Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I have been looking forward to visiting Neuschwanstein, or the ‘Disney’ Castle for a long time now. The major tourist destination was an easy stop on our way home from Austria, or so we thought, so we planned the trek.
Mistake number 1: visiting the tourist trap on the Sunday, after New Years. The entire area was swamped with tourists, Germans, Austrians, and Italians alike.
Mistake number 2: DRIVING to the destination. We could barely move in our car seeing as the tourists swamped the roads on foot. Also, the price for parking was obscene.
Mistake number 3: Going. With 2 other castles in close proximity, actually in sight, Neuschwanstein is by far the least exciting. I kept looking at it saying, ‘Really? Are you serious? That’s IT?! That can’t be it!’
Yes, the castle has an interesting history with Mad King Ludwig ordering someone to paint the dreamed up castle, then having an architect build the painted version, building the castle for years, going crazy (hence the nickname ‘Mad’), living there for less than a year, being forced to leave, and dying (murder or suicide?) only days later. BUT, I would advice you read Ludwig’s history and look at a picture of Neuschwanstein (or in my book, the greatest European let-down) online, NOT make a trek there. There are so many other great tourist attractions, castles included, to visit in Germany or Europe.
Needless to say, Neuschwanstein is a Neusch-waste-of-time.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
While studying in Switzerland, I never made it to Austria, so the country ranked high on my list of places to go. Since Alex was on call for Christmas, we decided to make the trip over New Years. I booked a hotel in Salzburg for 3 nights, including New Years Eve, a Mozart concert in Salzburg, and then 2 more nights in Innsbruck. Great choices, if I do say so myself.
Salzburg is absolutely gorgeous, surrounded by snowy Alps, and filled with lots of must-see sights. The area was packed with Italian vacationers, a very nice change from our usual burly Germans. The Mozart dinner and concert in the Hohensalzburg Fortress finished off the trip perfectly. Our friends, the Krautheims, came with us and were a lot of fun!
On New Years Day we drove to Innsbruck, Austria, to meet two other friends, Andrea and Zach (a couple we met at Oktoberfest who are a ton of fun, but unfortunately live about 3 hrs. from Trier). Innsbruck is an adorable little ski town, also surrounded by picturesque snowy Alps. We took an awesome gondola ride for great views on the first day. Day two was spent skiing and drinking Austrian beer in Axams, Austria, with Zach and Andrea.
An all around good time had by all, so good that in fact, we planned a Martin Luther King long-weekend ski-vacation in Garmisch, Germany, with Zach, Andrea and all three of the pups!