The first stop on summer vacation 2013 (after that trip to Børgefjell) was the land of beer, or bier as they call it there. Germany! While Berlin is pretty awesome, it is rather international, so in heading to southern Germany, I felt like I was going to get to see the “real” Germany. Beer gardens and bratwurst, here I come!
My travels started with a day in Munich. It was really hot (in the 90s) which isn’t the best weather for exploring a big and crowded city, but it was a good excuse to have a relaxing day as opposed to rushing around and trying to see all that Munich has to offer.
But we did manage to take in the views from St. Peters:
Wander around the Viktualienmarkt (awesome farmers’ market):
Visit a proper beer garden:
Check out the surfers at Englischer Garden:
And wish I had my swimsuit with me (I had to settle for a nap in the shade, surrounded by Munich’s infamous naked sunbathers):
The rest of the week was spent exploring Baden-Württemberg (one of Germany’s 16 states). It was supposed to be a week of bike rides and hikes and enjoying the
warm hot weather. Except that someone (not me) came down with mono and was pretty much stuck in bed. So instead Julian and I took a lot of naps, read a lot, and played a lot of board games. Have you played Memory as an adult (without having to let a little kid win), it is really fun – and it turns out that I don’t have very good memory…
But I did get to explore. Scenes from small German towns (Leutkirch, Isny, Ravensburg…).
One of my favorite days was spent at the Lake of Constance, a huge lake that borders Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. I took the train to Lindau and rented a bike with the intent to ride to Switzerland. But instead I was distracted by the lake – the water was crazy warm and so clear that I couldn’t not enjoy it. I swam, read, napped, and repeated. I did make it to Austria though, where I enjoyed a delish lunch of weiner schnitzel, the national dish of Austria (when in Rome…).
Stage for the Bregenz (Austria) Festival. They perform a different opera every year – this year it was The Magic Flute.
By the end of the week Julian was feeling well enough to visit southern Germany’s most iconic castle: Neuschwanstein.
Only a few hours from Munich, Ludwig’s famous fairytale castle is crawling with tour busses (and tourists). We decided to just take it in from the outside before heading to another of Ludwig’s palaces which was just as nice and half as crowded. I’d totally recommend making a quick stop at Neuschwanstein to oogle from the outside, but then heading to Linderhof to explore.
Remind you a bit of Versailles? Well that is because Ludwig was a big obsessed with Louis XIV and modeled his palace after Versailles. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
And with that, my week in Germany was over and I was headed to France, via Switzerland to meet up with some friends and then family from “home.”
Next up – Switzerland, the land of chocolate!