Monday, December 03, 2007

Whew! We made it!

To Germany. Fussen to be specific. The romantic heart of Bavaria.

A month ago we were supposed to make this trip. But Kendra came down with a stomach virus. Funny how she ended up getting sick exactly two weeks later - same outcome, different cause.

So you can imagine how I was less than thrilled to pick the girls up from school on Friday with Rachel complaining of a stomach ache. But she often has a 'nervous' stomach and therefore I plied her with children's Pepto and continued to load the car. And she's telling me how three is a lucky number and I'm thinking that if she is #3 on the vomiting cycle then 3 is definitely NOT my lucky number.
We managed to get in the car, picked up McDonald's and met Bart at the Bahnhof. Rachel opted to not eat McD's and never did get sick. Yippee!!!
It was nice to get away from the business of home and we really lucked out with the weather. It has gotten progressively worse since we returned to Zurich and as we spent most of our trip outside, we were really glad to not be cold and wet. Just cold. But prepared.
Bart's bro-in-law is from Fussen and we had been there in '96. It was fun to return and experience it as a family. The girls enjoyed some of the local treats and looking in all the shops at the local dress, souvenirs, etc... It is a medieval city and very charming. Plus it has a couple castles to check out besides their Basilica and Kloster.
You do come to a point where a castle is a castle and a cathedral looks like the last cathedral you looked at. Can't be helped. But it is always fascinating to walk on streets and in buildings where people have lived for many hundreds of years. And this part of Bavaria is home to a couple of special castles. Neuschwanstein is the most famous - Disney supposedly modeled the Sleeping Beauty castle after it.

A small country church near Schwangau. Bart had to drop me off and drive around to pick me back up - it was on a one lane road and we didn't trust the tour buses to stop or watch for pedestrians! Bell tower of the Kloster with colorful village buildings. Love the little curvy streets.This is the lesser known, but no less immpresive Konigschloss, Hohenschwangau. The getaway residence of the Bavarian Kings and boyhood home of King Ludwig who went on to design and start the construction of Neuschwanstein. Very cozy - Not huge and grand (compared to some)- but with incredible views of the lakes and Austrian Alps.Neuschwanstein - a fairytale castle built as a tribute to the German composer, Richard Wagner. All of the paintings and themes within are from the opera's of Wagner of whom King Ludwig was obviously a huge fan. It is an amazing place but a little sad - never completed and so costly that the Bavarian government deposed Ludwig of his 'throne'. He died of a mysterious drowning 3 days after losing his title and it has been a museum owned by the Bavarian government ever since - yet his remaining family still had to clear his debts - it took 40 years. So it is beautiful but at what cost?

Boy - the Bavarian government is dying to hire me for its Tourist Board. Bart would say I'm overanalyzing - I say it's 'deep thinking.' All said - would I go see it again? Yes. It is a beautiful spot and makes your imagination go wild. Black forest, black squirrels w/ pointy ears, wild mountains, alpen lakes, etc... - it is a fairytale place.

So, we made it. And want to go back in the summer. As long as no one gets sick :).


Mom E said...

Loved the pics, especially the church. As to the relatives assuming the debt, now that's accountability! Something we have lost along the way in the US..oops.

Olson Family said...

Hey - you'd better not leave us to clean up your mess! Hee Hee