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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Schloss Linderhof, Oberammergua & Schloss Neuschwanstein

A Day in the Alps

Today we headed off to the Alps to tour the castles of
 the "Fairy Tale" King Ludwig II.
We took a bus tour, generally we are not tour people but this was the quickest and most efficient way to see all three of these sites in one day.  As we exited at our first stop the guide told us to bundle up since it was -11C.  If you are having difficulty converting this to farenheit, let me just say, IT WAS FREEZING!

The first stop was Schloss Linderhof.  This was a castle of Ludwig II.  It is a small structure as castles go and the King used it often.  Sadly he did not like to be around people and spent much time alone here.  He dined at a table set for one.  The table could be set and prepared below stairs and pulled up with pulleys so the King would not have to come in contact with the servants. 

The grounds must be stunning in summer but even covered in snow it was beautiful.

Next stop was Oberammergua, a charming village known for painted houses,

wood carving and the famous Passion Play.  When the Black Plague swept through Europe Oberammergua was hit hard and many died.  The remaining residents said if the deaths would stop they would put on a passion play.  The tradition still continues every 10 years and the actors are all local residents.

Our final stop for the day was Schloss Neuschwanstein.  You are dropped off in the village and you must hike for 30 minutes up to the castle.  There are horse drawn carriages that take you halfway up the road but Rob said that wasn't our style ~ really?

We stopped at this delightful place for lunch.

As you come around a bend in the trail this comes into view.

Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside.  They called Ludwig mad but if this was madness I'm ready to join in.  The interior is fancifully painted with elaborate designs in fantastic color.  Sadly Ludwig II led a solitary existence here too. 
Again there was a table for one. 

It was from Neuschwansein that Ludwig was taken after being declared mad and he died under very mysterious circumstances soon after.
This is the castle Walt Disney used as inspiration for Cinderella's Castle, sadly for Ludwig II this was not the happiest place on earth.

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