Today we visited a castle built for king Ludwig in the 19th century. The rooms in the palace that had completed rooms were usually gilded and filled with bright images of Wagners work on the walls. Everything in the palace was ornately decorated. Much of the furniture had intricate carvings in the gothic style and sported bright fabrics in the king’s favorite color, royal blue. We learned on the tour that the king never wanted anyone else to set foot in the castle as he built it as his own special playground to live out his fantasies of being a character in one of Wagner’s pieces. This is ironic because the castle now gets a lot of visitors each year. I thought that the castle was beautiful, but it had a sad feeling to it in that Ludwig came here to be what he believed was a true version of himself. It was like he could not be his real self anywhere else.
After visiting the castle, we headed down to the nearby village of Fussen for lunch. We chose to eat at an Asian restaurant and enjoy the sunshine outside. I am always struck by how quiet many of the towns and cities in Germany are despite their massive population. After lunch, we went shopping and found a bakery that made fried cookie balls of all kinds of flavors. They tasted like a thin shortbread cookie covered in cinnamon and sugar. I have noticed that leisure time in Germany is so different than that in the U.S. The people here like to enjoy their meals and sit and talk to one another. Everything is less rushed and more relaxed.