Results tagged “Castles” from Europe Honeymoon 2008

Had a very slow start today. Let Stu sleep in til about 8:30 heh :) Breakfast was one of the biggest so far. And lots of yummy bacon yayyy :) So we stocked up on breakfast so we could skip lunch.

So didn't get out the door til 11am. Whoops.

Crossing the Lech near Augsburg
Ha! We *did* go over this bridge earlier in the trip. Crossing the Lech
near Augsburg. 

Reichsstrasse, Donauwörth
Reichsstrasse, Donauwörth 

Schloss Harburg
Schloss Harburg

Our first stop was Nördlingen. We found a parking lot just outside the city wall with free parking (and unlimited cause it was Sunday) so stopped there and walked in through the gate. Where we found a staircase up to the city wall, which you can walk around!  Very cool. Walked along to the next tower and found a museum. In the tower. It was all in German, but Stu loved all the stuff on the Thirty Years War. So next we headed to the church right in the centre of town (the town is an almost perfect circle and only about a kilometre diameter).

Deininger Tor, Nördlingen
Deininger Tor, Nördlingen 

Stairway up to the wall
Stairway up to the wall 

Wall around Nördlingen
Wall around Nördlingen 

Löpsinger Tor from the wall
Löpsinger Tor from the wall 

30 years war battlefield in Löpsinger Tor
30 years war battlefield in Löpsinger Tor 

View towards Saint Georg's Church and the steeple Daniel from Löpsinger Tor
View towards Saint Georg's Church and the steeple "Daniel" from
Löpsinger Tor 

View back to Deininger Tor from Löpsinger Tor
View back to Deininger Tor from Löpsinger Tor 

Beautiful wood carvings in a store
Beautiful wood carvings in a store 

Saint Georg's Church in the centre of town
Saint Georg's Church in the centre of town 

Nördlingen Tanzhaus
Nördlingen Tanzhaus

Another church, another tower to climb :) (The tower is called "Daniel"). Stu didn't want to get all hot and sweaty, so I went up by myself. The view was fantastic, in fact the same view as filmed in the 70s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory heh :) Have to watch that when I get home too :) It was two euro for adults to go up, but you pay when you get to the top!  *and* there are toilets at the top of the tower!!  Weirdest thing ever :) (and there were free toilets *in* the city wall at various locations :) )

Bell in Daniel
Bell in Daniel 

Nördlingen from Daniel
Nördlingen from Daniel. That streetscape features in the movie
"Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" at the end of the movie
where they fly over a town 

Storks in their nest as seen from Daniel
Storks in their nest as seen from Daniel. See their webcam.

While up the tower I got a map of the town, so when I got back down we decided to follow the historic walking tour around. Saw tonnes of really cute old buildings. We really really liked Nördlingen (I think it might be pronounced Nerdlingen? :) ). It just had such a nice easy-going atmosphere. And it wasn't completely touristy. We loved it.

Saint Georg's Church and Daniel
Saint Georg's Church and "Daniel" 

Klösterle
Klösterle 

Stu on a bridge over the Eger stream
Stu on a bridge over the Eger stream 

Another view of the Eger stream
Another view of the Eger stream 

Crazy-crooked Gerberviertel
Crazy-crooked Gerberviertel 

Cute little car
Cute little car 

There were a few buildings that hadn't been maintained
There were a few buildings that hadn't been maintained. They had
no photographs signs on them heh. 

Reimlinger Tor
Reimlinger Tor

So our next stop was Dinkelsbühl (or as Stu dubbed it, Dingle-Dongleberg ;) ). We had more trouble finding parking here due to roadworks and road closures due to festivals etc. So that wasn't a great start. Ended up parking at the Krankenhaus (hospital - love that word heh). Walked into town via the lake outside which was very pretty, and then down into the main square of town. The buildings here have all been done up medieval-style and do look very cute, but this place was much much more touristy which came as a bit of a rude shock after the peacefulness of Nördlingen. We looked in the church and had an early dinner and then just left.

Dinkelsbühl
Dinkelsbühl 

Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße
Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße 

Saint George’s church
Saint George’s church

Interior of Saint George’s church
Interior of Saint George’s church 

Roof of Saint George’s church
Roof of Saint George’s church

Stu in Saint George’s church
Stu in Saint George’s church 

Beers in Dinkelsbühl
Beers in Dinkelsbühl 

Supposedly famous medieval building in Weinmarkt
Supposedly famous medieval building in Weinmarkt

We were going to go to Rothenburg but it was just getting too late, so just went straight to Heidelberg. Checked into our hotel, the went for a little walk around the old town, had some ice cream, and walked across the old bridge to the other side. As is tradition on this trip, stuff is covered in scaffolding. A third of the bridge and a quarter of the schloss :(:(  All a bit sad-making. Sat by the river for a while as it got darker before wandering back to the hotel.

