Castle Ruins and Cinderella's Castle

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2010

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010 Sunday: Erhenberg Ruins in Reutte and Neuschwanstein Schloss in Fussen

Today we got an early start and went to the ruins you can see from our rooms. We only had to drive a couple of kilometers to the parking lot.  We walked up to the first ruin, which was a real ruin.  Parts of it had been restored like the gunpowder turret.  There was a sword in a stone that you could pull part of the way out and I took a picture of Erin trying to do it.  There were lots of wildflowers blooming,  I recognized several Monkshood, larkspur, pink yarrow, Joe Pieweed, Queen Anne's Lace, dandelions of course and some others that I don’t know.  When we were done, Larry, Derek and Erin decided to go to the top of the second ruins because it didn’t take us long to do the first one.  I decided to go back down and that was a good choice for me.  Doing steep trails without hiking boots and my hiking poles to steady me is too difficult.  By the time I got to the bottom my knees were shaking.  They went up the steep route to the top and the easy root back down.  They really liked the top because they had 360 degree views.  I didn’t see them until 12:45, 2 hours later.  I watched kinder (children) at the spielpark (play park).  There are lots of really good play parks in Germany and Austria.  This one had a climbing wall, a rope bridge, and a dragon that sprayed water when you least expected it.  I also read the tour books that Derek and Erin had with them.

We drove to Fussen where Neuschwanstein (Noy-Schvahn-Stine) Schloss and Hohenschwangau (Ho-en-schvahn-gow)Schloss are located.   We decided to only see the inside of Neuschwanstein but couldn’t get an English tour until 5:20.  So we had lunch at the Braustuberl.  Again, bratwurst but with kartoffelsalat.  We got 3 long, slim bratwurst, without buns, and potato salad.  It was delicious.  After lunch we decided to drive to Tegelberg just across the valley to check out the chair lift and luge.  Since it would have been a long walk to get a good view of the castle from where the chair lift went; Larry, Derek and Erin took two rides on the luge and I played Free Cell on Erin’s computer.  This time Derek took a video with his camera coming down the track.  It turned out really good.  There were lots of hang gliders who were taking the chair lift up and taking off, then landing in the field near the parking lot.  It was fun to watch them.

When we got back to the castle parking lot, we decided to take the bus up the mountain to the Marienbrucke which is right behind and above the castle.  The views were still great.  Today was a cloudless and warm day in Bavaria and Tirol.  We were all getting hot and tired so we had a drink before our tour started.

 Neuschwanstein was built by mad Konig (king) Ludwig II who never finished the castle and only lived in it for 6 months.  This is the castle that the Disney Cinderella Castle is modeled after.  Mad Ludwig was an avid patron of Richard Wagner and the castle’s paintings are mostly of the characters in the operas that he wrote.  We had a 35 minute guided tour of the rooms that were finished.  I remember the paintings of Tristan and Isolde and Lohegrin, the Swan opera.  The Swan was the heraldic symbol for Bavaria and there were over 100 swans in that room, even embroidered on the fabric of the couches.  All of handles of the doors were swans.  Schwan = swan.  When we went in we went up the stairs several times, and stopping at the second, fourth and fifth and last floor.  When we came down we came down even further and ended up in a basement tunnel, exiting much lower than we had started.   We started down the mountain to the car and were lucky enough to get a ride in the last horse drawn carriage departing for today.  We could probably have walked just as fast but we didn’t have to walk, thank God. 

On the way back to the hotel, we saw an ambulance just leaving the site of a wreck between a motorcycle and a car.  The motorcyclists over here think nothing of passing cars even when something is coming the other way.  You have to drive on the far right as they go around on the center line of the road.  It is pretty scary sometimes.  We also have to be aware of bicyclists who are numerous here.  When we got back we had a snack of Topfel Strudel which is a sweet cheese strudel.  We also stopped for drinks at the Shell and had those as well.  We actually got back before dark today.  We watched the Alpen glow on the mountains and then the almost full moon rise over the mountain.  Tomorrow we move on to Salzburg.
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Toni on

WOW...I am so glad you are having such a great time-- and it looks like you made a conquest. Be good now, Girlfriend..

Alex on

We are Americans living in France for the year and concur that motorcyclists live life on the edge here (in Europe). They constantly pass, mainly on the inside lane, with their foot in mid air between them and the vehicle they are passing. I just realized today the raised foot is intended to kick the vehicle they are passing if it should start to move toward the cyclist.
In the short time we have been here we have seen numerous people with casts on their arms and legs...I commented on this to my wife and she just stared at me like, "duh?!"... Accidents must be common.

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