Thursday, December 9, 2010

Germany-Part 3 (Subtitle: Auburn meets Germany)

Today was devoted to seeing one thing-the Neuschwanstein Castle.  It was built by King Ludwig of Bavaria as one of his royal residences.  He died early however, and it was never fully furnished.  In fact, only about 1/3 of the rooms are complete.  This is the castle that Walt Disney used as the model for Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom.

The drive up was fairly short, but the weather wasn't good.  It was drizzling and very foggy-not to mention cold.  We arrived in the village beneath the castle and it was so foggy we couldn't even see it.  Sitting across form Neuschwanstein is King Ludwig's boyhood home, another castle who's name escapes me at the moment.  this one was barely visible.  We bought our tickets and enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa in the village inn.  Then we had a LONG wait to get in a horse-drawn carriage to ride to the castle.  It is walkable, but it is about a 40 minute uphill hike, and in this weather, that idea wasn't tempting.  The horses dropped us off about a 10 minute hike below the castle.  We had a little wait before our tour started, so we decided to grab a bite to eat a the German cafe' situated nearby.

This is where the coolest moment of the day happened.  As we were eating, the folks at the next table saw Ryan's shirt (orange Auburn) and jumped out of their seats.  They live in Auburn.  They used to live in Wetumpka (where my parents now live).  They were just over touring.  Could this world be any smaller?  The only 2 English-speaking people in this restaurant, and we had that much in common.  Amazing.

Anyhoo, we toured the castle and took the horses back down.  I know I have said this before, but I can't really describe the beauty of Germany.  I think the snow even accentuates it.  It is just good for the soul to see things like this every once in a while.  I will never forget it.

Neuschwanstein Castle

View of Ludwig's boyhood home from inside Neuschwanstein

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