Today, we had a much earlier departure from the hotel. We left at about 7:30 to embark on a sightseeing day at Neuschwanstein, a castle built by King Ludwig II. I sat with Stephen on the bus, and we had lots of stimulating conversation throughout the day. We spent a lot of time talking about sports, specifically baseball. Next, we discussed churches and fellowship groups on campus. It was really neat to talk to him about his fellowship group because the Christian groups at Pitt don’t really do much to gather together. I don’t really know much about the other groups on campus, so I took this conversation as an opportunity to get to know more about Reformed University Fellowship, the group that Stephen is a part of.
Upon arriving at Neuschwanstein, we all hiked up the 15-20 minute path to the castle only to realize we were about an hour early for our tour. Instead, we went up to the bridge that overlooks the castle to admire the view and take lots of pictures. Today was a fantastic day for picture taking, and I utilized it to take some beautiful pictures of the castle and the wonderful landscape behind it. The castle is located right at the base of the Alps, which makes the landscape even more beautiful to look at. The castle tour itself was only about 30 minutes, but it highlighted some really cool information, such as the fact that the castle had running water, electric lights, and a telephone. There was even a fake cave in one of the rooms, which looked like it was made of real rocks. I wish I had been given more time to tour the castle at my own pace, because I felt a little rushed, and I think I could have gotten more out of the tour if I had been allowed to take my time.
After our brief castle tour, we traveled to the nearby town of Füssen for lunch. We were allotted about 20 minutes after lunch to walk around Füssen, get ice cream, and look for souvenirs before leaving. I almost bought a small music box from a little shop there, but I decided against shelling out €9 for such a small trinket. On our way back to Augsburg, we made a stop at Wieskirche, a historic church that has been the subject of many pilgrimages. Visitors to the church were asked to be silent out of respect for the people making pilgrimages, so the atmosphere was both full of awe and a bit eerie. There was also a small donut shop next to the church, where visitors could purchase wonderful Bavarian donuts.
Once we got back to the hotel, some people napped while others (including myself) worked on our trip blogs. This lasted for about two hours before we decided to head out for dinner. A decent-sized group went out into Augsburg, and most of us ended up eating some form of döner, a lamb meal that typically comes in the form of a wrap or sandwich. After dinner, Eric, Kayla, Grant, and I played cards for a while, which has also become fairly typical on this trip.