It was a wonderful day today…. let me fill you in. We were all up relatively early today. Breakfast at the Hotel Sonne started at 7 am…. a wonderful German breakfast! For me, the wonderfully strong German coffee, a hard roll (Brötchen), Salami, Swiss Cheese, butter, and some raspberry jam. Oh, how I’ve missed my Brötchen!! German food is so wonderful!
After a nice filling breakfast, we headed for Neuschwanstein Castle (Schloß Neuschwanstein). This is the Fairy Tale Castle built by King Ludwig ll in the 1880’s. It is located about 5 km from Hotel Sonne in Füssen, where we overnighted last night, in the town of Hohenschwangau. The weather was cold, -8° Celsius. And while the morning started a bit cloudy, it soon cleared, becoming a brilliant blue with a few clouds.
We got our tickets after arriving and, as some of you may know, the way up the mountain to the castle has two options… ride or walk! Usually, there is an option to take a bus to the top but today it was walk or take the horse drawn carriage.
A few of us rode, maybe the best choice, while the rest of us walked uphill for a mile. I did say uphill, didn’t I? It is uphill… and while not straight up, it feels like it at times!! But because we were walking, we had the opportunity to look at the scenery that the carriage riders didn’t.
This is a very nice view of Hohenschwangau Castle, built by Ludwig ll’s father, Maximimilian ll. The sun illuminated it today better than I’ve ever seen! And because we were walking, we got a great view of the surrounding countryside.
The walk up took us about 45 minutes… no hurry because we had plenty of time. So we took a few more outside pictures, since inside photography is forbidden.
After the tour of the castle, it was another mile walk… just downhill this time! Let me tell you… it’s a lot easier that way!
After the castle visit, we headed towards our next overnight stop, Garmisch. But one if the things I always like to take our groups on is a trip to the top of the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. It’s 2962 meters high (8832 feet). And today, with the brilliant blue skies and the snow packed peaks, well, you just couldn’t beat the view!
This view is on the way up the mountain on the cogtrain, looking over Lake Eibsee. And from the top, I think you could see ALL of the Alps! The pictures truly don’t do it justice!!
At the top of this mountain, you actually have a choice…. Germany or Austria!
For Germany, you are in Bavaria, while in the Austrian part….
You are in the Tirol!
Once we came back down, it was a short drive to our hotel to check in and walk to the Garmisch Christmas Market. It has the feeling of a small German town, a different feeling from many of the larger Christmas Markets. Here, many of the items are made locally and it’s a treat to talk to the people who make them.
And when you go to a Christmas Market, in addition to the Glühwein, you have to get a bite to eat!
You can’t go wrong with a nice Bratwurst and a hard roll!
Tomorrow in Regensburg will be a somewhat different experience! We’ll see you then!