torsdag 28. august 2008

Erik's traveller magazine, part 1

Munich + Füssen, Germany

Germany (Munich, Füssen)

The main objective of the trip lies in Füssen, the Swan castle or in German, Schloss Neuschwanstein. Before that we decide to spend a few hours in Munich for their famous Schweinshank (pig leg). It failed but we managed to find it on our way back. The trains that will provide the majority of the transportations are quite comfortable and are always ontime to the dot. I will count on it in this trip.

The great view from the train ride is very useful to keep me awake through the long rides (usually 3 hours plus). Füssen is even further south from Munich and is actually close to the border of Germany and Austria. Their main source of income will be tourism for the tourists who come to see the two swan castles (the new and the old one). We got to Füssen at around 7pm and our hostel had a really interesting way of measuring distance in their direction. First we saw the sign of the hostel is 100 meters ahead and then 5 minutes of walking later we saw the sign saying the hostel is 50 meters ahead. We found it at the end. The hostel is clean and simple. It seems to me someone had just bought a house and converted it to a hostel. The bathroom is shared but I never had to wait for anyone so I am perfectly fine with that.

We woke up early to try to avoid the ticket line. We reserved the tickets online so that we can guarantee the ticket and the time of entry. It turned out to be a wasted effort since they only open one window to help the reserved tickets while there are 5 windows for the regular visitors. Coco was complaining about the 10 minute wait, but later we found out that we are the lucky ones. We reserved the time for 9:45 entry but the salesperson told us that there are no way we can make it to the front door of the castle ontime so instead she gave us the 10:15 ticket. She was right since the line for the bus was too long so we decided to walk up the path instead. According to the map they gave us it was suppose to take 30 minutes. We made it up in 20 and there are stores with open arms waiting for our money while we were trying to catch our breath. I was restrained by Coco thus the store owners didn't got anything from me, but that was just the beginning though.

The castle looks ordinary from the outside. In fact, we later learned that the construction of the castle was never finished as Ludwig II died before the castle was finished and the construction work stopped at his death. We took some pictures from the outside and then it was already 10:15 so we entered the castle. The tour basically described the interior of the castle but we were not allowed to take pictures. It wasn't particularly fancy and I definitely expected something more from a castle that was built just more than a hundred years ago. There are a few nice rooms, his bedroom, office and the meeting room is nice. The phone in his office was considered one of the first private telephone and is connected directly to the local telephone center at the bottom of the mountain.

After the tour we went through 2 more souvenier stores and my wallet broke open for a few things. Since I collect playing cards I bought 3 decks. 2 for castles and 1 for sights in Germany. After we got out of the castle we went to the nearby bridge for the most complete view of the whole castle in hope of taking some nice pictures. We were disappointed because the castle was under some remodelling and there were fence built on the wall of the castle (the side that face the bridge). Nonetheless the view was great. We walked by the ticket center on the way back and we noticed the 10 minute line had turned to an 1 hour line (if Coco had to wait on that line she would have gone crazy for sure). We went back to Füssen by noon and catch the first train back to Munich to continue the hunt for the pig leg. We eventually found one restaurant that has it and ordered it. It was big and Coco only managed to finish half while of course I have to finish the rest for her. Good that I ordered something small for myself (pork chop). It comes with a ball of sticky rice mixing with potato. Kind of tasteless but goes pretty good with the pork. We still got some time after the late lunch so we walked around a main street in Munich and did some minor shopping. The camera stand was proven money well spent in our later destinations. Our next stop is Salzburg and to avoid getting there too late we board the 4pm train and head out for our next destination.

Overall I am just excited about the trip and the view of the castles. Although we didn't got inside the old castle but it looks pretty good from the outside. Still don't understand why Ludwig II wants to build a whole new one when he could have just live in the one his father has built (one explanation we came up with was that the old castle was not built high enough on the mountain so he would rather build one higher up the mountains for a greater view). There are other cities in Germany that I have not been to but would love to go. I would definitely be back to this place. Hopefully my German will be good enough by next time so that I don't have to play blind deaf and mute.

5 kommentarer:

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Desertfox sa...

小弟见识浅薄, 不知道漂零燕, 愿闻其详.

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