A Travellerspoint blog

September 2014

Neuschwanstein and the English Gardens - Munich


So we are on our way to Berlin, leaving Oktoberfest behind us (we figure maybe next year from the UK). Munich has been chaotic for the last few days just with the build up to Oktoberfest. There are people everywhere in traditional costumes of dirdnl's and lederhosen's…some are a little more provocatively dressed than others. We did quite a few day trips from Munich, one to the Neuschwanstein castle that inspired the Disney logo castle and one to Salzburg in Austria (1 ½ hours on the train).
Munich was a big change from Heidelberg; we were back to the hustle and bustle of huge swarms of people.


We started our time exploring the centre city. Most of the old town streets are one-way or pedestrian only which is extremely handy with the amount of people around. The large city hall in Marienplatz was amazing. It was massive in size and had such intricate details. It was beautiful to look at and each time I did I found something else to admire on it, be it some pattern or statue on the side. I loved the dragon climbing up the door in one piece. We went to the Viktualienmarkt (it was much smaller than expected) and found some deliciously sweet apples for our bike ride the next day.


The next day we went on a bus/bike tour of the Neuschwanstein that was two hours out of Munich. We had a magical day. It was a still and sunny for the whole time we were in the mountains (apparently rare for this area this summer). We started our day with biking around swan lake. The lake being so still that it mirrored in parts added to the magic of the day.


After lunch we did the alpine slide (kind of a cross between a luge, a slide and I guess a bobsled). It was a fun few minutes of zooming down a hill on a toboggan like cart in a slide. Lewis got slowed down by the slow tourist crawling down the hill in front of him. Our tour guide was renowned for his magical talents (card tricks etc). This guy was good and I had no idea how he managed to do any of the tricks. They definitely weren’t obvious. It was an entertaining half an hour watching him in awe before we headed to the castle.


The day finished with going up to the castle to see it up close and to have a tour inside. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the inside (it's not allowed) but the place was spectacular, the chandeliers were made to look like crowns (the main one weighed 27 tonnes), the bedrooms all had amazing paintings on the walls. Most rooms were related to King Ludwig’s favourite operas or theatre shows of the time. He even had a cave made as a replica of one described in one of the opera's at the time. The history of King Ludwig who ordered for the castle to be built was an interesting look into Bavarian history. Official history and what actually happened apparently are a little different. King Ludwig was an apparent gay king (his journals have said so after his death about his affection for males). His cause of death was unknown (he was found dead in 2ft of water next to his psychiatrist who two days earlier had declared him mentally insane). There are numerous theories as to how he died but nothing is certain…(suicide by drowning in two feet of water or him being shot by his council are two possible options). The guides in the castle have a set blurb that they have to give and are not allowed to sway from it. Apparently asking the question of his sexuality doesn’t go down too well. The outside of the castle was also magical and just as you dream a castle should be. The castle is located in the forest and definitely makes you feel like you were in a fairytale especially as there was a slight mist so the light seemed to have more of a sheen or glow to it.


The next day we headed off to Salzburg in Austria…(a separate post to come).


The last day was another day to explore Munich. Lewis decided that the English gardens maybe a great place to look around. It was great to have some more time in nature and away from all the people. We had a beer in a beer-hall right on the lake (a perfect location) with the added bonus of watching drunk tourists nearly falling out of there paddle boats.


Our time in the garden also meant we got to see the Canal/river surfers. They were amazing to watch and see them try to attempt tricks in a small space. A few head smacks and a broken board later (from the surfers not us) we were off to find ice-cream at Der Verruckte Eismacher. This guy is like the Munich version of Giapo but a little more extreme. His shop is in Alice in Wonderland theme and is very cute. His shop’s slogan: Let your problems melt like ice-cream does. (I liked it). The ice-cream was delicious. We had Oreo and Holunderbeere Bionade (Elderberry Soda Drink). It was delicious..the Bionade even had a slight fizz in the ice-cream. You also got to try another flavour. Two of the more unusual flavours were bratwurst and salmon flavoured. Yep I did try the bratwurst and yes it tasted like sausage… It was so wrong have sausage flavoured ice-cream but was surprising eatable... Don’t think I would enjoy a tub of it though. On our mission to find our ice-cream shop ended up showing us more than we bargained for. How you may ask, well we ended up going through the nudist field. Unfortunately it wasn’t on Lewis GPS map so there was no way of knowing and avoiding it. Yep talk about weird for us Kiwi’s! It was weird how naked and non-naked people just shared a field and there were numerous people walking through to get to the street that didn't even notice. The nudists seemed to play sport and do all sorts of activities in this area. (No I didn't take photos...gosh people! lol)


Our AirBnB accommodation was great yet again. Thank you Sandra! Especially because we had to book last minute as our previous accommodation cancelled on us 6 days before we arrived (needless to say I panicked about finding somewhere new, especially as it was so close to Oktoberfest!). Sandra and her apartment was awesome so we have no regrets at all. The thing we have had to get use to is in Germany they have massive square (and usually flat) pillows and separate duvets on each side of the bed. I still am not used to the feeling of having no solid pillow and having a small duvet on a massive bed. (It has been 6 nights and it is still not getting any more familiar)

Our time in Munich came to an end with a massive thunderstorm last night. There were so many people gearing up for Oktoberfest today at the station as we were about to leave. I have to say I was quite happy that I didn’t have to buy a dindl (price ranged from 100 -500+ euro) as I have no where to fit it in my pack to take it with me…next year.



Posted by chellebelle 13:19 Archived in Germany Tagged germany munich airbnb Comments (2)

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