Day 6 - 2013 Europe Trip - Mittenwald to Meersburg via Schloss Linderhoff and Schloss Neuschwanstein

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We awoke at six in the morning to multiple church bells going crazy. Next came the drums. That was followed by the cannons. Yes, I said CANNONS. All this was then proceeded by singing, marching and German music interspersed with more cannon explosions. The festivities lasted for about an hour or so. The bells continued to ring every fifteen minutes, however. At around eight thirty it started again. Luckily that is our wake up time so it was not quite as painful. Apparently, May 30th is a big religious holiday in the area. We stumbled down to breakfast which was in the cutest room ever. There were antlers on the walls and domed ceilings. It was like eating breakfast in a little church! We both had the usual, he had cheese and more cheese (it is not all that easy to be a vegetarian here in Bavaria) and I had my egg, yogurt and salami sando.
Brekkie in Mittemwald. I wish I had a photo of the breakfast room. It was all domed like a mini cathedral.
We left in the pouring rain and drove an hour to the Linderhoff Palace. There were several points in this day where I was just staggered back with bliss. Many of these times were at this campus. We toured the castle first. King Ludwig II lived here for seven years. I find him to be a fabulously interesting man. He died at age fourty unmarried and with no children and under sketchy circumstances. Fascinating.
Castle Linderhoff
He also was in adoration with the French which made him quite unpopular with his people since they were at war with France at the time of his rule. Nonetheless, he decorated his home in a French style. Pretty much everything is covered in gold. The bf really took to these castles. He wished we could spend more time in each room but they herded us through pretty quickly. We had a ton to do this day so I was OK with that. After the opulent castle, we walked to the grotto.
Here is a small glimpse of King Ludwig's Grotto. It is all man-made, built into a hillside. He held operas and choirs here, often for an audience of one.
King Ludwig had a fake cave built to have music played for him in it. We then walked to the hunting cabin which is my favorite place on the grounds. It was pouring rain on us but we huddled under our almost uselessly small umbrella for the twenty minute walk. The cabin is sooo cozy with tactic on the walls to look like a tent. There is a fake tree growing up in the center and lots of fur to keep warm, near the fire or in bed.
The hike was so beautiful. The rain added to this beauty.
The photo does no justice to this adorable lodge. See the real tree in the center? Cool.

We walked the long distance through a dense forest back to the car and drove the next hour to the ever so famous, Schloss Neuschwanstein. This is the castle that Disney models his sleeping beauty castle after and they look very similar. The castle is waaaaay high up, perched on the mountain side.
See the giant castle waaaay up on the hillside? We are going to hike up to that.

We climbed the streets in the rain towards the ticket office when I spotted a super cute Alpine wool hat. I bought it along with a pin of the castle and a big, floppy feather. It kept my hair dry the rest of the day. We bought tickets but the next English tour was three hours away at six in the evening. This did not please me since our hotel for the night was still two hours away! The uber metabolizing bf needed food so we searched the multitude of restaurants available to us. We walked all the way to a lovely lake and back. He settled on having a cheese pizza and I had pork medallions in a mushroom cream sauce. I had a local white wine and he had a hot cocoa. He also had a cheesecake with mandarins.
Yum! All this followed by a cake and hot cocoa.
We waited in the still dumping rain for the packed bus that drove us like a maniac up the steep hill to the castle. It dropped us still twenty minutes walk from the castle so we trudged up. We were almost an hour early but didn't realize it at the time. The freezing wind was howling so we found shelter in a tiny souvenir shop and hunkered down form the hour wait. I had a lovely view of the men's toilet whose door was wide open. I learned a lot about the peeing styles of various men and, even less appealing, how few wash their hands after the deed.
Hike hike hike. Up up up. In the rain to the castle!
The tour finally began and it ended far too soon. This castle he built near the end of his reign and never completed it's construction. There were a lot of steps, that is what my aching bones recall the most. The wait for the bus ride down was a lesson in human behavior. We missed the bus that was there so we waited in the 'front' of the line for about ten to fifteen minutes. In that time, there was pushing and sneaking around by all sorts of people. Then the bus came and nearly mowed us all down. There was an animal-like shove-fest that ensued that made us both sick. People were desperate to get on that bus and all notion of fairness flew down the mountainside. We managed to get on the bus in the very last moment, despite being in the front of the line. We lost the car for a bit but finally found it.
No photos are allowed inside the castles so here is an historic one to give an idea of what we were seeing inside Newschwanstein Castle.
It was a little over a two hour drive to our next stop, our hotel in Meersburg on the Bodensee. I was in Meersburg before, thirteen years ago with my ex husband and we were, at that time, at the end of our relationship. While there, I stood alone on a balcony of a palace as the sun set. I felt the loneliness set in as I yearned to share the beauty with another and so at that moment, I promised myself I would bring someone I loved to that very spot and I would kiss that someone at sunset. This trip...the bf and I were running too late to make that kiss that I spent over a decade thinking about, hoping and planning for. We did drive through lovely little towns. The rain came in alternating downpours and sprinkles. Then, I noticed there was sunlight at the horizon. We had not seen the sun, let alone a SUNSET, since the one day we visited Hallstatt. That was the one day of the whole trip that the sun was out. I was driving down the darkening road, mesmerized by the golden amber color. The driving was getting a little more difficult as the darkness chased us down the lonely freeway. Right then the bf leaned over and kissed me. It dawned on me, he knew how much I wanted to kiss during the sunset but due to our late tour date at Neushcwanstein, it was impossible. He changed all that. He is the most thoughtful person on the planet. He made the seemingly impossible, possible. I truly felt that the cosmos opened the skies at the very moment there was a sunset so we could make my long time dream come true. At that moment, I was the happiest person in all of Germany. He is such a perfect guy!
Here is a stock photo of the place I had intended to kiss the bf at. It worked out much better than that.
I seem to get flipped off a lot by motorcycle riders. Apparently, I am not giving them enough room. I do not feel like I am cutting them off though, I treat them like cars....perhaps I am supposed to be treating them more special. But I thought it was worth mentioning that I got flipped off again today. We pulled into Meersburg  at about nine twenty. The hotel was simple to find and they helped us right away. We took off our wet clothing and walked next door to a wine stube. We split a delicious Flammekuche and some local white wine. This stu be was so precious with stone walls and mini wine barrels as stools. I feel so lucky to be here and that things just work out for us.

Time for sleep now. The bf's shoes and socks are drying in the bathroom and he is snoring next to me so I better join him...until tomorrow.... Auf wiedersen!

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