Swiss Alps–German style, I’ll throw in the castle

Neuschwanstein, Germany
I was uber excited for today’s trip with Megan.  We were leaving the base at 1 am to head to Neuschwanstein to see the world’s most famous castle.  We were also going to see another one of Mad King Ludwig’s palaces, Linderhof Castle.  All in all, it was going to be a 20-hour round-trip on a bus full of Americans.
We American’s really are a peculiar bunch.  For the most part I was sleeping on the bus, but for those moments I was awake, I’d hear weird things.  The best had to be the ladies across the aisle from us.  When we got down into the Bavarian region of Germany we finally saw the Alps.  Maybe it isn’t commonsense, but I thought everyone knew that the Alps were a mountain range that spanned countries.  The ladies talked for quite awhile on how neat looking the Swiss Alps were.  I asked Megan if we should let them know they’re only known as the Swiss Alps in Switzerland.  She thought it best to let them go on being naive.   Then there was the woman who complained when we stopped at a quaint restaurant for breakfast, why we couldn’t go to someplace with fast food, like McDonalds.  Seriously?!?  This place had a breakfast buffet.  It doesn’t get more fast food than that.  You grab a plate, stick some food on it, and you’re good to go.  I love my country, but sometimes I think I need to start seeing other people.
At our arrival, we had a few hours to spend at Neuschwanstein.  We opted to take the hike up to the castle, rather than a carriage ride to the top.  We stopped at a couple of the lookouts to take in the view and take advantage of the photo op.  We took the tour and I was surprised to learn that the castle was never completed after Ludwig II was declared insane.  To be honest, I didn’t know much about the castle, other than where it was, what it was called and that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disney World was modeled after it.  I was also surprised that you weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.
Now, in addition to American’s being peculiar, let’s talk about people who choose not to follow rules.  Everyone had an audio guide in their respective language for the tour.  They repeat in the beginning that you cannot take pictures inside.  I would say that half of the people taking tours were not shy in taking pictures, flash and all.  Our tour guide was getting pretty pissy and kept telling them no.  One person even took a picture of her telling another person to stop taking picture.  In my country’s defense, these tourists were not American.  I don’t understand people.
After Neuschwanstein, we headed 2 hours further into Bavaria to Linderhoff Castle.  I had learned a great deal about “Mad” King Ludwig II.  He was declared insane and shortly after, he and the doctor that declared him were found drowned in a lake.  I heard the rumours that people thought him to be gay and possibly with the shrink he died with.  All I can say is this, after touring Linderhoff, I say he was.  I know of no strait man who would have rooms covered in wall-to-wall tapestries, a hall of mirrors and a golden swan boat to row him across a Venus Grotto.  Maybe I’m wrong, but if you find a strait guy that would do that, let me know and I’ll eat my own words.
Linderhoff was under construction when we were there.  They had a wall up with a mural of what it will look like when done.  The gardens were untouched though.  It’s a gorgeous place, and even with the wall up, you can tell that Versailles was its inspiration.
We left Linderhoff and hopped on the bus for a 10-hour ride back.  When I fell asleep, the women were talking about the Swiss Alps.
Moral of the Story:  Take geography 101.  Read a guide book.  Follow the rules.  It’s simple folks.

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Filed under Europe '04

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