Heidelberger Schloss from the old town square
Heidelberger Schloss from the old town square 

Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River
Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River 

Old Bridge over the Neckar River
Old Bridge over the Neckar River 

Church of the Holy Spirit and our hotel in front from the other side of the river
Church of the Holy Spirit and our hotel in front from the other side of the river

So had stress dreams about the castles overnight :( Mind running round and round in circles about how best to do it heh.

Breakfast was pretty decent, even had bacon - woot! :)

So we had a *very* early start, getting to the castles ticket office just after 8am. Got ourselves into the 9:10 Hohenschwangau tour and the 11:10 Neuschwanstein tour.

We walked ourselves up to Hohenschwangau the "slow" way, which probably took twenty minutes cause we kept stopping. (They say the steep way would take twenty minutes, but I reckon it'd take about five). The tour was pretty good (except for no photos :/ ). Saw lots of the castle and it was pretty interesting. So quite enjoyed that.


Alpsee 


Beautifully stacked wood 

Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau 


Neuschwanstein from Hohenschwangau 


Hohenschwangau

Went back down the hill to wait for a bus up the other hill. It dropped us near the top and we walked up to Marienbrücke to see the view from there. Then it was down to the castle for our tour. We had a bit of time before it started so wandered around for a bit. Then about a minute before we were due to go in, we read on the sign that bulky backpacks needed to be checked. So of course I panicked. Because I'd looked at the sign before and saw icons for NO anything-else, but no mention of backpacks.  We went back to the checking place and paid two euro for a locker. (As it turns out, that's just a deposit which we got back). But someone else on our tour had a much bigger backpack than me and they didn't even say anything, so that was all a bit annoying. But at least I didn't have to lug it around.


Iconic Neuschwanstein picture from Marienbrücke 


The American couple we met took this picture of us at Neuschwanstein 


Looking down at Alpsee and Hohenschwangau from above Neuschwanstein 


Hohenschwangau from above Neuschwanstein 


Front entrance of Neuschwanstein 


Courtyard from under the gates 


Courtyard area 


Back of the gatehouse 


Courtyard showing the location of the chapel that was never completed

Anyways the tour of Neuschwanstein was a lot bigger (in terms of numbers) and so we didn't get nearly as much commentary because we had to wait a lot longer for everyone to get into the rooms. And didn't seem to see that much either. Apparently seventeen rooms were completed before Ludwig died. We were thinking on the way out it might have been nice to see some of the incomplete rooms, but I suppose we did - in the form of a couple of gift shops.. hrmmm. Anyway so didn't enjoy that tour as much but it was still nice to see some things.


Model of Neuschwanstein

So then started back down, and took a horse carriage ride back down the mountain. That was a very pleasant ride. (While waiting I saw someone with my camera. I thought that was pretty cool, until she pushed in in front of us to take the front seat in the carriage. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate pushins? :/ But we did talk to an American couple from Texas who were in Europe for their honeymoon too! They were on our tour as well and we kept seeing them before and after as well heh).


Exterior lower walls of Neuschwanstein 


This woman has my camera. She is also very rude and a push-in. 


We rode a cart pulled by these horses down from the castle (in the background)

Next stop was Tegelberg, where we thought we might get some more views of the castles. We had lunch up there, overlooking the Alps. Was gorgeous :)  Walked up the mountain after lunch, and then down the mountain, and even across the mountain, but no luck seeing the castles :/  Oh well, so then came down the cable car and finally left the area.. At 4:20pm heh. Drove north, through Landsburg, not actually stopping but going through the old town and taking photos anyway, and then onto Augsburg.


Can you tell is thrilled to be being dragged up another mountain?


