Castles, Churches, and Cows

May 16th: White sausages, beautiful churches, a real-life Cinderella’s Castle….Germany is just pulling out all the stops.

Today we started out with a breakfast that was a little bit different than the hotel’s usual Nutella and croissants. We had our breakfast today at a restaurant called Baindlkirch, which was, as we were informed, a “traditional German breakfast”. When we first arrived they threw down on our table a metal bucket filled with water and sausages tied together. No German meal (even breakfast apparently) is complete without pretzels too! I had already eaten some of the veil sausages with sweet mustard at a different restaurant, so I somewhat knew what to expect, but it was still a big shift from what I usually eat.

Bavarian breakfast

What was really interesting about the restaurant was that it was a traditional meal with the entire room filled with locals, we stood out as the only tourists. The place was far off the beaten path, so I felt very authentic to go somewhere that locals make the trip to going to as well.

After our Bavarian breakfast, we headed back on the bus to visit another church, Wieskirche. This was by far the most stunning churches I had seen in Germany (probably in my life). The golden accents and the massive painting on the ceiling was something I couldn’t stop looking at.

Inside Wieskirche

After our visit inside we walked around on the grounds surrounding the church, which was actually a farm with a few cows on it. Seeing all the wide stretches of land with the farm animals made me feel reminded of home, which was a really nice feeling in Germany since most of the time I felt like I was somewhere completely foreign.

The cow farm behind the church

Our next stop for Neuschwanstein Castle, which I was told by the German students is one of the top places tourists go to visit in Germany. Although this visit was not a favorite by most of the other students, this visit blew me away. I have gone to Disney a few times with my parents, but being in the castle that Cinderella’s castle was modeled after was an unreal experience. When we arrived inside, we were informed that we were not allowed to take any photos, so the only two photos I had inside were taken before I realized. Neuschwanstein Castle was built for Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was also nicknamed the Swan King. Although this was a massive and elegant castle to house royalty and servants, hardly anyone ever lived in it. The castle was actually only lived in for around 160 days until Ludwig died under mysterious circumstances. After his death, the family turned the castle into a museum, so it was hardly ever lived in. The tour did not take us to as many rooms as we hoped, but one of the craziest things we were able to see was a secret door inside Ludwig’s bedroom that leads to an indoor cave…like a stalagmite and stalactite type of cave. What he wanted with an indoor cave I have no idea, but it was definitely an indicator of the type of wealth the family had. The last room we visited was the music room, which had giant chandeliers in the shape of a crown. One of the best parts of the tour was just making jokes and having fun with our group; I feel I’ve really started to make a connection with a majority of the people on the trip, even the ones who I wasn’t expecting to.

Overall, today has been a really good day full of surprises I wasn’t expecting. The castle and the church were incredibly beautiful and I don’t think I could have taken any more pictures. After how much fun I had with the group today, it will be really hard to leave Germany and the group after the close connections we have made. It is really a shame how close I feel with the group after these two weeks because now I know it will be a lot harder to see them all in the future.

Views of Neuschwanstein Castle from the bridge

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