60 Day Europe Bash – Munich

The beautiful view from the the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Austria. June 17, 2016

I think my jam packed travel schedule is catching up with me. During a 60-day trek it’s always good to build in a chill out day or two, or three. Well, today was one of those chill days. Although my garden room at the hotel here in Munich, Germany, is much bigger than my matchbox room in Vienna, the wi-fi here is inconsistent. So between chilling and lack of good wifi, I’m a bit behind in my daily posts.

Yesterday started out gloomy, chilly and drizzling, but it turned out to be a beautiful fairytale day with visits to two royal castles and a Bavarian village. Linderhof and Neuschwanstein Castles were the royal estates of Ludwig II (1845-1886) the Bavarian King who in 1864 at the age of 18 acceded to the thrown upon the death of his father Maximilian II. Ludwig was considered eccentric because he disliked large public functions and avoided formal social events whenever possible. His preference was a life of seclusion and the creative outlets of art, music and architecture.

The petite Linderhof Castle, completed in 1878, was the only one of the three castles that Ludwig II built that was completed during his lifetime. The richly ornamented façade of this relatively small palace conceals a world of opulence, radiant with gold,, paintings, crystal chandeliers, mirrors and porcelain.

Neuschwanstein Castle, the fairytale castle by Ludwig II, the fairytale king, is on an idyllic forested hillside and said to have inspired the Disney castle. The famous landmark began with a foundation stone in 1869. Ludwig finally moved into a portion of the castle in 1884 but only lived there a few days. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people, including myself, get to visit his private refuge.

My 60-Day Europe Bash, April 24 to June 22, 2016, travel blog is in six parts: Berlin, Heart of Europe, Adriatic, Balkans, Vienna and Munich. This is the Munich, Germany, trip from June 16 to June 22, 2016. Follow along through the photos and captions. 

Linderhof Castle situated in the Graswang Valley near the village of Ettal in Germany is a smaller, more private palace that King Lugwig II of Bavaria would retreat to. June 17, 2016
The front garden with fountain in front of the Linderhof Castle in Germany. June 17, 2016
The side garden of the Linderhof Castle in Germany. June 17, 2016
Ludwig II had a perfect view of the Neptune Fountain from his bedroom at Linderhof Palace in Germany. June 17, 2016
The beautiful and lush landscape of Bavaria in Germany. June 17, 2016
Oberammergau is a traditional Bavarian village in Germany. Although my visit there was brief, the village consists of homes and businesses decorated with fairy tale or religious themed frescoes. June 17, 2016
Oberammergau is a traditional Bavarian village in Germany. Many of the homes and businesses are decorated with fairy tale or religious themed frescoes. The village is also known as the home of a long tradition of woodcarving. June 17, 2016
Oberammergau is a traditional Bavarian village in Germany. Many of the homes and businesses are decorated with fairy tale or religious themed frescoes. June 17, 2016
Oberammergau is a traditional Bavarian village in Germany. Many of the homes and businesses are decorated with fairy tale or religious themed frescoes. June 17, 2016
Situated in the majestic mountainous Allgau region of Bavaria in Germany is the fairytale castle of Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein castle. June 17, 2016
The path up to the Neuschwanstein Castle is a 1.1 mile uphill climb which I did going and coming. June 17, 2016
The Neuschwanstein Castle is on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in Germany. It was a 1.1 mile uphill climb to reach the castle which was built by the fairytale King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Unfortunately photos cannot be taken of the interior but the walls are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from Richard Wagner’s operas. Ludwig was quite the fan and patron of Wagner’s works. June 17, 2016
Me at King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. June 17, 2016
The Upper Courtyard of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. On the left is the Palas, on the right is the Connecting Building with the Knights House in the middle. June 17, 2016
The inner courtyard and tower area of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. June 17, 2016
The view of the inner courtyard and tower area of the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. June 17, 2016
The beautiful view from the entryway bridge to the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Austria. June 17, 2016
The view of the Bavarian landscape from the hillside of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. June 17, 2016
The Marien Bridge, which is closed for repairs, at the Neuschwanstein Palace was originally a wooden bridge over the Pollat Gorge. In 1866 the wooden bridge was replaced with a metal bridge. June 17, 2016
The Royal Castle of Hohenschwangau is on an opposite hillside from the Neuschwanstein Castle. It was the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was built by his father, King Maximilian II and was the official summer and hunting residence of the family. June 17, 2016
A model of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. June 17, 2016

Dubbed the “Romantic Road,” it’s about 220 miles of scenic highway in Bavaria linking a number of picturesque towns and castles in what could be considered quintessentially German. On a clear day, the Bavarian countryside is enchanting. I got the opportunity to experience some of the Romantic Road when I went to Neuschwanstein Castle the other day and again today when I took a day trip to the medieval Harburg Castle and the medieval village of Rothenburg.

Although I haven’t kept count lately, this is day 57 of my 60-day birthday and retirement celebration trek through Central and Eastern Europe. My two months are almost up and I’m very ready to go home. I’ve got a few things on my agenda for tomorrow and the next day in Munich and after that, home sweet home.

