Neuschwanstein

DSCN2729Woke up early today to trek all the way to Füssen, Bayern, the foothills of Schloss Neuschwanstein. This castle was built under King Ludwig the second’s reign. It was made during the later part of his life and actually wasn’t completely finished. There are only 17 rooms completely finished, while the rest of the house remains empty. It’s basically empty inside there, or so I’ve heard from Garth.

DSCN2735When we immediately got there, the line was so long that there was a wait time so long that we wouldn’t have gotten in the castle until 2:30. We were in line at 11. So instead of taking a tour inside, we decided to follow the paths that surround the castle. This still took us to the general courtyard inside the front gates, which was all I really needed to see. It was so gigantic the pictures I took look like I couldn’t get a good distance shot of it. It’s true. As you can see, it is clearly in the middle of a mountain. DSCN2734

The picture posted on the cover photo of this post was actually taken on top of a bridge right over a river. From this view, it truly made Neuschwanstein unreal. It looked fake almost, like it could have been torn town like a poster. It couldn’t be real.

From the bridge there was an amazingly light breeze that followed the river, brushing us and actually drying my sweat. It was another gloriously hot day in Bayern with humidity like Minnesota (without mosquitos). Thank goodness we just walked in the shade the whole time. But that didn’t matter because I still ended up getting incredibly sweaty like I always do. I remember being really embarrassed the first time it happened with the class last month. It was like I had to give an explanation for it, saying that I’m actually athletic and this sweat just means I’m working hard. Sweating was like that moment when you encounter someone breaking a social norm: you don’t like that it’s existing, but you don’t know how to make it stop. Well good enough for me, I had this beautiful moment to stare at Neuschwanstein for a little while longer as I subtly raised my arms to air out my armpits. What a dry beauty.

After descending, we visited the town of Füssen, a cute little village. It’s equipped with all the important structures a town needs: a church, government house, trading center, and a huge shopping road strictly for pedestrians. Since we were lucky enough to run up and down looking for a restaurant to eat at, we were able to see the most of it in a quick amount of time. We were able to avoid the heat one more time.

Once we sat for lunch and eat had our salad with fish on it (delicious and indescribable), there was a parade that galavanted in the platz nearest restaurant. From our outdoor seating, we could see the different costumes, horses, and flags that they spun around. They were all dressed up in renaissance costumes and garb from the middle ages. It was truly spectacular because this is where some of those original parades were held. I’m not actually certain if this was a place where that was actually held, but to me it had a more significant impression because it was so close to the historical reference they were making. I saw one woman across the platz with her window open, arms up to hold her head, and gawking at the street. How many times has that same thing happened in that house? That window? That pose? This parade? How much noise does it take for that window to be opened? Does it take the parade of people? The noise? The celebration? She was watching the same parade I was and we were both enjoying it, from window or salad plate.

We adventured around to where the parade had begun and discovered a christmas miracle. The entire renaissance fair was happening just outside the city walls. There were tents pinned up as if they were nomadic kingdoms from the era. Almost everyone was dressed in a garb that made me, wearing long pants and a shirt, sweat even more. They had those huge heavy material costumes that do not look comfortable in 90 degree weather. Even though most of them were just sitting down, I could image their discomfort in great detail. The heavy breathing from exhaustion, the tight chest from the tied costumes, the hot head from the gravely thick hat. Those brave souls.

During the course of our meandering, I found a set up for different types of alcohol. This wasn’t hard alcohol because I’m not much of a fan of that sort of drinking, but instead it was wines and beers. But the most interesting thing I wanted to try was Met. This is just a fermented kind of drink made from honey. It tasted like someone tried to mix honey into wine for a few days and just kept stirring in more honey until the grape flavor was gone and the hard taste after was too sweet for understanding. The first sip caught me off guard. It was honey, liquid honey, the same kind of honey that I wish I had to stir in my tea. The second flavor was that strange middle feeling you get when you sip wine, that pause between the grape taste and the sting from having too much. Not even a second long, but that moment is so important because it’s the greatest part of drinking Met. After that pause, it gets you down for the count, arm tied behind you. There’s a wine sting, but with the hint of honey that’s been spoiled. Spoiled honey? Does it exist? Yea, in Met. My vote is that everyone should give it a try, but don’t order around 0,3 Liters of it.

DSCN2743Afterword, we visited another church just as beautiful as every other one I have seen, except quaint and extremely beautiful. This one is called Wieskirche and has all the extravagant parts of a church. Included was ornate wall decorations painted in white and gold, DSCN2744ceiling paintings that looked three dimensional, and sculptures that wrapped up to the ceiling in order to create that three dimensional feeling, keeping you guessing what is real sculpture and what was just painted. We saw a very similar looking one when we were biking around the Bodensee near Meersburg, but this one is so secluded. I think I enjoy this one a little bit more because it was smaller and had that extra small-town feeling to it. In the picture, you can see that there really isn’t a lot of city immediately around it. It’s all on its own. But take a look inside and bam, beauty.  More beauty than I can really understand.

DSCN2755We worked our way to Steven’s place, which is actually a house built next to his grandmother’s home, and settled in. It’s quite nice considering this place was only built two years ago and still has some life ahead of it. It’s amazing to think that I’ve spent so many nights in places that have been older than America and now I’m staying in one place that’s younger than my cat.

Here’s to Snickers. Miss you bb.

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