Bavarian Castle Tour September 7-14, 2014

We made it to Germany. We are at our hotel in Hoppen Am See near Fussen.
View from our hotel. Alps in background.
Our group walked down to the lake and had dinner. Choice of duck (John), fish from lake (Evelyn), or Wiener Schnitzel.
Walking back to the hotel we get a great sunset.
I had to get a photo of the beer vending machine in our hotel. Never seen one before. For 1.9 Euros, take your pick!

This is the end of our arrival day.

Our first castle touring day--A few miles from our hotel we visit Neuschwanstein, Germany's most famous castle. This picture taken from Marienbrucke (Mary's Bridge). This castle built by Ludwig in mid 1800s.
After lunch we will tour Hohenschwangau, the castle built by Ludwig's father, Maximillian.
We catch a ride down to town in a carriage. Then lunch (traditional German sausage, sauerkraut and potatoes).
This is in the garden area of Howenschwangau. Then back to hotel for a quick rest and then dinner.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014--Today we take the gondola to the top of Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany.
The views on the way up the mountain were fantastic. The top of the mountain was in a cloud, however. But it was still nice to visit the historic site and tour the little museum.
Next stop was Oberammergau, an interesting and very colorful town. The buildings are painted with murals and most decorated with colorful flowers. It is a bit touristy with many gift shops and restaurants. Evelyn did some shopping. Really? Yes.


Then on to the castle at Linderhof. This was Ludwig II's smallest castle, but he spent the most time here.
Ludwig liked a lot of statues and each is said to have meaning or representative of something.
The garden fountain erupts each half hour.


Ludwig was crazy, well if you are rich I guess it is called being eccentric. He had this big cave made, decorated it and it has a stage with mural in back, a lake with waterfall inside. He had singers come to do scenes from plays. Ludwig would be the only one to be there. He was such a loner that in Linderhof his dining table could be lowered down to the servants quarters so they could set his meal on it and then the table raised up to his room. He never married and eventually diagnosed insane. His body was found with that of his psychiatrist in a lake. No one really knows what happened, but he had already been deposed by his uncle.

We go to Lake Chiemsee where we take the ferry to an island where Ludwig II built his largest castle, Herrenchiemsee. He never finished it since ran out of money. He was trying to build a replica of Versailles in France.

King Ludwig II's castle
True to his style, lots of statues and fountains.
On the way back to our hotel, our guide takes us to a remote, out of the way restaurant on a farm where they grow there own animals. The road was so narrow a car coming toward us had to back up a hundred yards so we could enter. During dinner the Alpenhorn guys played for us.
Nice end to this day....

Today our bus took us into Munich to the Nymphenburg Palace where Ludwig II was born. Next door was his elaborate carriage collection. Then we did a city tour.

Photo a little blurry since flash photos not allowed. Dozens of coaches and sleds.
Then to Munich's oldest brewery/restaurant, the famous Hofbraehaus. It is a huge restaurant-busy and noisy.
After a beer, even the Um-Pah music sounded good!


Andre, our driver, takes us on the ferry on Lake Constance to visit the Island of Mainau.

We had light rain all day, but Evelyn was very dry. Rain jacket, pancho, umbrella and rain boots.
The island was bright with colorful flowers.
We saw beautiful butterflies in the enclosed exhibit.
After a walk we reach the castle. We were not able to tour it, but we enjoyed the grounds.
Then, back on the ferry to see a castle by the lake at Meerbu.

Then, close to our hotel we eat at a famous brewery/restaurant, Braugasdholf Falkenstein. There was an annual parade outside the restaurant, which was a bonus.


Today we head out to see some historic churches. This one is "Church in the Meadows".

Typically ornate.
Next we go to the monastery at Andechs.   This one is run by monks who make "famous beer".

Why do monks always seem to make brandy or beer?

Again, very ornate.
These are two of our traveling companions, Bill and Ute. I went through the line first and got our drinks. Ute thought she was ordering the .5 liter size (small) but she actually ordered five beers. You pay first and the line moves quickly, so she came out with five beers. The funny part is, she speaks German. The beer did not go to waste.
At the monastery we ordered barbequed fish on a stick. They have several varieties, we ordered the "local fish".
It was really good. But, for 33 euros, four of us split.
This is the place where Ludwig II was found "drowned" in foot deep water. Everyone has a theory about what really happened.
Ludwig's uncle had this little chapel erected to remember his dead nephew.
Our Group
Not sure what John is doing here. Directing some music? "The fish on a stick was this big"?
On the way to our farewell dinner with our excellent tour guide, Carolin.
We have to say goodbye to our beautiful Bavarian setting!
Here are a few things we found interesting or different in Bavaria:

In the city some can rent garden space with a little shed to do gardening.

Since there is a growing older population on pensions, the government encourages having children and will pay parents for each child until they are 18.

The Church is still active in some social activities and education, so everyone pays a church tax unless you opt out, which limits some things you can do (like use church sponsored activities).

You can order a beer at McDonalds.

You pay a tax for owning a dog based on its size or breed.

Some traffic signals go from red to orange to green.

There are many unmanned roadside stands with pumpkins, gourds or flowers to pick. Self-Pay.

The End