Between our second and fourth days in Munich, we took a day trip out to the Bavarian Alps to see Linderhof Castle, the town of Oberammergau, and Neuschwanstein Castle.
We boarded our tour bus early in the morning -- and quickly realized we were some of the youngest people on our tour. Our tour guide was an old German lady with a bun and a thick German accent. Priceless.
We then headed out to the Alps.
Linderhof and Neuschwanstien castles were both built by "crazy" king Ludwig II who reigned in the 1800s.
Our first stop was Linderhof palace. This was Ludwig's secluded private palace that built in French style to resemble Versailles since he idolized French King Louis XIV. But in fact, a lot of us commented that it's more ornate than Versailles since Linderhof was built about 200 years later, so craftsman had made gains in technology.
The castle was very pretty and was in such beautiful landscape.
Our next stop, Oberammergau. Total tourist trap, famous mainly for the passion play, which runs for about 6 months, only every 10 years. Only locals born in town, or living there for 20 years can be part of the cast.
Oberammergau also had lots of building painted with scenes from fairy tales, which is pretty cool.
There were also tons of woodworking shops with coo coo clocks, Christmas scenes and ornaments. But everything was pretty pricey so we didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look.
Then it was time for the main tour attraction, Neuschwanstein Castle!
Neuschwanstein castle is often called one of the most beautiful castles in the world and it was the inspiration for the Cinderella castle that welcomes visitors to Disneyland.
First we enjoyed a hearty German meal in the town below Neuschwanstein.
Then got our tour tickets from our tour guide and walked the mile from the town up to the castle.
But when we got to the top, I didn't have the tickets! Sheer panic. They had fallen out of my pocket!
So with 45 minutes until out castle tour, I decided to run the mile down the hill to see if I could find the tickets.
And at the very bottom of the hill, what did I find? Our tickets! Just laying on the ground. I was so happy! Then I realized that I had to walk a mile back up the hill... not so happy...
But at the top of hill I did celebrate with a Hofbrau Beer. Why? Because it was cheaper than a bottle of water. I love Germany.
And we still had a few minutes to hang out outside of the castle before of our tour.
We took a tour of the inside of the castle (no pictures allowed), but the inside was was pretty cool. Ludwig was a pretty quirky, whacky guy. For one, he was obsessed with the composer Richard Wagner and dedicated many of the rooms of the castle to him (including a swan room and a cave room).
The views from the castle were also pretty incredible.
Overall our alps and castle tour was great. The only thing I'd change is I'd take a more age appropriate tour -- like Mike's Bike Tour. We did feel a bit like the kids on a seniors bus. But oh well, live and learn, right?
Next up? Venice, Italy!
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