Monday, July 27, 2009

Castles, castles and more castles...Day 3 & 4


I know at this rate it's going to take me 3 months to get the whole trip up...but it's not easy working a full-time job, serving at the church, studying for the Exam, and blogging all at the same time, so something had to give...okay back to day 3 and 4.

On day 3 we headed back to Starbucks, where the English speaking tours meet and took the tour to Neuschwanstein Castle. Due to the train tracks being under construction it was 3 hours out there and 3 hours back...

Kris was ready to hit the road...or train track I should say...

The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. The king was rather eccentric (to say the least) and decided that he wanted a romantic, picturesque castle, so instead of having an architect design him a castle, he hired a painter...and then had the castle constructed based on the painting (not always the most practical way to go about things).


The hike up to the castle was soooo steap...not going to lie, it kicked my butt!!


He was notorious for changing his mind during the construction of the castle, thus only 1/3 of it was ever finished. In 1886 he died a mysterious death...he had basically bankrupted the royal family building his extravagant castles and they were ready to put and end to that. They sent the commissioners to go get him from the castle and return him to the Residenz in Munich. The commissioners had a very difficult time getting through the castle wall to him, however after a week of trying a servant finally let them in (that servant should definitely have been fired for that). Ludwig was declared mentally insane by Dr. Gudden, although never having been examined. Why you ask...it was the easiest way to remove a king from the thrown.

He was captured and taken back to his Uncles house in Munich where 2 days later his body, along with the body of Dr. Gudden, was found, having drawn in the Lake Starnberg. Claims are that perhaps they tried to make an escape and drown, although unlikely, since Ludwig was 6'3, an excellent swimmer and was found in 4 feet of water. To this day the autopsy results will not be released by the royal family.

Neuschwanstein Castle is the most visited castle in all of Germany, but not because of it's interesting history, but because it is the castle that inspired Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. That mouse has some marketing power.

On Day 4 we rented a car and drove the autobahn to the Hohenzollern Castle, outside of Stuttgart. Kris really enjoyed getting to go as fast as he wanted (within reason, you can still get a ticket for recklessness). This castle was very special to Kris because his family is somehow related to the Prussian lineage at this castle. How glad am I that they Americanized their last name to Hohn?

Why are there no pics of this castle you ask? Oh that would be because at the end of day 5 of the trip, while at the pub in Salzburg, I decided to erase all the pictures on Kris's camera from day 3, 4 and 5...not the highlight of the trip...

More to come on that topic later...

6 comments:

Priscilla said...

wow! breathtaking views!

Camille, Blake and Pierce said...

Wow is all I got to say about those pics... wow

Renee Westcott said...

What a fun story! I'm so glad you took the time to type it out for us to read. It also makes it kind of funny that it's the story behind the Disney castle. I need to hear more about this hike. Very ambitious of you. Do you ever just relax when you go somewhere with Kris? I didn't think so!

The Littlepages said...

Wow-the castles are so beautiful!

The Goods said...

I love the pics...and very interested in hearing about deleting the Hohn pics...I thought I saw one on his facebook?

ClintandGina said...

What at awesome trip!! Glad we got to see you guys this weekend....sorry it was so rushed...(Ava was STARVING or so she thought), but we can catch up at the next dinner club.