Now that our company visits are over, we took a touristy day and visited a few towns and the Neuschwanstein Castle. The first thing we did, and my only complaint about the day, was go to the castle by bus with no air conditioning. Because it was the hottest day of our trip so far, we were all a little uncomfortable. But when we got to Schwangau and stood by a beautiful lake overlooked by the castle that was forgotten. We walked up to the castle, and got a quick 20 minute tour of its elaborately decorated rooms. My favorite part was trying to find all the swans, because the family of King Ludwig II really liked swans, so they are everywhere. I was shocked at how well-maintained the castle was, in my mind all castles were ruins, but this certainly was not.
After the castle, we went to two more touristy small towns on the way home and we able to walk around, get gelato, and buy souvenirs. Unfortunately the donut shop at the second town was closed, but we got to see a really cool church and a beautiful view there so it was still worth it.
I really enjoyed being able to visit these tourist hotspots today in Bavaria. It was interesting to me to see the transition of people from German citizens to tourists. While Augsburg is a college town and therefor has plenty of typical German people walking around, mixed with some tourists, some of the places that we have visited on our touristy days were much different. At some towns like the ones we visited today it almost seemed as if everyone on the street was a tourist, all with their backpacks and snapping photos of the picturesque town. Because of this I’m still glad we are staying in a place like Augsburg, and can interact with people who know the country and grew up with its culture. And, I’m looking forward to hearing more from them at the presentations tomorrow!