Day 12: Disney?

With the stress of presentations finally over, we were able to fully enjoy a day in German culture and architectural marvel. We hopped on the bus, and like usual, I considered the travel part of our journey the time when I would get my final cycle of sleep.

I was promptly woken up when we arrived in a little, authentic Bavarian breakfast place. It was literally in the middle of nowhere, or so it seemed like, but attracted a lot of people! After all, it was started as a farmer’s way of making sausages and breakfast for his friends and neighbors, so it was in the middle of farmland. As a vegetarian, I didn’t enjoy the place too much. The pretzels were really good, but I couldn’t have anything else and the smell was getting to me. Jeff and I went outside to ventilate for a little bit and saw some coach buses with elderly people pulling up to the breakfast place. It made me think of the cultural significance of this place, since people were traveling to have breakfast here.

After that, we went to a little church called Wieskirche. It also seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, with vegetation and fauna surrounding it, but it was quite the sight. As I walked in, my breath was literally taken away. I remember pausing, because I didn’t know what I was seeing: the exterior was bland, but the interior was quite the opposite.

After walking around the church, we were finally headed to the Neuschwanstein Castle! It was the inspiration of the Disney castle and I was really excited to see the original thing. We got a little history recap from Dr. Feick on the bus, but I’ll go into that during the tour. When we were a few minutes away, the castle was visible and already looked really impressive.

So many pictures were taken, my Instagram feed was Not Ready. Accompanying the rich pictures, was the rich history. On the tour of the amazing interior (I couldn’t take pictures, sorry!), we learned all about King Ludwig. He was really religious, and a bit psychotic; he considered himself the Moon King, and wanted to make a lasting impression on the world. He did this through his castles, of which he constructed several. Neuschwanstein, however, was the largest and meant to be his main residential palace. This ate up all the family funds and caused his uncle to arrest him. Before a fair trail or resistance could be put up, he was murdered and found dead near a river. The castle itself would have taken several more decades to finish, but was incredibly impressive as was. And while it cost a lot to make, it’s produced enough revenue to more than compensate. This castle is the largest tourist attraction in Germany, and one of the top attractions in all of Europe. I was fascinated by the impact it had on the modern world (inspiration for Disney castle), and in turn the impact the modern world had on the castle (Disney popularizing Neuschwanstein). It truly is a blend of different cultures and times.

Now, I wouldn’t feel justified if I didn’t include some super basic touristy pictures of us, so here they are!

After visiting the site, we headed over to a little town on our way back. We didn’t have much time to explore, so Jeff and I decided to take part in our favorite pastime: eating ice cream!

The city was really cute and made of typical town-German architecture: bright colored buildings connected like town houses, and usually 3-4 stories high. It was really interesting to see how German architecture had some defining characteristics that spanned the country, or at least Bavaria. It wasn’t drastically different than America, but it was distinct enough that I was aware I was in a different country with a different history and style. I personally liked it, a lot.

For our last dinner, me and some of the girls went back to Dragone, the Italian place we went to on the second day. The food there was really good and Jess and I split the four cheese pizza and the four cheese pasta. We decided that wasn’t enough cheeses so we added Parm to make it 5 each! It was our last dinner and it was really good.

We decided to spend our final night out with the German students. It was a lot of fun and as we headed back really late, I grew really excited about tomorrow, which is where I’ll see you next! 🙂

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