We arrived at Munich in the afternoon. Munich met us with a snow which was a little "oops" because it was not in our plans to spend a week almost outdoor with not so nice weather. Well, we have nothing to do except to move on. So after picking up a rent car we booked in advance we left Munich airport and went to Munich. When we reached the city border another surprise came to me - I realized that I have no Munich map. I had two or three german and bavarian road maps but no single Munich one except small piece of Munich center. Luckily, the road lead us exactly to the place we needed (city center) so it was not a problem to find our hotel which was located not far from the heart of the city - nearby Karl's Gate.
Having spent about 1.5 hours walking in the evening at cold weather we decided to have a dinner and leave all sightseeings for the last day when we will have full day for it.
We left our Hotel Italia and fun began. The weather improved dramatically so it was now warm and shiny. Good sign though.
A few hours of drive by very good as all german highways we arrived to Regensburg. It appeared to be small and cozy town with nice river and some nice places to see among which goes The Dom - cathedral whose spiles are seen from almost any part of the town.
Spending a little of time in Regensburg we moved on to Nurnberg. We knew that it is famous of its Nazy historic moments but could sound crazy we didn't have any intension to look for and see any of those. In addition we arrived at the evening time so all museums were either closed or just on their way to it. Anyway we spent our time with walks and talks, and small shopping tour.
Well, it's time to go to hotel. I've asked a taxi driver how to get to the hotel by calling a streetname, she gave quite comprehensive explanation and we drove. 10-15 mins past we realized that we are not on our track any more and have to go back and try one more time. Hm, how did we get here? Should we turn left, right and go straight on next cross-roads? Good puzzle. We lost. No city map. It's late evening. Ok, let's find someone to guide us again. Driving, driving, stop. Look. We are on the street we need. Hurray! 2 more minutes - here is our hotel. We're very lucky this day, aren't we? :) The same as day before :)
Rothenburg ab der Tauber - I called it a fairy-tale town. It has long history, it is located on the hill surrounded with forests from 3 sides. It keeps old and so beautiful architecture, spirit and his history. Small, all-like-one at one hand and each one itself amazing from another hand houses, narrow streets and old craft shops. We didn't want to leave but we had to.
Now we're moving to south to Bavarian Alps - I was waiting for this part of our trip most of all :)
We spent a night in Fussen. Next morning we went to Schwangau where one the most famous and popular castle of Germany, Europe and World is located - Neuschwanstein Castle. Many books have been written about it, many pictures taken and many movies recorded. We simply couldn't miss it. Besides, just opposite this one there is another castle called Hohenschwangau Castle so two castles at one place to visit is worth going.
Approaching the place Neuschwanstein appears on the hill surrounded by mountains and trees. It looks amazing already now. We're coming. We parked the car and had a short walk. We bought guided tour tickets for both castles - Hohenschwangau goes first.
From the history, it was the childhood residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was built by his father, King Maximilian II of Bavaria. It is located in the German village of Schwangau near the town of Füssen, part of the county of Ostallgäu in southwestern Bavaria, very close to the border with Austria.
Very interesting tour so looking forward to next one which is going to be even more exciting.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is located near Ludwig's childhood residence Hohenschwangau Castle, an older structure restored by Ludwig's father, Maximilian II of Bavaria. After Ludwig's mysterious death in 1886, the castle was opened to the public. Many tapestries and paintings depict scenes from the operas of Richard Wagner, a reflection of Ludwig's love for Wagner's work. However, many of the interior rooms remain undecorated; only 14 rooms were finished before Ludwig's death.
Besides the castle itself a great view on Bavaria and wooden Mary's brigde built long time ago by Ludwig. We're going to the bridge. And it is great as well because of several things:
- Another view on the castle is being opened
- The bridge itself is extremely breathtaking to be on - it is high up the ground, it is between the rocks, and a small waterfall is just beneath it which looks amazing.
The way back down is calm and beautiful - we took forest road to breath with unforgivable air. One more view on Hohenschwangau Castle surrounded by lakes and forests - the King was really smart choosing the place and he was even more smart to make it all to be in a harmony with nature.
Pity, but we have to move on. Something tells me it is not the last time I'm here. Leaving the Land of Swans for the land of snow - real mountains, the Alps.
Going back to Day 4 first, we left for Alps. The initial idea was to visit Eibsee the same day but when we reached it the dusk was there. So we looked at Zugspitze from the downside and information about the way to get there. The only reasonable way that time was a tram or train (there is also a way to reach the mountain by hiking but let's leave that for next time) going through the tunnel built inside the mountain - sounds incredible, crazy, attractive and scary. The weather is cloudy and windy and mountain looks scary itself for my spouse. She doen't want to go there tomorrow.
Returning back to the village and having rest in one of the private hotels. Next morning greets us with wonderful weather - no clouds at all, the sun is shining, the mountian which can be seen from our window has quite different look today. That's another story, let's go for it.
We are sitting in the tram/train. First part goes by the surface. Nice sceneries around. Here it is - we're in the tunnel now. The trip lasts for around 40 minutes and we talk about - it's really amazing that someone had an idea to build such tunnel going from altitude of 1000 m up to 2600 m. It is more amazing that idea was implemented and we now enjoy the trip.
Final (and the only) stop. We're on Zugspitze plato (2600 m). From here we can see a lot of ski routes being prepared for season opening quite soon, and the beauty of the Alps. Look here - it is German side, turn back - here is already Austria.
But trip is not over yet - we have to take a cable car to get to the top - Zugspitze (2962 m).
There you come to the big complex of restaurants, access balconies and some technical things. We take a rest in one of the restaurants with big windows and panoramic view, drinking fruit tea and eating apple-cake. Life is great!