Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 2 in Munich, Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle

Today started unexpectedly, with a bang on the door just after 7am, waking me and my hostel mates, except the person the knock was intended for, the Indian woman who arrived last night.  Our Russian hostel  mate got up to answer the door, then wakened the Indian, her boyfriend, husband, cousin, or friend, was at the door. The Indian woman did not leave the room to speak to the man who knocked loudly at our door, no they carried on their conversation with our door wide open.

Our Indian hostel mate arrived after midnight last night, she is the worst hostel mate I have had yet, she was noisy, inconsiderate, just plain obnoxious.  Everyone was winding down or already asleep when she arrived, the Indian packed and unpacked her luggage, drug it across the floor loudly multiple times, rattled things, unwrapped items she bought then stuffed them deep in her luggage, place clothes in the lockers, then took them out, refolded and packed them again.

Her actions were nonsensical, but this was not enough, she then went into the restroom to shower, wash and blow dry her hair.  During this time, we turned off the lights, we all wanted to get some sleep.  When our hostel mate emerged, she was not deterred by the lack of light, her noise making continued and she had a cell phone with a bright flash light attached.  Her cell phone was almost as bright as the ceiling light, she shined it in my direction multiple times, I was tempted to say something.

My hostel mate from Spain, said she either said something or dreamed she said, "People are trying to sleep in here."  We laughed about it today, it was not funny when we were trying to sleep last night.  Luckily, our horrible hostel mate left this morning after waking us all up, she checked out, we will not have to deal with her tonight.

I went to Neuschwantsen Castle today, I arrived early, I got up after my Indian hostel mate caused the commotion this morning.  I was looking forward to my first day excursion, I had not gone on one yet.  I could have gone to Neuschwantsen solo, but I prefer to go with a tour sometimes, you often get to meet new people, you learn the history and you do not waste a lot of time trying to figure out where things are and where to go, it is convenient, especially for an independent traveler.

The meeting time for our tour was 9 am, our train did not leave until 10:10 am, the tour guide provided for time to check in, get tickets, buy snacks, etc. I used the extra time to book my trains to Bern and Naples in the Deutsche Bahn office.  The train ride and bus rides to Neuschwantsen Castle were uneventful, I spoke to the Australian sitting next to me about her travels in Europe, she's on a 5 month trip, I briefly talked to some Japanese sitting across from me, I spent the rest of the time reading and looking out the window at the Bavarian scenery.

The train ride to Fussen, the nearest station to Neuschwantsen was about 2 hours, then we caught a bus to the area near the castle.  I noticed Fussen has its own Occupy movement, when I saw a sign spray painted on a wall at the Station, "Eat the Rich" made me think of the Occupy movement in Washington, DC, this was a common chant.

Fussen Train Station on Way to Neuschwanstein Castle 
When we arrived at the area below the castle we took a break to get snacks, use the bathroom, I had already eaten, and did not buy anything at the cafe.  We started the tour with some background from our guide on King Ludwig II and we also saw a yellow Castle, Hohenshwangau, on the hill above, where King Ludwig II lived in with his parents and brother as a child.

Hohenschwangau Castle
From Hohenschwangau we began our ascent up the road leading to Neuschwanstein Castle.  We stopped periodically to listen to our tour guide give us background information on King Ludwig II, Bavaria, and the Castle. The scenery was beautiful, we saw the snow capped Alps, and Swan Lake, we learned Ludwig was fond of  swans, we saw examples of this when we toured Neschwanstein Castle, there were swans everywhere.

Lynnae at Swan Lake 
When we arrived at the Castle,we had a few minutes down time before we went on the 35 minute tour of the interior, the 16 rooms Kind Ludwig completed before his death.   We all used the time to take more photos of the beautiful scenery and the castle we had all seen recreated in Disney movies, we were finally seeing the real thing up close, our guide told us Disney pays the Bavarian government $1 million (or Euros,I do not know) in royalties for Disney's use of the castle.

Me with Neuschwanstein Castle in Background 
After touring the castle I walked to the bridge, seen in the picture above, for a beautiful view of Neuschwanstein and the surrounding scenery, this was another hike but well worth the time and energy. I walked and jogged downhill after leaving the bridge, we had a 3:30 pm meeting time and I did not want to miss it.  I had time to get a bratwurst when I reached the bottom of the hill, I did not get anything for lunch before I started the hike, had a couple of pastries for breakfast, and had worked up an appetite.

Our trip back to Munich was uneventful, everyone was tired from all of the walking. I talked to some Malaysian students studying in the UK about my CIA experience and gave them my CIA/FBI cards, they were very interested in my story.  Other than that, I read my kindle and relaxed.  I was tired, but I did not fall asleep on the train.    When we got to Munich I went to the tourist office to get information on other day excursions, I have decided to go to Salzburg tomorrow, home of Mozart and the Sound of Music.  

Munich Day 2 Photo Album

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