Neuschwanstein from the Tegelbergbahn 


Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau from Tegelbergbahn


German and Austrian Alps from Tegelberg 


Beer on top of Tegelberg 


Hanggliders waiting for the right conditions to take off from Tegelburg


Looking down to the cable car station from near the summit of Tegelburg 


The Birds!! Hanggliders actually :) 


Hauptplatz in Landsberg am Lech 


Sandauer Tor, Landsberg am Lech 


Sign indicating we were on the "Romantische Straße", on Augsburg
Straße just north of Landsberg am Lech


Checked into our hotel, then out to find a waschsalon. The nice thing about this one was it was right next to a Vietnamese restaurant, so we had dinner there while our clothes washed and dried. Was the most pleasant washing experience of the whole trip :)


Wood carvings in the table at the Vietnamese restaurant

And finally back here to crash. Think got a little sunburnt up the mountain today.. Oops...
Better hotel, no better breakfast.. Doh!!

So got up and it was sunny!! Could see mountains and everything! Various webcams weren't quite so promising, but decided to head for the Alps just in case.

Swiss Alps over Bregenz over Bodensee
Swiss Alps over Bregenz over Bodensee

As we were driving out of Lindau, just through the suburban areas south of there, we went through a roundabout and Stu said welcome to Austria, and I'm like what? Where? There was just a boring sign (that I missed completely) to indicate a change in country! Bah! Wanted Stu to turn around so we could do it again heh.

So took a very back-road scenic trip up into Lech in Austria. And it was soooo pretty :) Went over a couple of passes and Stu got to go out onto real-live snow :) He was very brave and did all the driving up and down scary mountain roads while I took loads of pictures.

Our hire car
Our hire car 

Little church in Bersbuch
Little church in Bersbuch 

Stu by the Bregenzer Ache river a kilometre north of Au in Austria
Stu by the Bregenzer Ache river a kilometre north of Au in Austria 

Elevated road just up from Schröcken
Elevated road just up from Schröcken. Stu looked at this and freaked out a little! 

View from our morning tea spot
View from our morning tea spot (you can see the elevated road below) 

Stu on the snow at Hochtannbergpass
Stu on the snow at Hochtannbergpass 

Widderstein from Hochtannbergpass
Widderstein from Hochtannbergpass 

Biberkopf from Hochtannbergpass
Biberkopf from Hochtannbergpass 

All the mountains around the roads and villages had these barricades to help prevent avalanches
All the mountains around the roads and villages had these barricades
to help prevent avalanches 

Biberkopf, coming into Warth
Biberkopf, coming into Warth 

Looking west down Arlbergpass
Looking west down Arlbergpass 

Biberkopf again, this time coming back into Warth from the south
Biberkopf again, this time coming back into Warth from the south 

Biberkoft and cute chalets just outside of Warth
Biberkoft and cute chalets just outside of Warth

Finally we headed for Füssen in Germany (this time I was keeping an eye out for the border sign, and it was a complete anti-climax. Boring!! :)


Church seemingly in the middle of the road in Hägerau.
In one town the church really was in the middle of the
road and there were dings in the corners from cars
hitting it!


Church in Stockach, coming down the Lech valley
Church in Stockach, coming down the Lech valley 

Germany border crossing sign
At least I was expecting the border crossing back into Germany!
Police waiting on the other side!


Checked into our hotel (right in the middle of town - even with onsite parking it was a little crazy), and then we headed out to suss out the castles for tomorrow.

I have wanted to see Neuschwanstein for a very long time (prolly twenty years or so) so finally seeing it was very exciting :) All the parking there is 4.50 euro in gated lots, but didn't want to pay that since we'd be there tomorrow again anyway. So drove off wondering what to do when the no stopping signs stopped and we noticed cars parked on the side of the road, so decided to join them. It was a bit of a hike back, but at least they didn't get our money twice!  Anyways, so got our info for tomorrow's visit.

Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein! 

Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau
Hohenschwangau 

Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein 

Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein

So then back into town for Stu to recover for a bit, then went out for walk round Füssen. Took some photos of the schloss, then had beer followed by ice cream for dinner :)

Street in Füssen
Street in Füssen 

Hohes Schloss Füssen
Hohes Schloss Füssen

Hohes Schloss Füssen
Hohes Schloss Füssen 

Beer in Füssen
Beer in Füssen

Now have been sitting here waiting for it to get dark enough to go out and try and see some stars....
I'm awake! It must be 6am. Take five. Heh

Spent a bit of time on the puta before hopping on a tram and then a train to the Hauptbahnhof for our train to Dresden.

This sign on train windows amused me
This sign on train windows amused me. It's like "here's a spot you can
throw bottles out". Germans of course have simply a circle to mean
"banned" as opposed to a circle with a cross through it


Backwards. Yet again! Lol

Fields of canola south of Berlin
Fields of canola south of Berlin

We had first class seats but we were in a six-seat compartment which wasn't particularly pleasant - very cramped and someone was coughing up phlegm the whole trip. Yay.

