We were so sad to leave the Netherlands behind but were excited to start our adventure in Germany. The only bad part was the seven hour busride. We stopped at a castle in Heidelberg on our way to Munich, which broke up the ride so it wasn't so much at one time. I had been there before but Scott hadn't so it was fun to tell him the stories about the last time I had been there.
One of the biggest attractions at the castle is the Wine Cellars. The King at the time decided that if his castle was ever attacked, it would be impossible to import wine, which would obviously be a a travesty of huge porportions so he built these huge while barrells to hold all the wine, just in case! There is one that is about five times this tall and three times as wide but we couldn't get a very good picture of it!
A view of Heidelberg
This is Scott with a Doner! When I had gone before, I had a Doner every day. They were such a good price for how much food you got and I couldn't wait to have Scott try one. The meat roasts on an open spit all day and then they put it inside an artisan roll with cabage/ lettuce (depending on where you go) and then a dressing that is similar to thousand island. Scott loved it and the best part was we were full after!
We also stopped in the city of Rottenburg to enjoy the medieval architecture. During WWII, this city was severely damaged and was restored to its full medieval self after the war as a physical preservation of that time period. Walking through the city is like stepping back in time. There is a big wall that surrounds the city. We got to explore that too! It was so fun to be here and we were so glad we got to make this quick stop.
We finally made it to Munich. I am standing outside of the old town hall. The Ratskeller is now a restaraunt but at one time, there was an attempt at Hitler's life where the restarant now resides. I thought it was so cool so I took a picture!
Munich is famous for the Oktoberfest. Every year, thousands of people from all over the world visit Munich to participate in the drinking games and German drinking songs. I am sure you have pictures of the women carrying eight pints of beer at a time? Well, thats Oktoberfest! And the most famous brewery in Munich is called the Hoffbrauhaus. They serve huge pints of beer and traditional German food. They also have a live band which plays German style folk music and the musicians are even dressed in lederhosen! All of these elements combine to create a really authentic experience. We decided to eat dinner here and we were so glad we did. Our waiter couldn't believe we could come all the way to Germany and not order beer! He tried to talk us into ordering a pint but eventually gave up. We ordered some bratwurst, a pretzel, and a baked potatoe. It was such a good meal and I think it was due in part to the fun atmosphere.
We stayed the night in Munich and the next day, more driving! (boo). But we made little stops along the way which broke up the long ride. We stoped at the Neuschwanstein castle (hope I spelled that right). This is the castle that the Cinderella castle is modeled after. This place was so picturesque, even our dinky, broken camera took shots that looked like post cards. This little town is set right at the base of the Bavarian Alps and is breathtakingly beautiful. Just a little history lesson, the King of the castle almost bankrupt the country trying to build the castle. With the exception of a few rooms, the castle remains unfinished becuase the King was found dead in a near by lake not long after building of the castle commenced. He had drowned in about five feet of water. His doctor was also found dead at the scene, aparantly drowned as well. No one knows how they both died or what happened in the end. But the castle remains, and continues to be a famous tourist stop in this area.
You either hike to the top, take a horse drawn carriage or a shuttle. Since both of the later cost money, we hiked. You can go to this beautiful look out bridge that is behind the castle (where this picture is taken from) and it provides a perfect spot for a picture!
You can't go to Bavaria and not eat some black forest cake (schwarzwalderkirchetorte, say that fives times fast)! This is a traditional cake of the area so before we boarded the bus, we shared a slice. Its a dark chocolate cake with cherry filling. When I was in high school, I had made this same cake for a German language fair at SUU. I must say, mine was an easy bake oven version compared to the real deal!