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Monday, October 18, 2010

City of Castles

Finally back to the posts about Germany (but I can't promise it will conclude quickly!). The second stop on our vacation was the city of Fussen in southern Germany, just north of the Austrian border. We took a nice train ride across the country and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the scenery as we traveled. I was amazed at the number of school children who ride the train to and from school, many over 30 mins, and then they get on a bike or walk to get home. Despite not understanding their chit chat, it was entertaining to watch -- the girls changing seats, the dorky teenage boys trying to talk with the girls, and the kids who just plug in their iPods and ignore it all! 


We arrived in Fussen and had mapped the course to our hotel, which was quite a short walk. We quickly discovered that we were in the wrong place, even if on the right street. We were pointed to the TI (Tourist Info) and found out that our hotel was actually in the neighboring town of Schwangau! One more bus ride and a stop in the Schwangau TI, and we started our hike...2 kilometers to the hotel with no bus or taxi in sight. We arrived at the Hotel Maximillian and settled in for the night (because, really, it was 2 km to get back into town and we weren't doing that again!). The reception there was lovely and the food was absolutely fantastic. We had a half board package, which included breakfast and dinner. I think we were the only Americans (and Mike said the only couple under 50) who were at dinner! 


The next morning, well rested and well fed, we hiked toward the mountains and went to the Tegelbergbahn, a tram up the side of the mountains. The scenery at the top was wonderful and we enjoyed an hour or so of hiking around before heading back to the base and taking a spin on the luge course (not using a real luge mind you, but a metal track). 


We headed back into town and then caught a bus up to the castles, which is what everyone comes to the town for (well, all the Americans at least). We arrived late afternoon to discover that the more famous castle was sold out for the day. We did get to go through Hohenschwangau and really enjoyed it. 


On day 2, we decided to explore Fussen and wound up at a beautiful monastery which was having an exhibit on the connections between Bavaria and Italy. It was a really neat exhibit and I was so taken with the lutes because of the intricate woodwork in them. I could see quilt designs in the wood. 




After the exhibit and a quick bite for lunch, we again went up the mountains to see the castle that we'd missed, this time in the rain. We arrived at the ticket booth to discover it sold out again! Mike decided to hike the 45 mins uphill to get some pictures of it and I decided to go back to the hotel to relax/read/sleep for the afternoon. We both were happy with our choices :D


 


The next morning brought the end of our time in Fussen and we boarded the train - last stop Munich! Blog post coming soon....but you already know not to hold your breath for that! 

3 comments:

orchidlover said...

Great pics.
Hopefully next year if Mal enjoys our short trip to Germany I can drag him there for a longer one. I loved Bavaria when I went too many years ago. And I got into the castle. You would have loved it

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Babs said...

So beautiful Jen - thanks for sharing. I'd love to go back to Europe one day. These pics make me want to start saving now ;)
-Barb

jillquilts said...

Gorgeous!! Love the views from the mountains! Those houses in the first picture are so cheerful! :)