Monday, September 26, 2011

Goodbyes and Castles

September 26, 2011

Today started off on a very sad note, as we had to say goodbye to Natalie. It is so weird being with someone for every second of the day (waking and sleeping) for three weeks and then, poof, they're gone. Unfortunately, we also had to bid farewell to Steve a few hours later as well, leaving just Kat and I. I cannot tell you how strange it is to go from traveling with four people down to two!
We decided to venture to the Bavarian countryside and visit the Neuschwanstein Castle before we took an overnight train to Paris. After making our reservation on the night train to Paris, the ticket agent informed us that the next train to Fussen was leaving in 3 minutes. With our packs on, we awkwardly sprinted, which was more like waddle running, to our train. We made it just in time and I spent the next two hours recovering from my Oktoberfest hangover and horrible sprint. The train ride to Fussen was very scenic and I never realized the German countryside was so beautiful.

Once we arrived in Fussen, the castle was just a short bus ride from the train station. This huge white fortress on the mountainside was completely enchanting and it is easy to see how this castle was inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.

We decided to grab lunch at the nearest restaurant, which also had a fantastic view of the castle. After a delicious meal and yet another person telling me I look like Anne Hathaway, we made our way up the hill to the castle. Luckily, it was just a sloping road to get to the top and not hundreds of stairs. It seemed as if we were walking through an enchanted forest as we made our way up and the views of the views of the surrounding countryside were beautiful. Things started to get a bit odd when we saw a woman with a wolf hat also making her way up to the castle.

The castle was even more breathtaking up close. Can you imagine having these views from your own home???

Unfortunately, we were not permitted to take photos in the castle because it was almost as stunning as the exterior. Ludwig II of Bavaria, the king who lived in this castle, adored Richard Wagner and his operas. There are numerous paintings of Wagnerian opera scenes and he even installed a grotto in the castle that was a set from a Wagner opera.

It was hard to leave such a gorgeous place, but we had to make our way back to Munich to catch our night train to Paris. I look forward to finding a prince to sweep me off my feet and onto his white stallion and back to this magical castle in the Bavarian countryside (ahhheeemmmm....).

We saw something pretty strange in the sky on the way home that appeared to be an object falling from the sky. I have researched it a bit and did not find any information about a plane crashing that day. It must have been a UFO, or, you know, a unicorn returning to fairy tale land!

Nat, I know how much you wanted to see this castle and I'm so sorry you couldn't see it with us. Promise me you'll go someday in the future!

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