Monday, June 13, 2011

Stepping into the world of fairy tales

On Friday, we took a bus tour to visit two of King Ludwig's castles. It was a wonderful, but exhausting tour. We were up at 5:30 in the morning, ate a quick breakfast at Hotel Blauer Bock (highly reccomend them), and made a mad dash downtown to get on the bus. After a beautiful 2 hour drive through the Bavarian countryside, we arrived at Linderhof Palace--the only palace that was ever completed in Mad King Ludwig's time. The ground's were beautiful, and we had an excellent but short 30 minute tour of the upstairs of his palace. My favorite room was the Hall of Mirrors. Next we made a short stop at Oberammergau to do some shopping and found a few fairy tale souvenirs for our classrooms. Oberammergau is known for their woodworking, and it had some beautiful cuckoo clocks, none of which we could afford. :) One of our favorite parts of the drive was a road we drove down that had hundreds of painted houses, and there was a cluster of them that were painted with fairy tales. Wish we could have stopped to take some pictures and examine them some more! But we were on our way to the highlight of the tour--Neuschwanstein Castle! (We will try to upload pictures to this blog later today). We ate a quick lunch at Hotel Muller on the terrace, then raced to the bus that could drive you up to the top where Mary's Bridge was. After the bus dropped us off, we huffed and puffed our way up the rest of the way to the bridge. Stepping onto the creaky bridge was one of the most terrifying things I have done in my life! At first I walked only a few steps, and was perfectly happy staying right there, but once the bridge emptied out quite a bit, I finally had the courage to walk the whole length of the bridge, and I am glad I did. Eva was not afraid at all. We got some excellent photographs and what a spectacular view!!!
We hiked 20 minutes downhill to the castle and waited for our tour time. To me, the inside of the castle was pretty lackluster compared to the beauty and majesty of the outside. The tour lasted only 30 minutes, and then it was time for the 45 minute hike back down hill to the bus. Ouch--our calves! After we all piled in the bus it was time for an hour and a half nap on the way back to Munich. We ran back to our hotel to drop off our souvenirs, and then headed out for a wonderful dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant. We topped off our last night in Munich with a coffee sitting at a cafe in the shadows of the glockenspiel in the Marienplatz. What a day!

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