We have had a few days where internet has been scarce, so our blog is very behind! We are catching up, slowly. To all who have been concerned, we are just fine and enjoying ourselves.
After Munich we went down to Fussen, a small town to the south, about 20 minutes from Austria. There we had our first views of The Alps.
We walked around the small, windy cobblestone street of the old town, snooped around old castles and monasteries and thought "Yes, we are in Europe." It was quaint and beautiful.
The next day we rented bikes and pedalled through a foggy morning to some of the most famous castles in the world. The first one we saw is called Hohenschwangau, which means Castle of the Swan. It was re-built on the ruins of a castle that had been destroyed by Napoleon. The rebuilt castle is relatively new, built in the 1800's, and became the summer home of the German royal family. It is still owned by the royal family.
The most famous resident was King Ludwig II, who grew up here. He had bigger dreams though, and was heavily influenced by the romantic medievalism that is found throughout this castle. (Sadly we couldn't take any pictures.)
The fog burned off and we could see our next castle.
Mad King Ludwig wanted a castle to fulfill his wildest dreams. He designed and built Neuschwanstein Castle, just a 20 minute climb from Hohenschwangau. Neuschwanstein was never finished, due to Ludwigs mysterious death. He lived in it for less than a year.
Recognize the castle? It was the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle.
What I found most intriguing about this castle, is that it was built for and dedicated to Wagner, the famous composer. Ludwig and him were very close friends. Every room's decor is based on one of Wagner's operas, complete with a grotto, or fabricated indoor cave.
The Castle is beautiful, too idealistic. The German people were naturally curious about what the King was constructing, so within a few months after his death it was opened to the public.
We had huffed our bikes up to the top castle, and got to zoom by everyone on our way down. That was extremely satisfying :).