Making the most of PC’s new (unfortunately early) freedom, the three of us spent the last couple days on some fun day trips.
1. Innsbruck, Austria
Trevor lived here for 3 months back when he was a young whippersnapper moving as far as possible from the mines in Broken Hill, Australia. We made a quick stop in Kolsass, a small town just outside Innsbruck. Trevor did some of his first skiing here, and also climbed Hundskopf (dog’s head) mountain. You can see hundskopf in the photo below.
We continued on to Innsbruck walking through the Ostermarkt, enjoying the charm of an old town nestled amongst picturesque mountains.
We grabbed some delicious and beautiful gelato.
We took a scenic route homeward. We rounded expansive lakes, and zoomed by little Tyrolean villages…only to be held up by some adventurous piggies crossing the road.
2. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Yesterday we ventured out to the fairy tale castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
First, we made a quick stop near the highest point in Germany-Zugspitze. Quick note: PC and Trevor changed out our winter tires for summer ones, so you can see the Mini lookin’ fine with her summer bod.
So how about a little background on Neuschwanstein…
After ascending the Bavarian throne, King Ludwig II set about building this beautiful castle in 1869. An ardent admirer of Wagner, Ludwig decorated many of the rooms with elaborate depictions of Wagner’s famous operas like Tristan and Isolde. However, he was a bit of a loner, and clearly had no qualms about spending great sums of the Bavarian purse. This made him a rather undesirable king.
Mysteriously in 1886, on the same day that King Ludwig II is declared insane, he is found drowned in Lake Starnberg. Oddly enough, his brother also died under mysterious circumstances leaving the way clear for his uncle to ascend the throne. Sketchy.
Ludwig died a bachelor at age 40 leaving an unfinished Neuschwanstein castle. Not to miss a money-making opportunity, the castle was opened up for tourists immediately following Ludwig’s demise. By the way, knowing almost nothing about Ludwig apart from the fact that he was a lonely dreamer who built a fairy tale castle and filled it with scenes from musical theatre and died a bachelor at 40….c’mon he had to be gay, right?
The castle is strange and beautiful. It becomes even stranger when you place it in historical context. So let’s do that. Construction begins in 1869…
The American Civil War has been over for four years
The Californian and Australian gold rushes have come and gone
The UC system in California is created
Typewriters, traffic lights, and telephones are invented during the castle’s construction (Ludwig had a phone put into the castle)
The German nation state is created laying the foundations for WWI
Last night, was a nostalgic one for Trevor as we dined at the Hofbrauhaus with Denis and Florian. After years of bringing tour groups here for one too many Maß, I think Trevor still enjoyed the atmosphere and the many rounds of Ein Prosit (traditional drinking song).
For those who want to study up on the lyrics:
” Ein Prosit”
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
OANS ZWOA DREI! G’SUFFA!