The perfect follow up of our tour of an infamous WWII sight was to go to the place "Where dreams come true". No, we aren't talking about Disneyland people. We're talking about King Ludwig II of Bavaria's Fairy Tale Castles right outside of Fussen, Germany. These castles, specifically the Neuschwanstein Castle that Ludwig II had built for himself in the late 1800's were the inspiration for the Magic Kindgom Castles at some of the Disneyland Theme Parks.
So back then, when you won the national horseshoeing competition, or made it to your 50th birthday or something like that, you wouldn't respond to some journalist with a "I'm going to Disney World!!". You'd say the much more poetic, "Ich werde bis zum Schloss Neuschwanstein!!". . . and then you'd have to wait half an hour for the picture from the camera box to take.
Now don't freak out, that is in in km/hr and not MPH, but that still is 100 MPH. This was not irresponsible driving either. We were being left behind like we weren't even moving by a lot of cars. This was not our cruising speed (Scott and I both just got up to this to say we did) but 130-140 km/hr is more than normal.
When we started our drive we only had 100 km or so to make it to the castles, so if we were going 130 km/hr we were a bit confused as to why the nav system had us down for 2 hrs. Then we found out. This was our view for about 90 minutes of the drive. We went straight up two mountains. No more 160 for the C-Max. More like just 60.
At long last we reached our destination in the very southern most part of German on the western side of the country. We had excellent weather for the day and were looking forward to seeing if these castles could live up to the hype, as the have apparently assumed the mantle of the Muhammad Ali of Fairy Tale Land.
This castle is a bit smaller but I think I liked it more. It felt more homey and a lot of the bedrooms look like what you'd want to have in your kid's room when they are small. Unfortunately, the fine people in charge of this castle felt, in their infinite wisdom, that it was better to have all of us pay to go in but not be able to take out evidence that we were there. So no pictures. But fear not, dear readers, for I circumvented the rules for the next one. See what I do for you guys?
This is an ok view but the shots coming up are from even higher up the mountain (so more climbing/yodeling for us).
This is the Throne Room of the castle. It is done up in Byzantine style (Eastern Europe), and that is a picture of Christ and below him six patron saints of Europe. There never was a throne put in because Ludwig II died at 41 in the 1880's. Only one third of the rooms in the castle are completed because construction stopped after his death. Whereas the other castle was homey, this one was designed strictly to impress. Everything was intended to be done on a grand scale. . .and they succeeded.
Before I let you go though, you're lucky enough to be reading the post containing Classic Kenny Moment #3. So gather around kids, it's story time:
Scott's favorite time of year is Christmas. And I don't mean he likes to watch Frosty on TV and drink a lot of eggnog. I mean when he was 3 he essentially Mr. Miyagi'd all of us other kids to ensure that he had the lifetime title of Santa Claus when presents were handed out It's what he does, and it's been like that ever since.
Well, when he travels, he likes to buy Christmas ornaments for the 4 or 5 Christmas trees he puts up in his house every year, and he found a perfect little one of the castle in the souvenir shop on site. Now we are doing a lot of traveling and as you know most ornaments are not made of cast iron, so there was a considerable amount of concern as to whether the ornament he purchased would make the entire trip in one piece.
Being the great older brother that I am, and knowing how important these things are to Scott, I decided to test the tensile strength of said ornament. The following conversation ensued:
Scott: Hey look at this one.
Kenny: Cool. What's it made of?
Kenny: Is it sturdy (Kenny grasps ornament with pointer and thumb and pushes fingers in opposite directions to test it's worthiness)?
German dude who runs souvenir stand: Guttentag. That will be 3 Euro's please.
How it is possible that after 20 some years living under the same roof that this guy and I have failed Brotherly Communication 101 is beyond me, but I've now learned the when he says the word "Wood" what he really means is "Communion Wafer".
Here's the shot of my new Christmas ornament after I completed my own artistic adjustments. Hard to see, but this thing should be about twice as high as it is right now.