Not only was today Memorial Day in the US, it was also a holiday in Germany (Pentecost). We decided to play the tourist card once again and traveled 2 hours in opposite directions to see some of the sights in Bavaria (the state that Munich is in). A group of 9 traveled southwest from Munich to Neuschwanstein (New Swan Stone) Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.
The picture isn’t exactly how you normally see it because of the shrouds and scaffolding on the portion to the right. Even though the larger castle is only about 130 years old, some of the blocks have begun to crumble and are in need of repair. All of the walls, including ceilings, were covered in beautiful murals and the common rooms were decorated with large gold, silver, and jeweled presents given to Ludwig II. Unfortunately, he only lived in it about 170 days before he was overthrown in 1886. Because of this, around two-thirds of the rooms in the castle remain unfinished and are not open to the public.
The other castle was the home to Ludwig’s parents and has several rooms on the king and queen’s floors open for touring. Again, the walls were covered in extremely detailed murals and the halls were adorned with lavish jewels and accessories.
After the tours of the castles, we hit up several of the souvenir shops for some much needed shopping time!! Next we headed out of town and into Austria to drive around the back of the mountains that we saw on the drive in and to see the back side of German’s tallest mountain: Zugspitze elevation – 2,962 meters (9,700 ft).
We stopped for dinner in Oberammergau where there is a giant presentation of the Passion Play every 10 years. We didn’t see the stage, but we saw many stores with many different renditions of the Nativity, angels, and various other Christmas characters.
We did a little more driving around to find the ski jump stadium for the 1936 Winter Olympics, the Allianz Arena (where most of the Munich futbol teams play their matches), and the 1972 Summer Olympics Stadium and Village. We even saw the world HQ for BMW and Mercedes!
-Jenn & Josh
The other group headed to the Eagle’s Nest (also known as Kehlsteinhaus) in Obersalzberg. This infamous historical site served as a retreat for Adolf Hitler and a place to entertain visiting dignitaries. Located on the Kehlstein mountain (over 6,000 feet high), the group began the journey by hopping on a bus that took us to the base of the Eagles Nest. Next the group took an elevator bored straight through the mountain to the inside of the Eagles Nest. Upon reached the top those brave enough climbed to the highest peak of the mountain (well worth it for those with ice in their veins) the view was unbelievable! I might add that if you took a wrong step in certain places, you would not fair off well (there were not any guard rails to protect you from falling to your death!) After taking some great photos, scaling rocks and doing some spelunking under the snow, we headed back down the mountain to grab some schnitzel.