We decided to take a little walking tour of the town and get some food.

Fussen is a very cute little town that is located about 2 hours south of Munich.

Josh ordered a pork knuckle and I have never seen him look happier. I got some weird beef roll with potato salad and it was very yummy as well.

Back at the hotel, we laughed at the hotel's translation (or typos) of certain things.

The next day we got up super early to catch the hotel's buffet breakfast and then drive back out to the castles. There are two castles located near Fussen. The castles are Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. At this point we were calling then Castle New-shoo-shoo and castle Hogwarts. We had zero clue how to even begin to pronounce these words.

 First up on the tour is Hohenschwangau. (pronounced something like ho-en-schvan-gau....but don't quote me.) This was the childhood home of Mad king Ludwig. He would later build his own castle across from this one.

Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside. Inside, all the walls were covered in original paintings and furnishings. It was very cool. Definitely a place I could get used to! 

This is us on top of the castle. Not a bad view!

Next up, the one I really wanted to see! Neuschwanstein (New-schvan-stein). This is the castle that inspired the Disneyland castle. It was built by King Ludwig but not finished because he died during the construction. Only about 16 rooms of the planned 200 rooms were finished, but we got to tour all of those rooms. You can see some pictures of the rooms here 

Long hike up to the castle! Josh found it!

Hohenschwangau as viewed from outside Neuschwanstein.

Had to cross as scary-ass bridge to get this picture.

People in Germany do not call Kind Ludwig the "mad king". Instead they call him the Fairy tale King. I call him the "nut-bar King" that built a cave inside his castle. Right outside of his bedroom, there is a freaking cave built inside the castle so that the King could go and sit in there and listen to Wagner by an indoor cave. I'm sorry, but if that doesn't say crazy, I dont know what does.

Next stop on the castle tour extravaganza, is Linderhof Palace

This place was like a super-mini Versailles. The King built this one as a dedication to that French Palace. It was covered in gold plated everything on the inside. It even had a hall of mirrors. The king spent most of his time here alone. Totally alone. He even had a dinning room table that sat on a dumb-waiter so that it could be lowered into the kitchen and have food placed on  it and then raised again. This way, the King didn't even have to see a servant. I read online that even though the King dined alone, the table was set for four, because he liked to have conversations with imaginary people like Marie Antoinette. Nut Bar.

Venus Grotto. Dude had a thing for caves.

After a full day of castle-ing, we headed back to Fussen by taking the shortcut through Austria. 

Josh is in Austria! Yeah!

After arriving back in Fussen, we had another delicious but veggie deprived dinner. I had some pork and a squishy ball (don't remember what it was, but it was round and squishy) and Josh had some pork and spatzel. We had to share a table with some people from Colorado since the restaurant was full. They were very nice and validated my thoughts that German road signs were dumb.

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