Just Me and My Castle (Tuesday, May 16)

Today was the one of the most touristy days of the whole trip. We took a bus about two hours south to see Schloss Neuschwanstein. This is Neuschwanstein Castle, which was built for Ludwig II of Bavaria as an escape from his kingly duties. Ludwig was pretty crazy and the grandiose style of the castle portrayed all of his obsessions. He happened to be obsessed with swans, as there were swans everywhere throughout the castle. There was even a cave with a waterfall casually inside the castle. Despite the castle’s beauty, the tour was lame because it was really short and it seemed like they were just trying to get as many people through the castle as fast as possible. Although we were not allowed to take pictures inside the castle, we took a short hike to a bridge across the valley to take beautiful pictures of the castle itself. This was the featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Seeing the castle in its incomplete glory (as only about 15 of the intended 200 rooms were complete), it solidified my dream of one day owning a castle and inviting my friends over to my castle and being able to say, “I have a castle.”

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We departed the castle for another small town called Fuessen, where we had a traditional Bavarian lunch at Herzl am Rathaus. My lunch consisted of pork and bacon and potatoes (as seen below), and it tasted as good as it looked. After lunch, we had some free time in this quaint town and I had time to get gelato, a pretzel, and then some more gelato. That might have been the worst pretzel I had all trip, but it was still quite enjoyable. After me talking about pretzels in all these blogs, you might be wondering what makes these Bavarian pretzels so good. Well, they are just different, but in a good way. They are often much harder than the soft pretzels we all know and love, and usually have a lot more salt. But the best part was that they were usually sliced in half and buttered. The butter really enhanced the taste.

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On our way back to Augsburg through the scenic Bavarian countryside, we stopped at Wieskirche, which is The Pilgrimage Church of Wies that was designed in the late 1740s. This church was beautiful on the inside with all the artwork and sculptures. It was tucked away in an open field where you can see the beautiful Alps all around. Driving through southern Bavaria, I noticed lots of churches like this that were in the middle of nowhere and must have been beautiful on the inside. I also noticed that an abundance of houses had solar panels on the roofs, and that was mildly surprising, but also logical. Surprising because the countryside seems very low-tech for solar panels to be everywhere but logical because they were all out in the sun with no tree cover so that it would be very economical.

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