Anyways. Arrived in Dresden and went and checked into our hotel - a very short walk from the station in the middle of a pedestrian mall/plaza type thing. Went back to the station to get our tickets for tomorrow's trip to Prague. Thought we'd gotten two window seats, but presumably they didn't exist because we seem to have two middles :( (we didn't notice this til some time later :( )

Fountain in Dresden (near our hotel - background)
Fountain in Dresden (near our hotel - background)

Then we hopped on the train out to Meißen. I'd gotten info about vaguely where to go to see the porcelain museum, but the instructions weren't particularly clear for after you left the station. So we started wandering and saw a sign pointing to porcelain manufakture, so followed that. There were a few signs, but they weren't very obvious. In fact the museum itself wasn't very well marked either. After going "is this it?" a few times we eventually came to the cafe, but nothing really obvious to say that was the museum as well. Fail. Maybe they only bother to cater to tour groups or something that know where they're going (there were a couple of coaches parked out the back). Anyways. So we went in (had to check my bag, but photos are allowed so that was good), and went on the workshop demonstration. They gave us these headsets that received the talks in english which was most useful, and the demonstrations were fascinating. We were amazed at how much the porcelain shrinks after its firing. And so much work is involved! After the demo we went up to the museum proper, which had hundreds of pieces dating back to the seventeen hundreds. Most of it was exquisite. Some was warped. Some (mainly the new stuff) was hideous heh. Took lots of photos, whoops :) We looked in the shop on the way out. The prices were staggering! Stu would love to have gotten a dragon tea cup and saucer but for about five hundred euros we decided not to heh.

View of Dresden from the train heading out to Meißen
View of Dresden from the train heading out to Meißen 

Albrechtsburg and Dom zu Meißen over the Elbe River
Albrechtsburg and Dom zu Meißen over the Elbe River 

Stu outside the Meißen Porcelain Museum
Stu outside the Meißen Porcelain Museum 

Decorating porcelain
Decorating porcelain 

Different stages of the plate glazing process
Different stages of the plate glazing process 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Meißen porcelain
Meißen porcelain 

Look at the exquisite detail!!
Look at the exquisite detail!! 

An entire dinner party's worth of porcelain
An entire dinner party's worth of porcelain 

Girl Playing With Sphere
"Girl Playing With Sphere" 

Individual pieces that go to make up Girl Playing With Sphere
Individual pieces that go to make up "Girl Playing With Sphere" 

Pipe organ with pipes made out of porcelain
Pipe organ with pipes made out of porcelain 

Some of their more recent work - I find it ugly
Some of their more recent work - I find it ugly

After we left the museum (two and a half hours later!) we were trying to decide if we should just head back to Dresden or have a look at Meißen. I wanted to have a look at the cathedral, so we decided to walk back into town. Omigosh!  I've always had in my head the images of little European towns with little cobblestone streets and town plazas and cute buildings and churches and it was all there!! The fairy-tale picture-book type images were all there just like I imagined them. It was insanely cool to be really there, living this dream I've had for over twenty years. We walked through the centre of the old town and then up to the cathedral and Albrechsburg and took lots of photos.

Alley in Meißen
Alley in Meißen 

Cute building in the town square
Cute building in the town square 

Carillion of bells made from porcelain
Carillion of bells made from porcelain 

Looking up to the cathedral from the town
Looking up to the cathedral from the town 

These things just seemed so out of place it made me giggle
These things just seemed so out of place it made me giggle 

Meißen red rooves
Meißen red rooves 

Elbe River from the cathedral grounds
Elbe River from the cathedral grounds 

Cathedral grounds
Cathedral grounds 

Meißen Cathedral
Meißen Cathedral

So then came back to Dresden. Went out for some dinner - to a Turkish place. I asked for a "klein" turkish pizza.. But got groß.. I'd hate to think of what their large would be if *that* was a small!!

Stu really liked these little gardens
Stu really liked these little gardens with just a shack or shed on them and
somewhere for people to actually have their own gardens 

We were quite amused by this fetishware in Dresden
We were quite amused by this fetishware in Dresden 

The moon is totally upside down in the northern hemisphere!
The moon is totally upside down in the northern hemisphere!

The internet here is eight euros a day :(  Everywhere else it's been free, so that was a bit of a shock :/

The music outside stopped around 10pm.. Which is good because there is no soundproofing whatsoever, and even four flights up we can hear people talking/laughing outside...