Neuschwanstein, Germany

Looking through some travel books in a bookshop we set eyes on the cover of Germany. It was a picture of a castle, which I thought was that of Disneyworld, and wondered why Euro Disney would be on the cover of the travel book for Germany and not the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin or something. Upon flipping the book we realized this was a real castle in Bavaria and set our course. We drove up to Neuschwanstein via Munich. We truly loved driving through Bavaria, especially in the springtime with all the flowers in full blossom. The mountain air was crisp and fresh and the included hotel breakfast was extensive and sausage filled. Not the standard continental breakfast these places had hash, bacon, eggs, varieties of breads, and assortment of jams, coffee, juices, everything one would need to go Alpine climbing in the dead of winter. We were just going sightseeing! I was so inspired by the whole genuine Sound of Music experience we even went lederhosen shopping when we hit a very quaint Bavarian village en route to the castle. We both thought places such as these no longer existed in reality.


The Boyos in front of the Father's Castle- Hohenschwangau Castle.

After acquiring the appropriate attire for this journey we headed back on the road and after some mountainous driving arrived at Schwansee, or Swan Lake, swans having been the royal symbol for this kingdom. We stopped at a picturesque riverbed covered in white stones. We got out of the car and climbed down to the water for some family photos when all of a sudden while I was setting up the camera timer and getting ready to rush into the frame I noticed these huge spiders popping in and out from under the rocks. I scooped up the boyos and made a mad dash for the car, Lucy leading the way. Fortunately no one got bitten, none were in Blessu or Shuie’s fur and we managed to snap a few shots before they came out. Moving on we found an even better spot on the lake, this one just on some good clean grass. We arrived at the end of Swan Lake and found a pristine beach for bathing in the chilled blue mountain water and drying off in the sun. After that we continued uphill to arriving at the national preserve for the castle area. We parked the car and began our hike. The first castle, Hohenschwangau, was a well-proportioned edifice that one would not think belonged to the father of the larger “Sleeping Beauty” castle. Unfortunately I had misread the rules of entering the museum and as is stereotypical of Germans they adhered to the rules unwaveringly about not allowing the boyos into the museum.


Lucky Boyos, they sit back while the Clydesdales do all the work up to Neuschwanstein.

The Boyos in front of the Son's Castle (ie Sleeping Beauty Castle), Neuschwanstein Castle.

Fortunately Bavarians love dogs and everywhere we went heads would turn and say, “something-hound” in German and stop to greet the boyos mouths agape. This came in handy as, although they could not let us in, the souvenir shopkeeper volunteered to baby-sit them while we had a quick look around. Believe you me we do not leave our babies with complete stranger but we felt confident in this arrangement and fortunately the boyos were zipped up in their stroller at this point and wouldn’t be a bother to the kind lady. Upon our return we thanked the lady profusely and she said it was her pleasure and they were very well behaved, in fact, they simply took a nap or as I call it went on stand by. Heading back towards the visitors center we grabbed a carriage ride pulled by two noble Clydesdales up to the higher and further Neuschwanstein castle. This was a site to see. It was an enormous structure that for all its fairy tale attributes was quite intimidating. We had the same issue at this museum and took turns entering. It was quite a splendid interior full of the unexpected. Mythology coming alive and craftsmanship like you have never seen. Breathtaking views and mind-blowing extravagance made it none too surprising that this king was assassinated shortly after construction.


The family goes lederhosen shopping in a cute little Bavarian Town.

After our tours we descended back to our car at an exceedingly leisurely pace releasing the hounds from time to time so they could run around. We drove around afterward looking for a place to have dinner. We found an unobtrusive ski lodge and they were so nice they just let us enter with the boyos. We essentially ordered a king’s banquet complete with schnitzel, potato pancakes, and apple strudel. Spontaneously a band came in and started playing some folk music and, before you knew it, everyone in the dining hall was polkaing including ourselves. A merry time was had by all, especially the boyos, who never would have dreamed of such an assortment of sausage; making them very happy chappys! Being so nearby we decided to continue northward to Stuttgart to have a look around but, nice as it was, there was no doubting we were back in modern industrial Germany.

Worst part: getting lost at night in the- middle-of-nowhere, Germany. Best part: Kind strangers letting us into their home to give us directions (and their own road map!) and seeing an authentic German household in all its old world glory (very much like the scene from "National Lampoons!"

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