“Mad” King Ludwig!

Well he can’t have been all that mad, because his over-the-top fanciful castles have made Bavaria one of the richest regions in Germany! More on that in a sec.

It’s amazing how much you jam into one day on holiday. The days seems to stretch out to fit everything in. Granted, we’ve been slashing plans according to the tiredness/grumpiness of the girls, but we’re still managing to cram lots in, without feeling site-stressed.

This morning before we left Rothenburg, we did a walk of the wall. It’s still in such amazing condition considering it’s over 700 years old. You can walk along and view plaques which show donations from people all around the world who have wanted to ensure it’s preservation.

Then, off to Neuschwanstein. Even if you’ve never heard the name of this fairy-tale castle, you’d have seen the images. We have a jigsaw puzzle of it at home. It’s also said to be the castle Disney based HIS famous theme-park castle on. That part of the countryside is SO beautiful. So lush and green, with Hansel and Gretel type cottages dotted along rolling hills, and flanked by giant mountains. When you first see the turreted white castle against the forested backdrop, you feel like you’re in a Wonderland. When you reach the carpark, filled with hundreds of angry-looking frustrated tourists however, not so much!

The place was just teaming with people. With half of Europe still on their summer holidays, there were queues that went forever. One American girl we met said she arrived at 10, waited in line for 2 hours, and didn’t get a ticket inside till 4! Seeing as we arrived at 2, there was no chance of entry, so instead we hiked up the steep drive to see the castle a little closer. To be honest, the closer we got, the less impressive it was, looking more like a movie set. Especially after touching stone that had been there for centuries in Rothenburg, it lacked the feeling older constructions have. It was only built in the late 1800’s by the young eccentric king of Bavaria (who was VERY friendly with composer Richard Wagner) King Ludwig. He wanted to be immortalised via his OTT concoction. And judging by the crowds here today, it worked!

We then drove to Wieskirche, a roccoco masterpiece of a church standing alone in a paddock about 30 minutes away. From the outside, it looked fairly humble, but as soon as you push open the heavy wooden doors, it was like walking into a white and gold wedding cake shop. So gawdy, and almost tacky, but astounding. There was olde worlde graffiti too, with names engraved into the ornate chairs…mostly from the 1800s. Most memorable, was the young Japanese couple who had obviously always dreamed of marrying here. A German guide had organised the organist to play the bridal waltz for them, as their parents, dressed in full traditional Japanese kimonos watched on, and the bride and groom, in a delicate lace dress, and cream waist coat and tails, cried with happiness. So beautiful.

So, on to Munchen, or Munich. Getting the keys alone for this a

partment is a super sleuth adventure. More soon…

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