Easter Sunday and the Schloss
Trip Start Mar 22, 2010
84Trip End Jun 10, 2010
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After getting tidied up after breakfast, Kat and Henning were taking us over to the lake Chiemsee (the Bavarian Sea as the locals call it), where we all got onto a boat which was to take us to a couple of islands on the lake
Defrosted bottoms, and hopped back onto land, at a little island called Herreninsel, where King Ludwig II built his most lavish palace in the late 1800s. We walked past the monastery and through the gardens for about 20 minutes until you come out on this huge promenade that looks up from the lake to a palace that is a replica of the Versailles Palace in France.
The island of Herreninsel in the Chiemsee is home to a fantastical palace spawned by Ludwig II’s warped imagination. Begun in 1878, it was never intended to be a residence, but a homage to absolute monarchy, as epitomised by Ludwig’s hero, the French Sun King, Louis XIV. Ludwig spent only 10 days here and even then was rarely seen, preferring to read all night and sleep all day.
The palace is both a knock off and an attempt to upstage Versailles, with larger and more lavishly decorated rooms. Ludwig managed to spend more money on this palace than his other 2 palaces of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof combined
The promenade has huge fountains with various scenes depicting fauna and fairy tale characters. We all wandered around the gardens and the outside of the palace, before Kat and Henning headed off for a coffee while Rach and I went on the tour. Our tour guide was a bit of straight laced comic character. Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take photos of the inside, and I doubt they would do justice to the over the top opulence. The rooms that were completed outdo each other for opulence, with vast frescos on the ceilings, gold everywhere, huge crystal and porcelain chandeliers. The Great Hall of Mirrors is 98 metres long (10 metres longer than Versailles) and the 7000 candles took 70 servants half and hour to light. Rach and I were cacking ourselves at just how over the top it was. A bedroom decked out in gold and red velvet as a tribute to Louis XIV, never intended to be slept in. He also had a dining room set up so the table could be lowered and set before being raised again. Only 2 problems, the whole operation took 30 minutes and the kitchen wasn’t built. Then there was the bathroom. More like a swimming pool. The ‘bath’ took 4 hours to fill and another 4 hours to heat. Wouldn’t want to be in a hurry. Meglomaniac nutter springs to mind, but in some ways, you have to warm to someone quite that mad……
After catching up with Kat and Henning we jumped on the ferry again to the island of Fraueninsel, the home of an 8th century abbey and some of the cutest houses. We walked around the island, bought some smoked fish for dinner (caught and smoked that morning by the guy who sold them to us)
A lovely evening was ahead of us - family dinner to start with, with Alois, Magdalena, Andreas, Kat, Henning, and us. Alois took quite a bit of pride in showing us weisswurst (white sausage) with sweet mustard, and beers. At one point, Henning asked for tomato sauce, and was very quickly told by all the Bavarians at the table to never ask that again in front of a Bavarian! It is sweet mustard, or nothing! The interesting thing about the weisswurst was that they were first boiled, then served, and you had to remove the skin before eating it. Alois wouldn’t tell us until we were half way through dinner that the casings were pigs intestines. I think he thought that would put us off… Nothing could put us off something that tasted that good!
After dinner we had a hilarious time with the kids, Kat, Henning and us tidying up. While Kat and I played grown ups, Henning, Seano and Andreas played tea towel flicky games, while Andreas tried to teach both Seano and Henning the German words for what they were doing! We had found out during dinner that Andreas’ English was really very good (he asked in English at the dinner table for Rach to pass the bread and butter) and he had been understanding a lot of our conversations up til then
We all went downstairs, and Kat, Andreas and I sat and looked over his English exam, which he was marked quite badly for. I had a hard time seeing why he went so badly - all his answers were fine from what I could see - I told him that I thought his teacher was just a big meanie!! His English would get him a long way in Australia, so we made him promise to come to Australia and stay with us! He is a keen diver, and asked about diving sites at home - he’s pretty keen to get to the Great Barrier Reef, but we told him about Port Stephens and fly point, and that we are surrounded by beautiful coastline. Down in the Chiemsee (the lake where we went today) Andreas does some of his diving, and there is a boat that they sunk specifically for diving, the door has a welcome sign on it, there is a restaurant, but best of al there is an underwater gnome garden!! Henning and Seano were both sound asleep on the lounge, after not getting to bed the night before until some ungodly hour, but Kat, Andi and I were happy looking at photos and chatting for ages!