Although the Munich October Fest was starting right after we landed at the Munich airport we did not go there to do that. For me, I had been there before and this is not what I wanted to do. The main goal I had for this cultural expedition was to show Rebecca some of the iconic themes many Americans see Germany as having.
Our first idea was to wing this trip so we could go where we want. But me, being a bit of a worrier, wanted to make sure we had at least a hotel for a few days when we would first arrived. No one wants to sleep in a rental car and what happens if the bags are lost and that kind of thing. Did I really want to drive all the way to Hamburg to crash on my cousins couch, who have not seen me since I was 8. So Expedia I went and I will tell you this, Expedia was a lifesaver and we will use it for the next trip. Using Expedia I found the Pfronterner Hof in naturally, Pfronten. This would end up being home base for 70% of our visit and the host, Dursten or was it Thursten was so nice and well, we just felt at home so we extended our stay. If you are worried about the language barrier, his English was so much better than my rudimentary German. (I say I speak German more like a 5 year old). Right next door is your gateway to expore the Alps and they have beer up to so what else could you ask for right.
We ate there at the hotel, wonderful food FYI and fell sound asleep with the mountain air and a good German feather blanket covering us.
The next morning, dispite the chill I convinced Rebecca to take a quick morning walk afte the good German breakfast meats, cheese, bread, coffee, cereal, yogurt, fruit, well you get the idea. We did not go far but this primed my pump to get out and visit my second homeland.
Rebecca seemed to be really intrigued, excited to see the churches. The artwork is so magnificent that you can imaging the impact when more people did not know how to read.
The St. Nikolaus parish church is the parish church of Pfronten in the Ostallgäu district of Bavaria in Germany. The ceiling fresco is the work of Josef Keller. According to Wikipedia the exterior of the church appears in the movie The Great Escape.
Just a short drive from Pfronten is Fussen Germany. If you are looking for a more busy town to check out go here. Large enough to offer something for everyone. I know the next time we go we will explore this small city a lot more.
Did I mention Fussen is the town next to the most iconic German castle known to man. Yeah, it is that close. Just a ten minute drive and you are there. For this shot I joined a bunch of tourists in a field with the sun setting.
Since reservations are required to see inside Neuschwanstein castle we had a couple of days to spend exploring. We visited Kemten and then drove to Lindau on Lake Constance or as Germans call it Bodensee. We lucked out and caught a tour boat that would take us about. We had no plans for a boat but since we were there and the vessel was about to embark, it was a sign and we took it.
The Lindau harbor area was bustling with tourists who took a ferry from Austria in the distance. And it is also where the bahnhof (train station) is located which if you are not comfortable driving, the Deutsche bahn is the way to go. Many of the most weathly had homes here and the estates are eye catching but the real stars were the swans.
We took the Breitenbergbahn that was next to our hotel. Enjoyed, we kind of enjoyed, some mountain hiking up to the summit. Where we had a beer. On our way down we stopped at the Berghaus Allgau before our final trip down for my favorite, curry wurst and Mezzo mix and not Rebecca's so she had something just as tasty.
My disappointment with Neuschwanstein Castle
This may be the most negative part of this post. Based on my experience living near Multnomah Falls in Oregon, I know the best way to see a tourist attraction is early. We made our reservation for 9am I believe. We took the bus to the Queen Mary's Bridge (Marienbrucke) where the first photo was taken. The crowds on the bridge can be scary to some and the bridge more so, just ask Rebecca but the view when you can get through the crowd is awesome. We made our way down to make our reservation. The tour of the castle interior felt like we were being rushed like cattle. If I ever went again, I would go outside of this monument to man and visit the insides or the other King Ludwig castles.
Weißensee was on our way back to the hotel. There is a little stand there to get drinks and take a nice walk.
The weather was starting to change but staying optimistic we headed to see
Wieskirche. A Baroque church built in the 1740 that is most well known for the pilgrimage many took here.
The sun did come out and we visited the Linderhof Palace. Unfortunately the grotto I remembered as a child was being renovated. Hopefully by the time you go it will be done. This was our last day at our hotel and sad to leave but ready to travel the Romantic Road (German: Romantische Straße) to my second home town Nuremberg.
Before we went back for our last meal at Pfronten Hof ( actually our night cap as we stopped at an Italian restaurant in Steingaden, the Pizzeria Casanova. This might of been the only time Rebecca was upset with me and we needed to eat badly. The food was so good.
But after we ate, a final stop to see the Neuschwanstein castle at night was needed and created my favorite photo of the entire trip other than those of my wife.