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Adventures in Bavaria...Part 1

I made a quick trip over to Munich because I had enough miles to waste and it's only an hour flight from London, so I was practically there anyway. Good excuse right ? (NOTE: I'm pretty sure I used the same excuse when I extended the trip three more days to go to Poland....I was practically there!). Like I needed an excuse.

I scored by hotel through priceline.com's  "Name Your Own Price" service. I bid $50 on a four star hotel, never imagining in a million years that they'd actually approve it. To my pleasant surprise, I was booked into Marriott Munich City Center. Directly through them, rooms start at 129 EUROS a night, so paying $50 US Dollars was a nice surprise.

We only had about a day and a half in Munich. There's a ton of stuff to do in the city, but since we were already almost on the road for three weeks and utterly exhausted, we took it easy the first day. We did some shopping, exploring on foot, and dinner at the world famous HofbrauHaus Munchen. I love me some German food. And beer of course. 





When people found out we were stopping in Munich, they all wanted us to bring them back a German beer stein. Be warned-they're expensive, and start around 80 Euros each. Make sure they fork over the cash before your trip :)

One of my favorite things to do is explore castles. On my last trip, we managed to visit 13 different castles in 18 days-not too shabby. Usually, when people think of castles, they think of England-and they certainly have a TON of them. But for most people, Germany doesn't come to mind. And the Bavarian Alps are home to one of the most spectacular. So as soon as I booked my side trip to Germany, I went on a mission to find some castles.

I booked into the Royal Castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Day Tour tour through viator.com for a few reasons. The price was right (aka I was able to google a coupon code), it included visits to two different castles, and logistically speaking, it was just easier. We were based in Munich for this leg of the trip, and it's quite a hike whether you're driving it or taking the train. I avoid tours when I can since I like to do things at my own pace (which is usually faster than everyone else's). But the great thing about this tour is that they give you some guidance, advice on routes, and set you free to go about on your own.

Before we get down to business, a little bit of background on the mad king: "Mad" King Ludwig II of Bavaria succeeded to the throne when he was 18. He basically said to hell with affairs of state, and spent every penny that he could get his hands on building these extravagant palaces. And then when he ran out of money, he borrowed every penny that he could to support this habit. Liberace would have been proud.

Our first visit took us to his "Summer Residence".  Known as Linderhof Palace, it was the smallest of the three palaces that he commissioned to be built, and the only one that he lived to see completed. This particular tour does not include admission INSIDE of the palaces, but rather only to the grounds. After looking into it prior to the trip,we decided to skip it as the tours at both palaces took up a majority of the time there and didn't leave much time to explore.


Linderhof itself is actually quite small-but the grounds that it sits on are quite large. It's supposed to look spectacular in the spring and summer with the large gardens and hillsides in full bloom, but since we were there in November, we didn't get to see it. Aside from the gardens, the grounds are still quite picturesque, and I highly recommend taking the time to wander around.


Afterwards, the tour makes a stop in the charming little town of Oberammergau. They're world-famous for its woodcarvings, painted houses, and their Passion Play which has an interesting back story.

In 1633, the residents of Oberammergau  vowed that if God spared them from the bubonic plague, they would produce a play for all time depicting the life and death of Jesus. The adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they were spared. Word spread  about the play, and it became too expensive to perform every year, so the town decided that every 10 years would be sufficient. To this day, they perform the play every year ending in zero, and it is done entirely by residents of this town. Tickets sometime sell out years in advance to this famous play.


The Passion Play Theatre

Some amazing Black Forest Wood carved cuckoo clocks in the town of Oberammergau.
I didn't get to take home a cuckoo clock since I didn't have an extra 900 Euros to spare, but my traveling partner in crime snuck back in to get me a carved wood owl wine stopper from Oberammergau for Christmas. It's too pretty to use.

That's all for now-check back soon for the grand finale....Neuschwanstein Castle!!


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1 comment

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