6th Oct 2013 - 10th Oct 2013 - Munich Germany
Munich - Germany
Left from London Gatwick at a ridiculous hour of the morning - thanks Martin for the ride. Easy Jet each way - not cheap as right at the end of Oktoberfest £200 return. Still Easy Jet was good - took hand luggage only so straight through departments - body search yet again. Easy Jet on time and slept the entire flight.
Took the train to Hauptbahnoff where I was to meet TIm - about 10euro and 46 minutes. Arrived with ten minutes to spare before Tim's train due in from Berlin. Great to see him again. We had time for a quick hotdog in bread - so good.
Then off to the starting point for our Dachau Concentration Camp tour. This was booked via Viator.com for about £19 per person. Met out guide - lovely guy from Northern ireland of all places. Then a train ride and bus ride to the Dachau site - all part of the cost. Very imformative and interesting tour - not sensationalist in any way but sobering. The guide gave the right amount of information. Really enjoyed it but had sore feet by the end - next time walking shoes all the way. Pretty much on your feet the majority of the time. This was built in 1933 - anyone considered 'undesirable' was imprisoned here - jews, political prosoners and homosexuals. 200000 were sent here and about 30000 died.
Retrieved our luggage from the lockers at the station and figured our way to the apartment I had booked - one stop on the u-bahn and change and one stop. Apartments Lindwurm was just outside the station. lovely helpful reception staff. Apartment was functional - feel I paid too much however was the day after Oktoberfest had finished. twin beds as requested - clean and bathroom was fine. would have been happy at £90 per night.
Tuesday morning was the day I was really looking forward to - going to Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Easy to find our way back to the station and to meet the tour bus - unfortunately one of those big ones with 60-70 others. Booked again with viator.com - £37 per person for the Royal Castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof day tour - thought this was a really good price but a bit miffed to find out it didnt include entrance fees and on the bus an extra 21 euro was requested. You wouldnt go on the tour if you werent going to enter the castles. The day wasnt great weather wise and unbrellas and coats in order. A lovely ride through the Bavarian countryside to the Linderhof castle. Lovely site but not enough time here. By the time I waited in the queue for the toilet it was time to quickly walk the ten minutes to the Castle entrance where we were herded into queues to wait our turn. Tour took about 30 minutes and was interesting and well worth it but once outside again it was a quick walk back to the bus and no exploration of the grounds. Then onto the beautiful town of Oberammagau - what a stunning place. Bavaria at its best - lovely houses and shops with fairy tale themes. Would love to come back at stay here overnight. About 45 minutes here - enough time for a wander with a take away latte. Then onto the highlight of the day - still raining and very misty. Arrived in the village of Hohenschwangau of the afternoon. Lunch was in order first as was by now 1330. Went into the place suggested by the tour leader but felt very stuffy and overpriced so left and wandered down further. Ended up at another overpriced place - do resent paying 15 euro for a horrible meal. My advice here is to get something takeaway like pizza or hotdogs. I left Tim who had been here the previous week. We had been told the walk up to Neuschwanstein castle would take about 30-45 minutes. I decided to pay the small charge to go up in the shuttle bus 1.80 euro. Long line and they only go every 20 minutes so technically you could be there an hour. Other option is a horse drawn carriage which also was a reasonable price. Shuttle takes you above the castle and still a ten minute walk down hill. definitely go to the bridge above the castle as if its not misty would make for amazing photos. Had a latte at the cafe just below the castle with a German cookie and then to the entrance to await our tour. This place is not for the immobile. Numerous steps from the entrance inside the castle so beware - spiral staircase as well. tour was 45 minutes and very interesting. this was King Ludwig's own creation (also Linderhof) - supposedly inspired Walt Disney's Fantasyland castle - you know the one seen at the beginning of every Disney movie. The more I heard about King Ludwig the more I wondered if he was perhaps suffering from depression. Turned out people did think he was mentally ill - a psychiatrist deemed him mentally unfit to rule and he was taken to one of his other small castles as a prisoner. The day after he arrived he and the doctor were allowed to go for a walk and the following day found drowned in the lake - very mysterious circumstances - still not known if they were meurdered or a murder-suicide. Walked back down to the village - lovely lovely walk through the woods - slight bit of drizzle which didnt bother me. Really pleased I did not attempt to walk up as I do not think i would have made it. Back to the bus on time - waited 20 extra minutes for a couple of people - wish they had left them there. Long drive back to munich made up for by the countryside. Walked down to Marienplatz and found a Schnitzel haus for dinner.
Decided we would have a sleep in today - i woke around 9 and Tim was awake. Asked if he wanted to have a shower and use bathroom first but he said no. By the time I was out he was back to sleep never to rise again intil 1330. Just sat and sat and sat and read my book. Pleased I had brought an orange juice the night before. Finally he awaoke and we took the ubahn to Marienplatz as too late to contemplate the hop on hop off bus. Found a cafe and had pizza and coffees for lunch. Then a wander around looking at various things. Eventually on dark we made our way back to the apartment - found a small supermarket and brought supplies and then found a wonderful small cafe / pub which made the most excellent burgers and fries - amongst other things. If you stay at these apartments across the road and to the left for about 50 metres.
Fond farewells to Tim early in the morning before making my way back to the airport. He is a tremendous man - the sort of son any mother would want :)
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