On Tuesday, I boarded a bus at 8 30am in order to visit some of the most famous countryside outside of Munich. About an hour and fifteen minute drive got us to our first stop, Linderhof Palace. Linderhof is the only building which was completed during Ludwig’s lifetime out of his many royal residences. I opted not to pay an extra 20 Euros to go inside the two that we were visited, preferring instead to explore the gardens and outdoors around them. At Linderhof, I walked all over the main garden area which featured lovely flowers and fountains. On the half hour, all of the fountains stopped operating except the main fountain in the center of the courtyard which then shot way high into the air for 3 or 4 minutes. When it stopped, all of the other fountains started working again; that’s how much water pressure was needed by the main fountain. I also walked a bit to get to the Moorish Kiosk, a meeting point and party place for Ludwig a little away from the palace. Moorish styling appealed to Ludwig so he had the outside built with an impressive gold dome and the inside brightly decorated with Moorish design, including an impressive multi colored chandelier. We only had one hour to explore Linderhof so I was soon back on the bus headed to Ommeragau, a small artsy typical Bavarian village. One thing that made it typical was the paintings on the buildings of local life or religious scenes. Ommeragau was also the home of Passion Plays, a religious theatrical performance which became popular all over Germany. We only had about 45 minutes to explore the village which had a large number of souvenir shops and wood carving shops – the other thing that the building is well known for. I decided on a really pretty small painted wood box as a souvenir of my day trip there.
I ate peanut butter and jelly and ate chips and an apple on our way to our next stop, Hobnermagau. The bus dropped us off and we had 3 and a half hours to explore. I opted to hike the half an hour up the path to Schloss Neuschwanstein, King Ludwig’s famous fairy tale castle and an inspiration to Disney. Unfortunately they were redoing one side of the building, so that didn’t look so good. I continued walking to the St. Mary’s Bridge though, and the view looking back towards the castle from there was extraordinary. The bridge was built over a small waterfall and was absolutely packed with tourists trying to get a good picture of the castle. But fortunately for me, the best view was not to be found from the bridge but rather on the hike I took up the mountain across from the palace. I hiked past the bridge for about 45 minutes in a serene forrest until I reached the top – the vantage point that postcard photographers use for the palace. It was so nice to escape the crazy crowds around the place and I never would have time to make that hike if I had decided to go in to the castle. I stayed at the top taking in view of the castle, the valley, and the lakes for a while before hiking back down to the village. In the village, I stopped into souvenir shops, but since it is such an over rated tourist stop, everything was super expensive! I walked down to the lake and I got to see two full grown swans and four baby swans up close, which were adorable.
I still had a little bit of time left so I stopped into the Beer Garden and got a light beer. Then, I stole the mug as a souvenir and headed back to the bus. Some people were 20 minutes late to the bus (um leave them?!) and the drive back to Munich took 2 hours so we didn’t get back until almost 7, at which point I was pretty hungry. I walked to the Augustine Keller Beer Garden by the train station and got a currywurst and an apple beer… NOM! When I got back to Sabrina’s I ate some lettuce and peaches just to balance out the unhealthiness of the currywurst with fries and beer. I also stole the mug from there so now I have two awesome genuine German beer mugs. Now I am on an express bus (if 5 hours can be considered express) to Prague for 3 days. It was pouring rain when we left Munich but has cleared up ever since.