Breathtakingly Beautiful Bavaria
Trip Start Apr 18, 2011
14Trip End May 03, 2011
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Where I stayed
Best Western Cristal Hotel Munich
Read my review - 2/5 stars
Read my review - 2/5 stars
What I did
The coach departed with an international group on board at 830am for Linderhof Castle. The journey was quite long but the views were rather scenic along the way.
Linderhof Castle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linderhof_Palace - was small but lovely! Too bad we can't take pictures within the castle as the rooms were all very richly decorated! "Mad" King Ludwig II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_II_of_Bavaria) wasn't really mad, but maybe just overly romantic, and had this admiration for King Louis XIV of France, and perhaps all things French
Linderhof Castle was surrounded by a delightful garden, a Swan Lake, Venus grotto (which we don't have time to visit), and the Moroccan house... all very romantically positioned to make the place fairy-tale like.
Inside the castle where photography was prohibited,there were a lot of interesting rooms and decorations. I bought this little English guidebook "Royal Castle and Park - Linderhof" for EUR3 as a souvenir.
As the castle was quite small, we were not allowed to carry bulky bags for fear of knocking anything off their original positions. It was said that someone actually broke a vase by accident, and the poor vase needs to be 'resuscitated', where we couldn't determine if the success rate was high or low.
In the center of the dining room stood a "Wishing Table from Grimm's Fairy Tales". As King Ludwig II lived like a royal hermit, he had this dinner table - pre-set with dishes and food - rose from the kitchen below into his dining room, so that he could eat alone.
There's also a majestic Mirror Hall, where the effect of looking into 2 huge mirrors hanging directly opposite each other, creates an illusion of a 'never-ending' hallway.
His bedroom was heavily ornamented and anchored by an enormous 108-candle crystal chandelier weighing 500kg! The view beyond the window to his bedroom was breathtakingly beautiful - an artificial waterfall and a cascading garden.
Some of the ceiling paintings are of German Baroque Style where certain parts of the painting 'jutted out' like sculptures. For instance, there's one particular corner of a room where a woman's foot extended out of the building and its actually in alabaster! Could be pretty creepy....
As Linderfhof Castle was very near to Oberammergau, the coach took us there for a little bit of shopping and picture snapping opportunity. However, we only managed to get into a little souvenir shop offering tax-free goods, as well as look at the beautifully-painted facades of houses & the famous Passionstheater.
Oberammergau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberammergau) was famous for its Passion Play which took place every 10 years (the next one in 2020), as well as its wood-carving skills
In upper Bavaria, the term "Luftmalerei" (literally meaning 'air paintings') has been given since the 18th ceturry to the colourful mural paintings on house facades. Initially, its main motifs were columns and bay windows as they feature in mock architecture, later religious themes appeared, and recently, even fairy tales like "Little Red Riding Hood" & "Hansel & Gretel"!
We left Oberammergau at 12:30pm to go to Schloss Neuschwanstein (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle). The tour guide made a mistake about my tour language for the castle, and had to go back to change it while we head to eat lunch at Hotel Muller. The English Tour starts at 15:10, hence, we need to eat quickly and make our way up the 'steep' hills to reach Schloss Neuschwanstein.
Lunch at Hotel Muller was good! We ordered a piece of Black Forest Cake, which was supposed to be for desserts, but it turned out to be our "Appetizer", appearing before our mains - Asparagus (which was in season!) with potatoes and Hollandaise Sauce, and a Beef & Swabian Noodles. We also ordered 2 glasses of Iced Tea and the total bill came up to EUR38.50
After lunch, we decided to start our 'ascent' up the hill where the tour guide told us could take about 30mins.
By the time I reached the top of the hill and took in the beautiful surroundings, I understood what "breathtaking" means. YES... I am almost like the Big Bad Wolf of The Three Little Pigs where I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow the castle down (again)! It really was a 'breathtaking sight!" and we made it earlier than our designated English Tour timing, so we went around taking pictures of the surroundings and ended up in the souvenir shop, getting postcards bearing the "Schloss Neuschwanstein Chop"!
As usual, we can't take pictures within the castle, but some naughty tourists did so sneakily, but everytime the castle guide told them "No Photos!", they put their cameras away but took it out again the moment no one noticed...
Schloss Neuschwanstein was the archetypal fairy-tale castle and has provided the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle
The Throne Hall was very rich in decoration - mostly gold and marble flooring, with a giant chandelier made of gilded brass and holds 96 candles hanging majestically in the middle. The balcony of the throne-hall grants a splendid view over the Bavarian Alps.
The dining room contained pictures of famous paintings as well, but it doesn't have the 'magic table' in Linderhof since the kitchen is situated 3 stories below the dining room. However, meals came up from the kitchen by a food-lift. The king definitely needs peace and quiet when having his meals!
The entire castle was inspired by Richard Wagner's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wagner) operas. Ludwig II's palaces were wallpapered with themes from Wagnerian opera like Tristan & Isolde.
There were lots of swan motifs in the castle, hence, amplifying its name "New Swan Stone". The Singer's Hall was modelled on the singing room of the Wartburg castle in Eisenach. The stage scenery "Klingsor's magic forest" was painted by Munich artist Christian Jank and it was said that the hall was never used during the life of Ludwig II
The surprising element turned out to be the ultra modern kitchen which was already in place at that era!! After the kitchen, we came to a room where there as a huge model of the castle and some of the drawings of the castle plans. The view beside the cafe caught our attention and we went there and snapped a few pictures of the beautiful surroundings and caught sight of Hohenschwangau Castle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohenschwangau_Castle) at the foot of Schloss Neuschwanstein.
We had to quickly make our way to "Marienbrucke" (Queen Mary's Bridge) as it was the spot identified for a great postcard view of Neuschwanstein and the plains beyond! The 10min walk was full of ups and downs as well..... and when we finally arrived at the bridge, it was packed with people and the bridge looked like its unable to withstand the weight.... We quickly snapped a few pictures and went down to catch our coach which will depart at 445pm.
The hike down was definitely easier but its going to be quite tedious on our knees. We stopped by this cafe where we bought 3 'snow balls' and munched along the downward hike. The snow balls tasted 'refreshing' - warm, cheesy, sweet & tasted like doughnut, but not entirely so!
We actually ended up on the other side of the parking lot, and had to walk further up to somewhere near Hotel Muller where the coach was waiting. We reached Munich around 6:30pm and headed towards the Munchen Hauptbahnhof to buy dinner back to the hotel.
We decided to buy Subway Sandwich since its a cheaper option and we were too tired to think of what to eat by then. We aim to have an early night so that we can be fresh for tomorrow's activities - more walking ....
My Review Of The Place I Stayed