They were the loveliest hosts... there is nothing like returning from a day of sight seeing and coming into a warm home, lively chatter and a great dinner! Despite our hungover-ness, we made great time from Aschaffenburg to Bad Toelz, which is a rough 4.5 - 5 hr drive South, and arrived just in time for schnitzel und kartoffel salat (potato salad).
Our first and foremost destination was Schloss Neuschwanstein the next day. It was another hour and half ride south-west from where we were staying.
Along the way we saw plenty of Alps...
uhm.. this is actually the only photo I have solely of Alps for Thursday.. it was pretty difficult taking photos without pulling off to the side of the road, getting out, etc... and we just wanted to get to Neuschwanstein!
we also saw plenty of these along the way..
Germany is very eco-concious.. we won't even start discussing the recycling/garbage laws, and this particular area is very involved in milk production. Seriously...there were cows everywhere. I think the cow to human ration is easily 2:1 if not 3:1. Ok..maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but they proud themselves on allowing their cows to roam and not feeding them/giving them any hormones, etc., so any village that had hormone free cows proudly displayed the faire cow.
see...they stand behind their product.. Our milk makes Bavaria strong!
FINALLY... we pull into Schwangau.. what is that, that we see?!
We then proceed to parking, where are view to the right
view to the left
Can you believe the difference?! Insanity I tell you..
We actually head to head up towards the right, which was basically the beginning of the hill... yeah..we had to walk from here aaaaalllllllllllllllllll the way up to the castle.
what we had to fight up.. in non-'hiking' boots, through patches of ice...
and this was after we had already 'hiked' for 20 minutes.. I'm not whining, you know, just not used to 'hiking' ;)
right around here, I was thrilled to see these... you might remember them from here...
I decided to have my sweet Bavarian balls on the way down... hihihi...I said balls... ;)
and finally.... (please imagine angels singing... =)
and we still have to walk....
another view of the Alps.. and at the landing of Neuschwanstein
view from the landing of Neuschwanstein..
Nate and I took the tour of the castle, and unfortunately no photos were allowed and it was pretty interesting.
Truth: King Ludwig only lived there for like 4 months and he died before it was completed.
It truly was a fast tour since they only completed the rooms they had started building on. Not much to see, but check out the view from the back...
do you see the castle off to the right? the yellow building? it was the same one you could see from where we parked...you can actually see the parking lot from here too! isn't it breathtaking though? i have to say out of all the views, this one really got me..
can you spot the bridge?
we had really wanted to go to this particular bridge, but given all the snow and ice, neither of us were properly equipped to hike out that way, especially since it was a good 40 minutes from the castle, so instead we headed back down.. to enjoy some sweet Bavarian balls... ;)
back in town.. and ready to head back...
one final pic..
and to think this was the inspiration for Disney's castle.. amazing.