Neuschwanstein Castle & Zugspitze

September 25

See pictures below the day's summary



Well, so much for sleeping good last night. Our room was too hot again, so neither of us slept good. But, what can you do??     

We drove to Neuschwanstein Castle this morning. It was just under an hour and a half drive. I expected it to be way up on the top of the mountain, but it was down pretty low. All the castles we've seen so far have been way up high.

I must say that the castle experience was a bit chaotic. Actually, not "a bit" chaotic, but fully chaotic!

Karin had gotten our tickets and we had a 30-minute walk up to the castle, but then we spent too much time looking for a bathroom. It had only been an hour and a half since we left, so we probably could have waited to use the bathrooms at the top of the hill. But, okay.

So we had a 30-minute walk up a hill to get to the castle. And it was all uphill! We were worried about a couple of the ladies in our group, but in the end, everyone made it! Yeah! It was raining too, but everyone in our group had an umbrella or raincoat - or both!

The second issue with the castle was when we got to the top. We had our tickets with our tour number on it - #423. And we saw our number lit on the sign, but we didn't realize that meant we were supposed to proceed through the entrance to the gate. So we stood out there waiting. When we finally realized it, it was about 10:07am and our tour was supposed to be at 10am. The gate/turnstile is computerized and you stick your ticket in and it reads the time. Half our group got in okay, but then the tickets stopped working. We just got a stop sign displayed on the monitor. It was because it was 10:10am now and there are no late admissions, so we were stuck. Dad was in the group that got in, and I was in the group stuck outside. Thankfully, a man from the castle came and opened a different gate for us so we did get in. I bet if we weren't on an official tour we would have been out of luck.

Third issue was with our guide in the castle. She spoke English, but with a very heavy German accent. So she was hard to understand. And she didn't talk very loud either. It was a very "canned" tour. And only about 35 minutes, so very quick.

King Ludwig II built the Neuschwanstein Castle - and he liked to spend money! One of the guidebooks said that he was a homosexual (and spent a lot of time repenting his sin) and loved the "fine things". The castle was built in 1869 (and never finished) and had lots of modern amenities - running water from a spring above the castle, telephones, and electricity.

We had about half an hour to grab lunch (a bratwurst sandwich) and do a little shopping. So I got my shot glass and some postcards! And right now we're on the bus on our way to Zugspitze - the highest mountain in Germany. We're taking a cablecar to the top, so that will be neat. It's a 45 minute ride (one way) so it must be way up there! It has stopped raining now, so that's good. But there's still a lot of fog against the mountains, so our view might not be that good. We'll have to see!

Ooops, I was slightly mistaken - we took an electric train up most of the mountain - about 30 minutes. Then we caught the cable car the rest of the way. On the train, Dad & I sat with a guy from Munich named Peter. He was a wine seller, but not to restaurants or stores, just to individual people. I think Dad was wishing that the train ride was a little bit longer so he could hook up with some wine!   

It has stopped raining, but was very cloudy up on the mountain. There would be very little view, but we hoped it would clear up when we got up there. No such luck. It was snowy though - so pure white that you were almost blinded! It was warmer than we thought it would be too - you didn't even really need your jacket.

We took a few pictures. I got one that I thought was awfully clever - a picture of the sign showing what we should have seen, with nothing but a pure white background. Kinda funny. We got a group picture up there too (but unfortunately, it was never forwarded, so I don't have a copy).

We took the cablecar all the way down - it only took about 10 minutes! It would have been better if it wasn't so cloudy though. At the bottom, we stopped and got an ice cream bar. We sure love our ice cream on this trip!   

Oh, the Zugspitze is 2,962 meters high. So almost 3,000 meters (9,843 feet). You definitely felt the altitude! One side up top was a cablecar into Germany (the one we took) and the other side was a cablecar into Austria. So Karin had to make sure that we were all on the right cablecar going home!

Now we're on our way to Oberammergau. Well, technically, we are staying in a place called Bad Kohlgrub.

What a cute little hotel we're at here. Called Gästehaus Alpina. It's about 10 minutes from Oberammergau I think. It is run by a husband and wife. She does all the cooking and it was yummy! The husband talked to us quite a bit during dinner. They have a 9-year-old daughter who helped serve and clean up. She was very cute and kind of shy.

We don't think we'll be too hot tonight - it's pretty chilly here! Tomorrow is the Passion Play!



Photos


Neuschwanstein Castle, built by King Ludwig. The Cinderella Castle in Disneyland was modeled after the Neuschwanstein Castle. Angie & Bruce walking uphill in the rain. It was about a 30 minute walk and the hill was pretty steep. Another stop in the uphill climb. The rain had slowed a lot by now.
   
This was the crowd waiting to get in to Neuschwanstein Castle This was the view behind us when we were waiting to get in to the castle View from inside Neuschwanstein Castle
   
One of Angie's famous self-portraits The yellow castle below is one of King Ludwig's also Dad
   
Angie & Dad at Neuschwanstein Angie & Dad about 10 feet to the left of the last picture    Looking up at Neuschwanstein
   
Bruce & Angie - this was taken on our way down the hill as we were leaving German countryside on our way to Zugspitze (the highest mountain in Germany) This was the train that would take us halfway up the mountain
   
This is the path we took up the mountain - we were on the dotted line one on the right Dad & Angie in the train up the first part of the mountain A little chapel halfway up the mountain. I wonder what their regular attendance is?   
   
Jim & Bruce on the cable-car to the top of the mountain (the Zugspitze) Cathy, Angie, and Karin on the cable-car Angie made it to the top of Germany!
   
Angie & Dad Donna & Bruce Angie in front of this cross that everyone was fascinated with
   
Bruce & Angie (foreground) and Bill & Patt (background) at the Zugspitze Dad & Sharman Diagram of what we were SUPPOSED to see from Zugspitze (bottom half) and what we ACTUALLY saw (top half) - it was REALLY foggy that day!
   
One of the cable-cars going down the mountain A freezing black bird The sign says "Mario Gasser" - I'm not sure if he's the person that was sculpted, or if he was the artist
   
We're all headed to catch the cable-car back down the mountain Jim & Jenny - wishing we had time to go down to the beer garden! Angie
   
Bruce & Angie I think this was a replica of some of the machinery used to run the cable-cars Angie displaying her Zugspitze shot glass
   
View from the cable-car on the way down - once we had gotten through the fog! The cable-car has landed This was a lake where we came down the mountain
   
Another shot of the lake Dad & Angie