Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spring Trip: Bavaria

Germany was the second last stop on our Spring Trip, where we spent three days in Munich before heading off to Switzerland.


I wish I had more photos to share but by this stage of the trip (after such big days in Italy and given I was 6.5 months pregnant) I was absolutely knackered. I had to be put to bed each afternoon with the toddler which seriously cut into my sightseeing. However it didn't stop me eating my own weight in pretzels, sausages and schnitzels.


The first morning we hit the English Gardens in the centre of Munich. These massive, beautifully maintained gardens have playgrounds, music, places to eat, running/riding tracks and, my personal favourite, nude sunbathers.


Do you know how hard it was not to take photos? So, so difficult.

Loudest whispers in the world: what you hear when your two eldest children suddenly realise they are walking amongst nude sunbathers.


We also found this rather cool permanent standing wave in the Gardens, complete with (fully clothed) surfers strutting their moves.


The next day we visited the Deutsches Museum, which I thoroughly recommend. I loved the photography and textile sections while the kids rated the toy, aircraft and watercraft sections as well as the special kids area.


On our way from Munich to Switzerland we stopped off at the very famous Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles near F├╝ssen.

Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle was King Ludwig II's childhood home (while his dad, Maximilian II was ruler). Neuschwanstein Castle was the fantasy palace Ludwig built himself within spitting distance of Hohenschwangau when he became king.

Neuschwanstein Castle (the inspiration for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty's Palace) in the distance.

Unfortunately we missed the last tour of Neuschwanstein, but we did take the half hour tour through his boyhood home, which was as amazing as you would expect a castle to be.


Hohenschwangau is still privately owned by descendants of Ludwig II, and photography is prohibited within.


However there was still plenty of castle goodness to photograph around the grounds.


King Ludwig II's life story is a very interesting read. He blew Bavaria's budget on new castles, was sacked as a result (by reason of insanity) and then drowned mysteriously with his doctor several days after his deposition. Hmm, very odd indeed.


If you get the chance, don't hesitate to visit Bavaria. The beer is cold, the countryside is spectacular and the sunbathers are nude. I ask you, what more is there to life?


Pene said...

Oh you missed a treat. I can still remember visiting Schloss Neuschwanstein as a child it made a lasting impression, a true fairytale castle. We also visited another of his castles that I think was Lindenhof? I think he built 6 altogether but I could be wrong after all that was along time ago lol.
Listen at 6.5mths you should be putting your feet up not gadding round Europe, but I'm just jealous..
big hugs Pene x

Lauren said...

I visited Neuschwanstein 31 years ago(!!!). At the time, I was on a Top Deck tour in January and, like many other attractions in smaller towns, the castle was closed for winter. However, we walked up the hill and stood outside. The castle remains a vivid memory despite the passage of time, but I'll make sure it's open the next time I visit, hopefully in a year or two.

Karla said...

Oh my gosh! this is amazing! Germany definitely is one of my top destinations. I will make sure I see the places you just noted here.

The surfing there.. super cool! love it!

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Hi Karla, I couldn't find an email for you on your site/profile to contact you, but I wanted to say thanks for dropping by. If you visit these spots I promise you won't be disappointed!

Eva said...

J. and I went to Bavaria on our first vacation together. We also visited the Deutsches Museum (I loved it there, too! There's so many cool things to see and learn there!) and castles Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. We were walking along the suspension bridge with the breathtaking view and I fought my vertigo to take pictures, only to realize later that there wasn't any film in my camera! :-D You can imagine the teasing after that ... :-P Thank god for digital!!

I'm beginning to forget how different Germany is from Finland. Nude sunbathing ... Unthinkable here!

Anonymous said...

Nice! Love the castles and the surfers, but I really loved the giant legos (is that the kid in me?). Makes me want to go and visit ....

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