Harburg Castle, located along Bavaria, Germany’s Romantic Road, is considered to be one of the most impressive remaining medieval castles in Germany. Records show the castle was first mentioned in 1150 and has never been seriously damaged by war. June 19, 2016
The Harburg Castle complex, in Bavaria, Germany, includes the castle house, chapel, sentry walk, prison tower, prison tower, dungeon and other buildings. June 19, 2016
Harburg Castle, located along Bavaria, Germany’s Romantic Road, is considered to be one of the most impressive remaining medieval castles in Germany. June 19, 2016
Harburg Castle in Bavaria, Germany, sits high on a hill and overlooks the town for which it’s named. June 19, 2016
Rothenburg, a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, is known for its medieval architecture. I found Rothenburg to be a charming town, with half-timbered houses along cobblestone lanes. June 19, 2016
As part of the popular Romantic Road through southern Germany, Rothenburg is known for its well-preserved medieval old town. June 19, 2016
Rothenburg, the well-preserved medieval old town in southern Germany. June 19, 2016
Rothenburg, a charming town in Bavaria, Germany, with its half-timbered houses along cobblestone lanes. June 19, 2016
Rothenburg, a charming town in Bavaria, Germany, with its half-timbered houses along cobblestone lanes. June 19, 2016
Rothenburg, a charming town in Bavaria, Germany, with its half-timbered houses along cobblestone lanes. June 19, 2016

I spent my last two full days hanging out in Munich, people watching while lingering over my cappuccino just taking in my surroundings and the experience of being in Munich. Then casually taking in the sites around Viktualienmarkt, the open air food market with its colorful outdoor stalls; Karlsplatz, the crowded pedestrian zone with its abundance of shops and restaurants; and Marienplatz the huge city square in the center of Munich with its delightful chimes. And I ended the day with a moment of silence at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the oldest church parish in Munich.

Karlsplatz – popularly known as Stachus – is a large square with a circular road in the center of Munich. It was created in the late eighteenth century after the medieval city fortifications were torn down. June 20, 2016
Karlstor used to be Munich’s famed city wall from the medieval ages till late into the 18th century. It served as a major defensive fortification and checkpoint. Now on the other side is a pedestrian zone with restaurants and shops. Karlstor receives its name from Karlsplatz (better known under its local nickname “Stachus”) which includes the circular road. June 20, 2016
The shopping area on Neuhauser Street, the portion of Munich’s downtown pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz. June 21, 2016
A store on Neuhauser Street near Karlsplatz that sells modern/traditional German attire. Women wear a dirndl, a ruffled apron dress that consists of a bodice, or blouse, and a skirt. In the 19th century, the dirndl was the standard uniform of servant girls, but today it is mostly worn in Bavaria usually for celebration. And, Lederhosen for the men are leather short or knee-length pants. June 20, 2016
Marienplatz, which has been Munich’s main square since 1158, is dominated by this large and imposing structure called the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus). The Glockenspiel in the tower of the new city hall which chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century, draws millions of tourists a year. June 20, 2016
An inside corridor look at the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) in Munich, Germany’s, city center called Marienplatz. June 20, 2016
At the east side Munich’s Marienplatz city center is the Old City Hall (Altes Rathaus). It’s a gothic council hall, ballroom and tower, which have been reconstructed but has graced Marienplatz for more than five hundred years. It is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings from the Gothic era. June 21, 2016
The Viktualienmarkt is a daily food market, located a block from my hotel and across from Marienplatz in the center of Munich, Germany. The Viktualienmarkt developed from an original farmers’ market to a popular market for gourmets. The popular and lively market boasts 140 shops and stalls that offer flowers and plants, vegetables, exotic fruit, venison and poultry, eggs, butter, honey, fish, beer, meat and sausages. June 20, 2016
The Viktualienmarkt is a daily food market, in the center of Munich, Germany, with about 140 shops and stalls that offer a variety of foods and tables in the middle of the market where people can eat outdoors. June 21, 2016
Food stalls of Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market in the center of Munich, Germany. June 21, 2016
The maypole in the center of the Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market, shows figures displaying the trades and crafts of this part of Munich, Germany. Maypoles date from the ages of general illiteracy and served to represent a village or later, as in this case, a borough and its trades to travelling salesmen or travelling craftsmen looking for a new master to learn from. June 20, 2016
More of the Viktualienmarkt is a daily food market, located a block from my hotel and across from Marienplatz in the center of Munich, Germany. June 21, 2016
St. Peter’s Catholic Church from the side of the church is located in the inner city by Marienplatz and the Viktualienmarkt and is the oldest church in Munich. June 21, 2016
St. Peter’s Catholic Church from the front with its high tower commonly known as “Alter Peter” – Old Peter – is located in the inner city by Marienplatz and the Viktualienmarkt and is the oldest church in Munich. June 21, 2016
The main alter of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Munich, Germany. June 21, 2016
A close up of the main alter of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Munich, Germany. June 21, 2016
The fresco above the main alter of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Munich, Germany, originally painted in 1730. June 21, 2016
The gated side chapels of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Munich, Germany. June 21, 2016
The bejeweled remains of Saint Munditia inside St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Munich, Germany. Her remains, inside a glass coffin, have been here since their transfer from the Roman catacombs in 1675. She is believed to have been martyred in 310 AD, beheaded with a hatchet. June 21, 2016

 

I’ve seen where the Dracula legend began, spent time in villages, towns and cities that criss crossed along the River Danube, enjoyed the beauty of the Adriatic, washed clothes at a bar in Budapest, stayed on an island and a former hillside castle, prayed at the most gorgeous churches in the world, shopped at street markets for food, visited medieval and fairytale castles, eaten my way through the cuisines of eleven countries, lived out of a suitcase for two months and I’ve met some of the most incredible people, who like me, love to travel and explore.

Now, it’s time to go home and start the next journey…retirement. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do and for now, I’m absolutely okay with that. After working pretty much most of my life and for the government these past 28 years, I’m ready to see what else is out there for me. More travel? For sure. Some writing? Definitely. Volunteering? Oh, yeah! Chilling out a lot? You bet, a healthy lesson learned from the Europeans.

In fact, I’ve already started. Until my next adventure…