Ice Creams and Castles

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.

A Puppy's Profile
One of Trevor's Old Haunts

We continued on to Innsbruck walking through the Ostermarkt, enjoying the charm of an old town nestled amongst picturesque mountains.

Enjoying the City

We grabbed some delicious and beautiful gelato.

See they're Flowers

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.

These cuties caused a small yet hilarious traffic jam

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.

Neuschwanstein castle was built just up the mountain from King Ludwig’s childhood home- Hohenschwangau Castle.  We didn’t tour this castle, but we snapped a quick photo as we marched past it.

Hohenschwangau

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

A Beautiful Day

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
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit.

OANS ZWOA DREI! G’SUFFA!

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5 thoughts on “Ice Creams and Castles

  1. why do you have the most fun adventures? I want to see wild aminals!
    also, King Ludwig is def gay. several tour guides alluded to this. Wagner was known to be a “special friend” of Ludwig. Also, his favorite animal was the swan…..
    you must check out Schloss Linderhof before you leave! It’s gorgeous and Ludwig actually spent time there, unlike Neuschwanstein.

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